This is Mighty Whitey, our 1983 Suburban that I love beyond all reason. It’s big, it’s boxy, it drives JUST LIKE a 25 year old vehicle, and guzzles gas like I guzzle beer.
And yet I love it.
It started life as a “go to market” vehicle for a little old lady out in the county and then years later it was bought by a local 4X4 shop and became a monster truck and then years after that it was bought by us. We use it when we go camping with the dogs because it’s so big that when we put the rear seat down we can pack in all our toys and stuff and there’s still plenty of room for Miss Carol to stretch out and nap and for Tug to walk around. It’s big. It’s our surf truck.
But it also has some fairly serious rust issues that have led to leaks inside the truck when it rains which in turn lead to all kinds of problems like interrupted naps and damp dogs. Not to mention the totally fogged windows that make driving Mighty Whitey in the rain an exercise in guess work. As in, I’m guessin’ I’m on the road, honey.
But I loves my Mighty Whitey.
So we kicked around selling it and buying something comparable, or just selling it and stuffing Cutter and Tug into Miss Carol’s Jeep, or having some pretty major work done and keeping it. And yes, I know, I know, in these green times we should be looking at leaner and greener but Miss Carol and me and Cutter and Tug crammed into a mini-micro-sub-compact is not a pretty picture. Trust me on that one.
New Suburban’s are about 60K so that quickly became a not a chance homeboy. We could just sell Mighty Whitey and use Miss Carol’s Jeep but, um, er, did I mention I loves my Suburban?
It’s long been a dream of mine to have a ground-up restoration done on Mighty Whitey but I thought that it’d probably be prohibitively expensive. Last week I stopped by the 4X4 shop I bought it from and spoke with the owner, who gave me a name and directions to someone he knew.
Saturday I went out into the county and met with the nameless person, who we’ll call Bob. Bob is the type of high quality country mechanic that just wants to do his high quality work and be left alone. He doesn’t advertise and he only does work for a couple of people-mostly project vehicles for custom shops and wanted to know how I got his name. After I told him and he looked Mighty Whitey over, he gave me a surprisingly modest quote and I gave him a check and we shook hands and I drop off Mighty Whitey on Friday.
And in two weeks I pick up a brand new Mighty Whitey. I’m tingly all over.