This is a story of a Restoration

I restored this boat from April 2006 to October 2008. You will need to go to the very bottom, October 2008, to find the biginning. See blog archive on the right side.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Story of My Return Trip.

I have always been worried about my old tow car breaking down on one of these boat show trips.  Especially on the way there.  I have now towed this boat about 11,000 miles with this car.  I have AAA, but that will only haul me 200 miles.

My old car is 32 years old, bought it new, owned it almost half my life.  It has 265,000 miles on it with 120,000 on the last engine.  I love the car, and I get many comments on it.

So on this trip to Michigan, I thought once more, "What would I do".  Well, on the way home at about 10 AM on Monday morning, driving on US highway 34  thru southeastern Iowa, the engine suddenly quit running.  I was just south of a town called Eddyville.  I steered it into the driveway of a farm house!  Larry VanGenderen is his name, and I am so grateful to him and his wife. 

Then I got out and proceeded with diagnosing the problem.  After about 15 minutes, I had determined that the injector pump had failed.  Larry came down with a small tractor and pulled my rig out of harms way further up his drive way.  Then I called AAA.  They could send two tow trucks and take me to Des Moines, Iowa, about 60 miles Northwest.  But no one now days understands these old diesels.  And the cost could be several thousand dollars.  Larry, the farmer, suggested a salvage yard for a pump.  And I carry tools to do the job.  These solutions just didn't feel right.

Thank goodness for cell phones.

I called rental places.  No rental trucks had hitches.  Then I thought of my  thoughts of what I would do on the way to Michigan.   I called used car dealers.  I found a 2004 Chevy pickup truck in a town about 40 miles south in Bloomfield.

I asked Larry if I could hire him to take me there.  He did and we had a good visit on the way.  The truck was a good solid used truck with 109,000 miles on it, very clean and tight, gold in color.

It had new tires, a bed liner, running boards, most of the bells and whistles.  They wanted $12,995, I offered $11,000, and ended up paying $11,225.  My credit card had a 20k limit.  I drove out of town with a new used pickup truck.
After I got hooked up to my boat, we put the Olds in a better place to await my return.  I asked Larry what I could give him for his help.  "I need nothing, but bring me some IDAHO spuds,"

I am returning to Iowa on Monday morning with a tow bar an a hundred pounds of spuds.  I will not leave my baby in Iowa!  This trip will cost about $700 in gas.  Less than a repair bill in Iowa.

Google GEARED GREEN and watch Larry's JOHN DEERE tractor pull.  He and his family farm 4,000 acres and compete in the pulling circuits in the summer.  They are good people, good neighbors, and I thank you, Larry and Cindy VanGenderen!


hlyschaeffer said...

Really nice new truck! Sounds like quite the adventure!

OldBoatGuy said...

It was Holly.

Funny Farmer said...

Wait... so to save the expense of repairing your olds in Iowa you BOUGHT A PICKUP????

The math is killing me here.


OldBoatGuy said...

My math was that if I made a good enough deal on the pick-up, I could re-sell it later.

But there is a problem......I like it.

Funny Farmer said...

Who wouldn't!!? It's beautiful!

zanykitchencook said...

The truck sounds like a good decision. Now you can pull more stuff and load the back, and slowly restore your faithful friend. I can see why you like it. Looks good. Oh! the serendipitious (can't spell anymore)moments of life, new truck, new friends, pictures of a swollen river

Ernest Houston said...

Whoa, talk about Old Faithful! 32 years before something finally happened to it? That is some quality care you gave that car! Too bad it finally gave out, but congratulations on the new truck! If you like the truck, which you said in the comments that you do, then maybe you should keep the truck and sell the car. It’s a great model, anyway. There’ll be plenty of people looking to buy a great used car like yours.