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Cross one off the bucket list!
I am now in possession of a 1959 hotrod Chevy pickup known as “Berzerk”. This truck lurked the streets of Kettering and Dayton Ohio in the 60’s and 70’s. I remember riding my bike clear across Kettering as a teenager to see if this truck was parked at a gas station. (I assumed the owner must have worked) The first time I saw the truck, I chased it on my bike to that very gas station. To me, it was a running, full-sized Hot Wheel! I have always liked trucks but this one made me see how badass they are capable of being as hot rods. This truck influenced me greatly, sparking my love for 1955-59 Chevy trucks, and becoming a major influence on my life and profession of building hot rod trucks. Later on in life I found out my hot rod friend Bob “Gump” Andrews hand done the work. Gump was well known in the area for his louvers and fiberglass molds. I asked him once about the truck and he said that the original owner had sold it and he lost touch with it. The owner bought it new back in 1959, shortly after, cut 6” out of the top and turned it into a hot rod. Everyone at that time thought they were crazy! Gump has since passed and I built a louver press of my own to carry on the tradition. I have wanted and looked for this truck for many years. I even considered trying to clone it a couple of times. Problem is, my teenage memory of the details escaped me. Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to one of my guys to keep a lookout for a truck to flip. The very next morning, there I sit, looking through a few he had emailed me. There it was, sitting in a yard, in need of a rescue. I was in total disbelief. At this point, it now belonged to the daughter of the second owner who had inherited it. After 30 years of being in the family, the time had finally come to let it go. I needed the history to be sure. She said to call her mother which I promptly did. It was, in fact, “Berzerk”. The tailgate panel where it was originally written is missing but it is the truck. I told her I had been looking for the truck, my history with it and who I am. She said she wanted me to have it and would call her daughter and tell her not to show it to anyone else until I got a chance to check it out. Obviously, a deal was struck. Is this fate or what? I am now the proud owner of a piece of local hot rod history and the one iconic truck memory that has influence me to build many hot rod trucks. Ironically enough, this custom Chevy truck from 1959 has 59,000 original miles. I plan to preserve it, but most of all, I am gonna drive it!!!
*Check back for updates as we’ll be regularly posting pictures of Berzerk’s journey to resurrection!