Researching fixing up an old truck


I’m a children’s book author who doesn’t know diddly about cars. (But I still love Car Talk.) In the book I’m writing, I want a boy to help an old man fix up a truck that’s been sitting in the garage a long time. It stopped working years ago and he never bothered to fix it. I have two questions for all you car geniuses: 1) what kind of truck would be good to use, i.e. one that they could work on themselves; 2) what kind of simple repairs might they do to get it working. Thanks!


The truck could be a Ford F1, and they would have to change the ditributor cap and points along with the maybe the tires that are by now empty.

Hope it helps.


[b]A good truck? A 1953 Ford F100 pickup. Classic!

Some repairs? Rebuilding the carburator, removing and replacing the gas tank for a new one, replacing the fuel pump, and flushing the fuel line. This would all have to be done to get a vehicle running if it sat for a long time.

You could also include new sparkplugs, wires, cap, and rotor.



Thanks a lot! Those things all seem reasonable for the boy and the old man to do and I will research how to do those things further.


There is a book that I think would help you. It is by John Jerome and titled “Truck: On rebuilding a worn-out pickup and other post-technological adventures”. This book is fiction, but is technically correct. It describes the adventures of a person who moves to the country and needs a pick-up truck. After much searching, he finds a 1950 Dodge truck which hasn’t been used in a long time. He spends the winter rebuilding the truck in his barn. The book is a social commentary on today’s technology. The truck, when it is finished, is named the Harry S Truman, because the truck was made in the Truman era and the author believes it possesses the same traits as Harry Truman.


Actually, almost any truck of the 1950 era was simple to work on. I owned a 1950 Chevrolet truck when I lived in the country. I bought the truck used in 1972 for $110. Parts were, and probably still are, more readily available for Chevrolet, Ford and Dodge trucks, than were the parts for Studebaker and International Harvester trucks. There was also a Jeep pick-up truck made by Willys motor company of Toledo, Ohio.


I will definitely try to find the book - I’m not sure I could fix the truck but I’m feeling more confident about writing about it!