The 1941 Hot Rod: Almost

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By Mark Weisseg

Back about ten years ago my then neighbor told me out in the yard he was selling his 41 Chevy Truck.

Well, I did not know he had a 41 Chevy truck as the guy rarely came out of his house. So, after catching my breath and getting my heart to start again I piled him with questions.
The truck was at his farm about one hour north of where we lived and he for some reason wanted me to have first crack at it. After a few conversations I told him I would pass on it but I had a friend in Columbus Ohio that more than likely bite on it.

Sure enough good old Bill drove over to see the truck and made a deal to buy it back then for four thousand dollars. Bill trailered it home and immediately began to work on the truck. The engine barley ran, the drive shaft was out of it, there were no brakes, and a short list of items to get resolved before it would be road worthy.

Bill worked on it for several years and we would discuss it now and then. Ironically after he got the truck to a good state he lost interest in it and had moved on to other cars and trucks he had around his place. So, the 41 sat again in his garage for a few years. During that time he asked me if I wanted to buy it but the pre war truck seemed so primitive I passed again.

Time passed and another co worker told me that he was looking at buying the truck and actually finishing it to show standards and wanted my opinion as whether to but it or not. I gave him my honest objective opinion and said to buy it but be prepared to spend a lot of money to do it right.

So, Henry drove over to Columbus Ohio with his trailer behind his SUV and bought it. He wheeled it home full of glee and ideas racing through his brain. Right away Henry began his project and weekly when I saw him he gave me updates on his progress. Henry was roaring through the project sparing no expense even at the smallest item. I told him at one point to be careful that he would have way to much money in it and could never get a return if he sold it. But, he plowed on and we were all getting very excited about the truck being done. He fretted about every detail from powder coating his wheels to the chrome on the grill.

Then I noticed I did not hear much about the truck for a month, so I went in his office and sat down. I asked what was going on and did he need a kick start again? Or, did he run out money? Well, he was just taking a break he said but I was worried. He went full blast for over a year and now the truck was 90 percent done. How could he not finish it? He told me how he looked forward to driving it and I told him it might be the only 41 around. And, if there was another around his would be the best because he spared no expense.

Well, I retired early from the workforce and about a year later he retired at age 66. He spent the first few months trying to figure out what to do with all his spare time but like most he figured it out. He landed up pulling the carpet out of his entire two story home and replacing the carpet with all real wood floors. Obviously, a monumental job but he is handy and it gave him things to do. But, I emailed him several months ago and asked what the status of the truck was. His reply was that the flooring is almost done and he figured in spring he would finally finish the truck once and for all. But, he admitted he had lost the fire in his belly for it and either he would find the fire again or just let the truck sit until he did.

Jeepers I thought after all this time, work, and money the truck is so close to being done, just finish the darn thing. Well, I expected the following from him and it came at Christmas. He floated an idea to sell the truck but only to me or someone he or I could trust to finish it and love it. I rejected the floating question and told him he needs to get this off his back and finish the truck once and for all. Once it is finished, drive it a bit and see if you fall in love again.

I don’t know yet as it has only been a few weeks but I am going to check back with him and see where this is going. I want him to finish it so bad because the truck is a show stopper. And, his story is like so many others I see and hear about. The internet is full of projects that were started with zest and somewhere the project fell off the rails. Is it time, money, life, or other interests? Every story is different but Henry is a friend of mine and I am going to push him to finish the last few details. I hope if you know of someone who is stuck in neutral you will give them a bump to help restart a project. Our hobby was not designed to sit in a barn or garage. We are meant to drive our projects with love and some ego for all the hard work.

I just looked at the local Craigslist today and I counted nine vehicles for sale that are somewhere in the project stage. This provides opportunity for someone to get in our hobby and have a vehicle partially done. That saves money and time but I feel for the person selling it as they started out with such a fire in there gut and they lost the flame somewhere.
In closing, help a friend finish a project or start a new one. Save a car or truck from the crusher and join us that love our classic cars and trucks.

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