Recently, we put collector plates on my Dad’s 1990 Chevy three-quarter ton pickup truck.
My dad bought his first new farm pickup truck in August of 1990 from Voegli Chevrolet in Monticello. It was a 1990 Cheyenne Fleetside Pickup, caramel brown and adobe gold with a saddle vinyl bench seat, 4.3-liter V6 gas engine, and five-speed manual transmission with overdrive.
The salesman was Dave Bollig. Dave still works at Voegli Chevrolet-Buick and remembers the sale because a few weeks after my Dad took delivery, Dave Dunn another farmer from Oregon, ordered the same truck after he saw my Dad driving his. Dave still farms in Oregon and has long since parted with his 1990 two-tone brown pickup truck.
From the original window sticker that is still in the glove compartment, the standard vehicle price was $12,334, the list price was $13,214 after the preferred equipment group savings that included $332 for preferred equipment group, $745 for manual transmission bonus; $289 for spare tire LT225/75R 16 D Steel Belt Blackwall; minus $36 for auxiliary lighting. The destination charge was $560. Estimated city miles per gallon was 17, estimated highway miles per gallon was 24.
Dad most likely paid cash because that was what Dad did.
My parents were Farm Bureau members and had Rural Mutual Insurance. The original Family Auto Policy #B08304874 is still in the glove compartment, too.
As my Dad got older and when we eventually needed to take the keys, he told us that he sometimes planned his route into town by only taking right-hand turns so that he didn’t have to cross traffic.
My Dad died in 2005 and when my brother sold my Dad’s truck from the estate, I couldn’t contain my excitement. My Dad’s truck.
At the time, I was a stay-at-home mom with our three boys and doing some freelance writing and editing. I also made pies and biscotti for a local restaurant. I asked my brother if I could make monthly payments. He agreed.
For about a year, the funds I earned from baking pies and biscotti were directed to pay for my Dad’s truck.
The boys weren’t close to driving age but I imagined that one of them might think it was really cool to drive his Grandpa’s pickup truck, but in reality, with the 4.3-liter engine and a 34-gallon fuel tank, paying for gas would have quickly emptied a pocket book and the five speed on the floor probably wasn’t the favored type of transmission.
I remember the first time the boys rode in the truck they wondered how the windows went down. They thought the cassette player was interesting. And really, only an AM radio? Some of Dad’s cassettes are still in the glove compartment including ‘News from Lake Wobegon’ by Garrison Keillor, Fall and Spring Stories from the Collection. The fact that the clock always reads 1:oo, which is about the time that Dad would drive into Oregon to see my mom when she was in an assisted living facility, is interesting. Don’t ask about the air conditioning, rolling down the windows was not what the boys expected for an answer.
Often times the boys would say that my Dad’s truck needed to be washed inside because it smelled weird. It still has a faint smell that I associate with my Dad, a combination of Old Spice — when there wasn’t time to take a shower before he drove into town — and dairy farm. I know it’s weird but now I love that smell.
When I purchased my Dad’s truck on September 15, 2006, it had about 33,000 miles on the odometer. Now it has 51,115.4.
A few weeks ago, I drove my Dad’s truck to work at Farm Bureau in Madison. I love driving a manual transmission except for steep hill stops. I, similar to my Dad, planned my trip to avoid certain hill stops, but not left-hand turns.
It’s still and always will be my Dad’s truck, parked in our garage. Now it’s a collector. It’s priceless.
Marian Viney is a member of the public relations team with Wisconsin Farm Bureau. She is an active member in her community serving in a variety of roles on the school board, within her church and other organizations. Marian and her husband, Doug, live in Belleville with their two sons, Michael and Benjamin. There oldest son is attending graduate school in Jena, Germany.