Confessions of a Sledge Hammer Antique Truck Restorer
By Dave Lockard
via the baltimorepostexaminer.com (MD) web site
YORK SPRINGS, PA — As a fossil at the ‘seasoned’ age of 74 years, I must confess to my fellow hobbyists that I am not a vehicle restoration specialist. I have, however had many folks over the years provide me with Packard motor truck literature & complete many mechanical jobs/new manufacturing of parts projects that were way beyond my capability. Personally, I can only claim skills of appearing pathetically incompetent, pleading, begging and knowing only enough to be dangerous with engines to be able to have such wonderful friends that help me to bring back to life deceased commercial vehicles.
At the Hershey Fall Meet I have had numerous chance encounters with really knowledgeable experts (Matt, don’t get too swelled up with pride, OK?) with their commercial vehicles who put me to shame, so I must rely on my acid tongue/wise guy stupid comments that the public identifies as humor. Such was the case with my 1919 Packard truck. For 32 years on the day after the Hershey Fall Meet my friends along with the full support of my wife Joan, we held the ‘Packard Truck Organization’ meet that came to a screeching halt in 2018.
Over the years I got to know an elderly & true gentleman by the name of Charles White who for years lived just north of Philadelphia. Charles was a regular attendee at the PTO meet held at my home in York Springs, about a half hour above Gettysburg. Charles owned a fascinating original ex-Connecticut chemical fire truck chassis long after the body had been removed years ago — inheriting the Packard from his late father James, who purchased the Packard back in 1955. In the interim, following James passing, the Packard was stored in a south Philadelphia warehouse & home of the ‘Anthracite Battery Company’, was then taken south to Waverly, Florida Charles had residence. Sometime later Charles moved back north to South Carolina, his final residence.
The Packard remained in Florida where a local garage was supposed to begin restoration, however, that never happened. In early 2000 I had sold Charles a spare engine for his truck along with a spare transmission as his Packard truck did not run.
Moving forward to March 2008, I received a phone call from Charles who sadly,told me he had sold his White truck he had so coveted and now had to pass the Packard onto someone else. I explained to Charles that having seen pictures only of this original Packard truck that I knew several fellows who would be thrilled to buy the Packard (I cherish my solid capitalist business ethic of being a ‘Zero Commission Agent’). When asked, I constantly answer “I lose a little bit of money on every sale, but I always make it up in volume.” (Duh!) Charles emphatically told me not to contact anyone and he would get back to me shortly.
So, I waited.
Read the entire article on the Baltimore Post Examiner web site here:
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