When I graduated from 8th grade my father got me a summer job with a friend of his, Billy. He was the General Contractor for a local housing development. He informed me that my official job title was to be "go-fer". On my first day he asked me if I thought I could drive his truck, which I replied "Sure, no biggie". I had a 100cc dirt bike at the time, with real gears and clutch, and I backed my moms Impala Station Wagon up and down the driveway on a regular basis, so how hard could it be. "Whoa, what's this"? I had never seen a column shift before. Needless to say there was a lot of grinding going on for those first few days.
Most of the duties I performed was to go get supplies from a trailer located at the site and drop them off at the house sites. The development had curbs and aprons but the roads were not paved yet and were hard packed gravel, so I taught myself how to do power slides. A "Three on the tree" and manual steering is quite a handful for a weak 14 year old so I was pretty much pointed in the wrong direction most of the time. I lost a few loads out the back of the truck, all part of the learning curve. When I was told to drop off 5 sheets of plywood at a site, I would get 4 so I would have to make another trip. Dim-witted kid they thought, he can't count!
Those were 2 great summers, I couldn't believe I was getting paid to have that much fun. I made enough money to buy a real dirt bike, a Husqvarna 250. Three years later I got my license and I can't even count the number of cars and motorcycles I had driven over the years.
Fast forward to 2006 and I'm driving by Billy's house and I see that he had his old sagging garage had been torn down. Outside were all the contents, including the old green Ford truck I used to drive. I nearly went through the windshield when I saw it. It had been 35 years since I laid eyes on that truck.
I stopped by and talked with him about the truck telling him I didn't know he still had it and how much fun I had driving it those 2 summers. He told me he drove it at least a few times each year but hadn't taken it out since he turned 70, "Too hard for me to drive now". I asked what he was going to do with it and he told me guys have been stopping by all the time wanting to buy it, but he didn't want to have some young kid to "Hot Rod it up with all the fancy wheels and stuff".
I told him he should sell it to me and that I would restore it back to stock and drive it nice and easy, no "peel-outs". He thought about it for a minute, then without a word he went inside the house and came out a few minutes later holding the title and paperwork. He handed it to me and said "Here, do it proud". He didn't care about the money, his dad had given it to him and he just wanted it to go to a good home.
Three years later after a full frame off restoration I took my first drive, around the block just to check everything out. I came back two hours later.
That was one great first drive, again.
1st picture is the truck now, the 2nd is Billy removing the homemade Tonneau cover the day I picked it up.