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Covid Couldn’t Stop My Dream

In January of 2018, my dream of owning a Dodge Ram came true.  Every day, on my way to school, I would pass a 1986 Dodge W150 truck with only 50,000 original miles, just sitting in a yard, wasting away.  One day, I decided to stop and talk to the guy who owned it, and I asked if I could buy it.  He told me that he was ready to see it go, but it wouldn’t run because the electronic control unit quit working and he was not able to find a replacement.  I decided to take the challenge of fixing the truck, and a couple of days later, I went back to purchase the Dodge.

My dad, brother, and I worked on digging this “piece of gold” out of the frozen snowbank and trailered it back to our garage.  I was so happy to discover that the body and frame were in exceptional shape.  Little did the guy who I bought the truck from know that I had been calling several stores to find this ECU, and to my surprise, there was one in stock at a nearby store.

I have always been into fixing up older vehicles, and I couldn’t wait to start working on my very own truck at the age of thirteen.  I started ripping and tearing things apart as well as cleaning up some parts too.  I loved this truck so much that I would stay up all night working on it and would even end up falling asleep on the seat at times.

I started getting serious about fixing this truck up in high school when I got the opportunity to attend Admiral Peary Vocational School during my sophomore year.  It was my first year there and I loved what I was doing, so, I asked the teacher if there was any way that I could take my truck there and work on it during the day.  Reluctantly, he agreed, and not a week went by that we weren’t making headway on bringing my dream to life.  The restoration was from the ground up, and there were pieces everywhere.  A couple of months into having it at school, we were shut down due to the Covid 19 pandemic and my truck was stranded at the school for two years.  My parents told me that if we didn’t return to school soon, they would plan to trailer the truck back home.  Finally, about six months later, we were able to go back to Vo-tech, but for only two days a week.  Progress began again, then stopped due to students and staff having to quarantine.  During the on and off again school year, we started painting the truck a custom color which was three shades of orange and a red, plus a Lumacoat diamond flake, which you can only see in one direction depending on the light source and where you stand.  I continued to customize it to my liking, such as adding a touch screen radio, custom interior, and a spray- in bedliner to make my truck really one of a kind.

It was finished three days before school ended, just in time for summer, and I drove it every chance I could get.  It didn’t matter if I was going down the road for a short joy ride, or an hour-long trip, this was my real-life dream truck.  Over the summer, I went to every car show that I could find.  Going to these shows was a good way to spend time with my parents, brothers, and grandparents as they are all into older vehicles just as much as I am.  It feels good to know that these kinds of events bring my family together and that we can spend time relaxing and appreciating the antique vehicles that everyone has brought back to life, just as I have done.

Finally, at seventeen years old, five years since I purchased the truck with my own money, my dream was complete.  As I write this story, my truck is tucked away from the salty roads of a Pennsylvania winter.  I count the days until I can get my truck out of storage and begin to enjoy it and share my love of old trucks.