4th of July

Kendra and Claire in 4th of July Parade on Herron Island

Mel made it out to Herron. 75 miles down I-5 each way running like a top after a visit to Earl’s Garage. Seems the fuel problem was in the carburetor. Several problems were evident: a stuck valve, a missing spring (!), and a faulty fuel accelerator pump. Amazing that I was able to drive him at all. Afterward he drove like a champ, better than ever since I got him up and running. It was amazing! No longer the three tries on the starter to get started, the fainting spells going up hill, the poor acceleration getting up to speed, or rough idling.

Decided to give Mel a bit of bling for the upcoming parade:

Mel gets his name badge

Mel got lots of attention on the island. The poll on whether to paint or keep as is has tilted toward – drum roll please – keeping as is. Several have gone so far as to recommend clear coating him to preserve the patina. That may be a bit extreme but I do know that more work is needed on several fronts:

1. Replace the fuel float so I can tell how much gas is in the tank

2. Replace the valve cover gasket and adjust the valves while at it.

3. Replace the heater core

4. Redo the interior

5. Deep clean the motor and interior.

But that’s for later. In the meantime I’m happy to report a very successful trip down to the island and back. On the highway Mel enjoyed the 45-50 mph range. He’s geared so low in the rear end that much higher than that is excessive. The new tires and shocks made a huge difference.

For now, back to basic trips around town. Maybe an upcoming auto show?

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4 Responses to 4th of July

  1. Donna says:

    Joe – I’m so glad you, your family and Mel had a great 4th and safe travels. I’m picturing the ol’ truck on the highway… gotta smile. Hope you all have many more happy adventures. Sending you all my best.

  2. Barb says:

    Hi Joe, glad you had a great trip. I imagine Dad smiling to see the care you’re taking with the truck, and how you’re getting it into top working order again. The name plate is pretty cool. Do you ever get asked where it came from?


    • 55truck says:

      Hi, I get lots of questions and am never shy about telling the Mel story, where he came from, and how he got where he is today. He is now running better than ever. I’m really appreciative that Aunt Bernie kept receipts: he had a rebuild in 1963 and 1965 at 65,000 miles; today the mileage is just under 72,000! Uncle Mel wrote the mileage on the dash in 1980 as well; just under 71,000…

      Cheers, Joe

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