The Other Woman

1994 was a milestone year for me. I passed my journeyman electrical license exam and began to make the corresponding wages.  I decided to reward my efforts by purchasing a new custom vehicle.   I always loved the GMC Yukon 2-door body style but when the new 95 models were released and I saw the new dashboard, I was convinced this was the rig for me. Everything about the 1995 model seemed to fit my personality.

I decided to do a custom order and get exactly what I wanted. I remember thumbing through the brochure and carefully considering each feature to be included in the new truck.  I started my options list by selecting the 6.5L diesel engine. The added pulling power would make pulling the boat to the lake easy.  Next, I chose the custom grey cloth interior (leather in Wyoming is cold).  Finally, I selected the dark medium teal color.  This combination created a unique vehicle. I still have the original brochure with the sales receipt and title.

This truck has been with me now for 28 years. Not only has this truck been my daily driver to and from work for years, but she has been with me for most of the major events in my life.  The Yukon has provided me with years of stress therapy, she was always there ready to be polished whenever I needed a break.  She took me and my jet skis to the lake, trekked through the mountains to our elk hunting base camp, and towed the RV that we called our first home.  She has been my go-to truck for everything.  I met the beautiful wife while driving this truck.  She was the first car ride for both my daughters, carrying them safely home from the hospital.

The Yukon was steady and always dependable.  It pushed snow with the bumper to get me and my girls to safety, to wait out a Montana blizzard. So many other vehicles were stranded but my truck cruised right through to our refuge for the night.

Of course, the truck has many revisions and upgrades over the years.  The first changes I made were to the body.  I had all the exterior trim painted gun metal gray and added good looking striping.  Next up the 4” inch lift and running boards also painted gunmetal grey.  Each revision I made to personalize the truck made her more mine.

When my oldest daughter was four, I had a seat built to match the interior to replace the center console, complete with her own seat belt. She loved to ride beside me on our adventures.

Then in 2010 the old girl needed some love.  I rebuilt the drive train, transmission, went through the transfer case and rebuilt the rear end, adding a Yukon limited slip and a fresh 373 gear set. reupholstered the front seats, removed the pin striping and did a complete paint job.

Getting to drive Dad’s truck has been a right of passage for each of the children. Each of them added a tiny scratch or dent that they had to come home and admit to.  And they all joke about who will get the truck when I finally pass, but my wife swears that she will bury me in it to avoid any such arguments. Speaking of the wife, she refers to the truck as the “other woman”, but secretly she loves the old gal as much as I do.

Our 25th anniversary and 225,000 miles was celebrated by retiring that 6.5L diesel engine with a brand spanking new AMC military spec diesel engine.  The rebuilt also included a new turbo, injection pump, cold air intake, and an ECM programmed by Heath Diesel Performance.  A huge thanks to Bill Heath for all of his technical advice and LMC parts for all of the parts over the years.