One of the great aspects of this job is hearing all of the memory-filled stories about classic hot rods. We, as enthusiasts, all have at least one car or truck that evokes serious emotions within each of us. Sometimes, simply talking about the memories involving a particular vehicle can get a little heart-wrenching. When I find an enthusiast that is able to not only fondly look back but also continue to create new memories with that vehicle, I take notice.
I recently heard about an enthusiastic young person who has an abundance of memories and is continuing to carry on his grandfather’s legacy. While the C10 truck in this article might not be what some would consider a show stopper, the current owner doesn’t care. He simply enjoys his ride and the stories that got it to where it is now.
“My name is Lane Wakeland, and I am now the owner of my grandfather’s 1967 Chevy pickup. “Greenie is a short bed two-wheel-drive truck that was originally purchased in the small town of Kerrville, Texas. Shortly after the original owner purchased the truck, it was rear-ended. As you can see in some of the recent photos, the right rear has some bondo which is finally showing through after 50 years. While the truck was in the body shop, they didn’t have the factory GM light green, so they painted the truck the closest color they had at the time, which was a color the local electric company used on its fleet.”
Lane also told me that his grandfather bought the truck from the original owner in 1988, and never stopped racking up the miles. “He took it on several trips to New Mexico to go elk hunting,” Lane says. “He also used Greenie as an everyday vehicle, and I grew up riding shotgun. I even help papa build the center console. The factory radio stopped working, and instead of replacing it, we built a console with a new radio and speakers.”
Originally, the C10 was fitted with a 327 engine, but after a multitude of reliable miles, the factory engine grew tired. Instead of rebuilding it, Lane’s dad talked the Wakeland patriarch into stuffing a 350 crate engine into the truck. “With a set of long tube headers and 14-inch glass packs, the truck has the perfect sound at idle with a throaty rumble while cruising down the road,” Lane exclaims with a huge grin on his face.
Lane did tell me about a particular incident his grandfather experienced that had a no-win result. “While driving one night, a deer ran out into the road and papa had a choice to make: he could either lock up the manual brakes and hope he didn’t hit the deer or swerve into the ditch… into the ditch he went,” says Lane. “This put the dent in the passenger’s side front bumper and fender, but left the trim untouched.”
As with many older vehicles, eventually, the truck was relegated to a more sedentary lifestyle. During the time it was parked, the truck was started from time to time but was that was about all. Then one day, Lane’s grandfather made an announcement that Lane could not stand to see come to fruition.
“During New Year’s eve of 2020, my grandfather mentioned selling the truck,” Lane states. “I couldn’t believe he was thinking like that. I told him if he was going to sell it, I’d like the first opportunity to buy Greenie. Finally, in March 2021, he told me if I truly wanted the truck, I could have it.”
Lane is currently on active duty with the United States Air Force and is stationed in northern Florida. Fortunately, he has a friend who happens to operate a hotshot hauling service and offered to bring the truck from Texas to his more southeastern location. “Once I unloaded the pickup, she got a wash and a serious deep cleaning,” Lane affirms “Don’t tell papa I said this, but I don’t think the truck was ever washed with anything more than a water hose and dawn dish soap.”
Once the truck was cleaned up, Lane put a few short miles on in and then heard something underneath start making noise. He was immediately worried. “After further diagnoses, I learned it was a transmission issue,” he affirms. “The Turbo 400 had finally given up. The clutches delaminated and clogged the filter.”
Luckily for Lane, Suncoast Transmission is local. He and his friend, Ray, pulled the transmission and headed into town to have the old shift box rebuilt. A few short days later, it was rebuilt, the converter was refreshed, and it was shifting like new.
With the truck on the road once again, he installed 3-inch lowering springs on the rear, a set of LED headlights and taillights, along with clear side-marker lenses upfront. Those are not the only things Lane has planned, as future updates for the truck include installing an air ride suspension, front and rear disc brakes, bodywork, repainting the hauler the factory color, the addition a new sound system, and reupholstering the seats.
Do you want to read about more Home-Built Heroes? All you need to do is click here. If you own a Home-Built Hero, I want to hear about it. Since I’ve started the series, I have received more than a few candidates, but I still want to see more – I can never get enough. If you want to see more cars built by you the readers, send me a few pictures of your car showing the engine, interior, and exterior, along with all of the pertinent information, and I’ll make you internet famous. You can send your submissions to [email protected].