The big moment arrived for Shawn and Dylan, “The Sweptline turned over. But the engine didn’t fire up.Dammit. Ok, prime the engine with some gas…get a fire extinguisher and put the air cleaner assembly back on…and try again.Turned over again…no ignition.Where do we go from here? There is power to the coil and when the engine cranks, the points open. It ran before…what the hell?!Is there spark at the coil? No.Ok…no spark”.

62-picture11There is a solution to every problem, “Do you want to hear the details of fixing the ignition? Do you want to know that I youtubed points and condenser troubleshooting? I went to a local mechanic and picked his brain (coffee gets lots of advice). Do you want to know that I pulled the points five times and regapped them six? That I replaced the secondary wire twice, replaced the points once and the condenser twice? I chased a bad ground around for two hours and ultimately replaced the coil? That EVERYTHING came apart to check for continuity. To do all this I worked on this truck from the time I got home from work to the time I was too tired to keep my eyes open every night before grad. I took the day of his grad off to try and fix the ignition. Do you really want to know what the problem was? Probably a combination of all those things…and the pig tail wire hanging behind the ignition switch that needed to be connected the ING2. I hooked it up and turned it over and…”

This is the happy ending part,the $#@%ing stupid thing fired up. Runnin’ and drivin’… fast and loud.Tom, where were you when I needed you? Probably laughing at me from up above”.

Father and son could celebrate but life doesn’t deliver a perfect game plan, “Dylan and I had talked about this beforehand. I told him that when we get it running and driving we may discover more stuff that needed to be fixed. So, on the afternoon of Dylan’s grad, I drove the truck around the property and discovered…bad brakes, bad thermostat, vacuum leaks, no idle, no signals, no brake lights, a seven to one steering ratio (I had never driven a vehicle of that vintage so that was new to me) and worst of all whenever you went over a bump the box would shift on the rails and the hood would fly up. It sounded cool with the exhaust in”.


Contingency plans are not optional in a project,We had all kinds of plan B’s. I have a vintage Mazda pickup that runs and drives, Dylan could use that. He could borrow Mom’s, Poppa’s, Rye’s vehicle and drive those to prom. He could borrow Poppa’s John Deere 1030 and go to prom on that. The list was endless”.

The options narrowed down, “In the end Dylan liked Ryley’s, his older sister, suggestion the best. Put the truck back on the trailer and have Dad drag it around with Dylan and his date (Christianne) in the cab. This one would get the most laughs (Dylan likes a good joke) and he could still show off his truck. The day of prom, I snuck out of work for 45 minutes and we drove Dylan’s truck up onto the trailer, towed behind Poppa’s truck. It was touch and go for a moment there, the truck was so light in the back end that when I tried to drive it up the ramps on the trailer, the truck lost traction and started to smoke the tires. Dylan was annoyed…he thought that he was going to be the first one to light ’em up. Anyway…at prom, Dylan and Christianne climbed in and I dragged it to the front of the arena. In the parking lot, Dylan fired it up for Mom…he got a thumbs up and friends told him they heard it in the arena…cool.As we were pulling up my wife overheard a fella say this,”Cool truck…guess his Dad didn’t finish it in time.” My wife laughed, if he only knew.When Dylan went to get the door for Christianne, the passenger side door wouldn’t open so she had to bum scootch to the driver side door to get out. Everyone laughed. And Dylan was happy. And somewhere, so was Tom”.


There is no clearly-defined ending to this story but Shawn summed up the next stage.

“Stay tuned for the runnin’ and drivin’ portion of the story”.

Shawn Meville

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Follow us on Pinterest