David L 1955 Chevrolet First Series 3100 1/2 Ton 2dr Pickup

Mushroom Hunt

Thirty years ago I purchased a 1955 Chevy half ton pickup truck with the wrap around rear window and an extended bed. The previous owner had rescued this vehicle from a drag strip, as it's second life duty was to push drag vehicles where they needed to be, (hence the missing front bumper, and an oval push bar in it's place). The truck's first life duty was to serve as part of the state's hy-way vehicle fleet. When I purchased the truck, it retained its Indiana hy-way vehicle orange paint job, but had an upgraded 327 small block and a Hurst three speed shifter attached to the original Saginaw transmission. The only other modification was the replacement of the bench seat for a pair of 1967 Olds bucket seats.

Plenty of work ahead of me for the the next 18 years of my ownership, I decided to take a break from modifying this truck on a Saturday to go mushroom hunting in a local state park. This park is one of the newer park additions for the state of Indiana, and many home sites were surrendered to make this park possible. Being familiar with the reclaimed area for this park, I had knowledge of locations of the home sites within the park. Most home owners in this area did not have a service for trash removal, and instead created dump sites on their property. Many vehicles and parts for vehicles that were left behind by home owners were painstakingly removed by the state park.

During my morning hike to find mushrooms, I stumbled across pieces of a mid seventies VW bug, and the dashboard with attached fire wall of a 1955 Chevy truck. I was astonished to see several parts that I thought would be useful for my own truck. The parts of interest for me were; speedometer, knobs for the heater control, and a heater core. My only tool on my person was a hunting knife with an eight inch blade. Knowing what screws I needed to remove to salvage the speedometer and heater knobs, I successfully claimed the parts. The heater core presented a bigger challenge. After finding a study stick, I used the stick and my knife and several well placed kicks to free it from the old chevy. Ultimately I never had to use the heater core or speedometer, but the heater knobs were put to good use. The spare parts were sold with my truck years later.

This was my most memorable and exciting car parts find.

It was also a good day for finding mushrooms!

David Lee

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