I have mentioned a time or two how my 17 y/o daughter is driving now and how she has a fascination with driving my trucks. Most of her driving education was completed in one of my trucks. In fact her driver’s education was provided by me thru the PTDE program (Parent Taught Drivers Education) offered here in Texas. Now, she has a car (currently for sale) that was given to her by her biological father over a year ago for her sixteenth birthday. He had bought a new vehicle and figured he would give her his old car. Well, it isn’t that old, it’s a 2008 Nissan Sentra SE-R which had only 17K miles on it. He thought it was perfect for her since she’s only 5′ tall. Since day one she has not really cared for it a great deal and said she felt very “small” in it when she was driving. But, we kept the car because it was a gift. That don’t mean it was driven a great deal. There has been under one thousand miles put on it in 14 months. Secretly, her and her grandmother had been searching for a truck. However, her and her grandmother didn’t exactly know what they were looking for or what they were looking at altogether. This is where I was called in. They needed help locating a truck. Now, if my daughter had her way, she would be driving my H1 Alpha because she thinks I need to give it to her. Way wrong answer. What’s the next best thing? Well, actually, there isn’t a next best thing because nothing else on the planet even compares to a H1 Alpha. I hunted for many months across the continental United States to find the one I want, I have no intention of parting with it just yet. They know I will search until I find exactly what I want and I won’t settle.
First of all I sat down with her and she explained what she was looking for in a truck. Her list wasn’t real hard to fathom and I figured I would be able to fulfill what she wanted to have. Now we had to talk budget. She has scrimped and saved 2 thousand dollars, her grandmother gave me five thousand dollars, and as I found out, the rest was going to be up to me. Hey, it’s better than having to foot the entire cost myself, so I graciously took all donations. She explained she was looking for solid red, solid black, or solid white. She wanted four doors. She wanted it to be 4×4 with a small lift. She wanted it to be an older model Ford. She wanted it to be a standard because she has found that to be her preference. She didn’t want a fixer upper, she wanted something to drive right away. That was about it for what she was actually looking for. Seemed like it would be easy enough because what she was looking for was pretty broad in the overall scale of things. Plus, living here in Texas, finding a 4×4 Ford isn’t all that hard, it’s the finding the right one for sale that showed to be a challenge. I have some standard places I start when looking to buy anything vehicular, Craigslist.com and Autotrader.com because they usually have a great local selection. If those two fail me I grab an actual paper and go from there. I searched on and off for a couple weeks and really didn’t see anything I wanted to give money for because I really didn’t care for them. My wife said I should have been taking my daughter out looking because it should be her choice. True. But beyond how it looks she would be no help. Although, I have been teaching her about the importance of everything under the hood and under the vehicle. I don’t know if it all makes total sense to her or not. She has “gear head” tendencies for sure, but I don’t want to force any of it on her, I just want her to know more than where to put the fuel.
All of the looking and disappointment soon came to end. My daughter, son, and I were driving to the lumber yard, yes an actual outdoor lumber yard, when we saw this red 4×4 Ford F350 with a 4-sale sign in the back window. She wrote down the phone number so we could call the owner later and maybe look at it. After spending about an hour at the lumber yard we finally found what we were looking for, got loaded up, and headed home. I got so involved in what we were doing that I had forgot we had a phone number to call. After a few hours I was reminded by my daughter to call. I was pretty disappointed because I had to leave a message as my inquiry. So, back to work. Later in the day just before dinner the gentleman gave me a call back. We discussed the truck in some detail and I decided it was worth a look. I didn’t tell my daughter he called because I wanted us looking at the truck to be a real surprise. The following morning, Sunday, we all loaded up in the H1 to go for a “ride”. Only my wife and I knew where we were going. We figured we would have fun and make a game out of it all. Since the man lived about 40 miles away from my house we just enjoyed the drive thru the countryside. It was quite nice just milling about way out in the boondocks. Finally we arrived at our final destination. As we drove up the dirt driveway I mentioned that I had to make a detour to talk to a man about some parts I was looking for that I needed to repair a trailer. I said we would only be a few minutes and then we could be on our way again. We pulled up by the house and the man was walking out the front door to meet us. I jumped out to go talk to him in advance of everyone else. Everyone else got out and came to where I was to meet up with me. The man said they could go look around all the old junk while we talked. My kids wandered off back behind the garage and disappeared out of sight. All of a sudden I’m getting a text message from my daughter to tell me that this man had a truck similar to the one we had saw driving the day before. She wanted me to come look at it and if I liked it to talk him into selling it. Really? This is an amazing development! We all made it back around the garage and my daughter was smiles from ear to ear. It was funny to watch. The only thing she said to me was “ask him”.
He started out telling us a story about the truck and how he ended up with it. His youngest son was the owner of the truck. His youngest son is a Marine who was killed in Afghanistan 18 months ago at age 23. He said he was holding onto the truck because he believed it would have sentimental value. He would drive it once a month or so to keep everything in good condition, he would keep the oil changed, he always kept it clean. But, now he wanted to sell it because he was done with his mourning and felt selling it would help him and his wife to move on with their own lives. Now, I didn’t know all of this about his son in advance, but I’m glad that he shared. He quickly changed gears and wanted to show off everything this truck had to offer. This was, however, his son’s first love. He spent every last nickel he had making this the truck that stood before us and spared no expense doing so over the years. The simple version of what was offered with this truck is as follows. It’s a 1997 F350 Crewcab Powerstoke 7.3L diesel with a 6″ suspension lift, 36″ tires, a 4″ dual exhaust, K & N treatment, and a Banks Power System. Also, it had electric trailer brake hook ups as well as a hide-away gooseneck ball. It also boasted a very clean and very well maintained interior. It is a 5 speed manual transmission as well as being what my daughter says is the perfect shade of red. To top it all off it has only 98,000 miles on it. Pretty much this truck has hit every mark on my daughter’s wish list. I was thinking quietly to myself that the truck was perfect to add to our family because it could be used to work as well as looking pretty. Let’s give it a test drive to see how it runs. It ran impressively, I would have no concerns with her driving this truck at all. I was also thinking he was about to drop the price bomb on me and it wasn’t going to be pretty. So, we started talking about price and he started talking about all the add-ons and special treatments it had. Then, after a long sigh he said a price that almost put me on my ass. Now, I was expecting something between $19K and $22K as it sits. So, I was very surprised, as well as happy when he said $11K will drive it home today. There is only one hiccup in the whole deal, he has no idea where the title is located. No big deal, I will pay the additional $25.00 for the title search. We shook hands and the deal was said and done. My daughter was so excited she ran up to him and gave him a very big hug and a very heart felt thank you. I gave him $9,000.00 in cash and wrote a check for the remaining $2,000.00 and then he handed the keys to my daughter.
After everything was settled I called USAA (my insurance provider) and had the truck added so we could drive it home. Everything was set with only one exception, the only two people who can drive a standard are my daughter and I. And she has very little experience doing it. So, she wants me to ride with her to ensure she has no problems. What does this mean? It means my wife will need to drive my H1 home. No big deal right? Wrong, in the almost 2 years I have had the H1 she has never driven it. Why? Because she thinks it is way to big, so she has never wanted to drive it. Well, today is the day I tell her. I just told her to follow us and try to keep up. We took off like a band of outlaws and hit the road to head home. My daughter did wonderful driving her new truck and had no problems. My wife had the same success and when we got home she handed me the keys and told me she has no desire to ever drive it again. My daughter said it is a big difference between driving her new truck and driving her Sentra. She loves it. We did good. My wife thinks it’s a bit too big for my daughter because she is so small. My daughter says those are fightin’ words. Once we got home she wanted me to take a few pictures for her………so she could update her Facebook status. So, I did my best and she posted pictures of her new truck. In the end the reason I’m writing this post is because I had a few pictures and the journey to finding the truck has been an interesting one. It made me think about how every vehicle tells a story about the previous owner and now the story continues with this truck and my daughter. I know what you are thinking, and yes, my daughter is a redneck just like her dear old dad. I have to hand it to her, she knew what she wanted, and now she is happy. Sadly, she said jokingly, her boyfriend can’t drive the truck because he can’t drive a standard and she’s not going to teach him. Kinda mean if you ask me.