Rennie G 1945 1/2 ton Dodge pick up

Thumbs Up to the Working Truck

It was 1966 when my neighbor, Harry Hansen, a plumber, told me a friend of his died and willed his 1945 1/2 ton Dodge pick up truck to him. He already had a truck for work, and 1956 red Dodge and asked if I would like the older Dodge. That truck was 21 years old, I was 18, and just graduated high school. The truck was old enough to vote before I could.

Fast forward 50 years and I still have that truck. It has been more dependable than my first two wives.

In 1971 after I graduated from college in Los Angeles, I towed it to Hartington, Nebraska for my first job as a school teacher. I lived on a farm just outside of town and it was my basic transportation. Not being able to support a wife and new baby, we moved back to Los Angeles a year later, and of course my truck came with us.

When my daughter was 16, I taught her how to drive a stick shift in that truck; it was a 3 speed on the floor. When one of my cars would need to go into the shop for maintenance or repairs, it was my second vehicle. It never needed much, new tires every 20 years or so. A tune up every 15-20 years, an oil change every couple of years...

I did have the engine rebuilt at 120,000 miles so that I could use unleaded fuel. The original wood bed lasted about 60 years, and I replaced it around 2005. I only put on about 2,000 miles per year, and use it as a working truck. I own several apartment buildings around Los Angeles and use it to pick up washing machines, refrigerators or stoves that will be used in the apartments. While it does sit much of the time, I can depend on it whenever it is needed.

It would be great if my Honda could fit in the back so I could take that in for service, but as a Goldwing, it's way too big (photo attached). The fun thing is when I see a cute girl on the street, she gives me a thumbs up!

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