Sep. 5, 1998! The Beast! I have always been a car nut, when I was little I had a fleet of Matchbox cars instead of Barbies, and my walls were plastered with Countachs, Testarossas, and fighter jets (not cars, but still very cool.) I was fortunate that my father was a backyard mechanic, and also willing to teach me maintenance rituals. I performed my first oil change at 8, brake pad replacement at 10, and carb rebuild at 13. Cars are part of my DNA. Through college I had an '83 1300 Civic, it was a fine car but it never sang to me. My parents helped me get the Civic when my previous car was demolished by a guy running a red light, and at that time I pretty much begged them to find a Toyota pickup. They said I needed a sensible, reliable car, hence the Civic. The obsession with Toy pickups probably started with Back to the Future, I always thought Marty's Toy was epically cool. At this time in life I had some friends who moved to Boise who owned this (pictured) red '82 Toy pickup, and I always told them if they sold it, they needed to call me first. As luck would have it, just a few days before I was flying out to see my Boise friends the Civic threw a rod. I was wrestling with putting a motor in it, but it was a Civic...not special. My friends in Boise were actually thinking of selling their truck, and it was a match made in heaven! The start of a beautiful friendship~ Well, almost. On the drive back from Boise, the transmission gave out due to a worn seal between the transfer case and the transmission in Ogden, Utah. I then had the most terrifying experience on the back end of a tow strap, going 80 on the highway behind a "friend" who thought that was a smart move with me 3 ft off his bumper. We got back to Denver, but I had the shakes for days from the adrenaline! I also no longer called that person a friend. The Beast an I were inseparable from that point on! I ditched the topper, put a roll bar on, and away we went. I messed up my shoulder once and couldn't swing myself into the drivers seat, so I had a bucket on a string for a few weeks that I'd stand on then pull into the cab after entering. And there was the black ice incident, where I did not one, but TWO full pirouettes on a highway bridge, without incident. The Beast looked out for me! I don't camp, so the topper had to go. But it was REALLY nice! The sins of the many previous owners started to catch up though, and there was a lot of rust issues I was going to need to deal with eventually. In 2015, a family member with a repair shop had the inside scoop on a one owner, 120k original cream puff '81 pickup, very similar to mine but without the factory lift kit. I immediately jumped at the opportunity, and got to work transferring all the good parts off my truck onto the new Desert Beast. Between selling the vintage camper top that came with the Desert Beast and then rehoming my red Beast to a 4x4 shop who fixed the rust and turned him into a rock crawler, I created a near perfect original and also made a tidy profit! Desert Beast after a bath... My other 3 cars are vintage Fiats, and it's funny because I think the truck was my first sportscar...it's just a ton of fun to drive, makes folks smile, and looks cool while doing it! I've had a Beast in my life for over 20 years, and I don't see that changing over the next 20! Everyone should get the opportunity to own their dream car at least once. I am grateful everyday that I do! And here are the Fiats, because I know you are wondering... The Cheese, 1975 Fiat Abarth Spider The X, my winter car, 1986 Bertone X 1/9 The Xpresso, 1985 Fiat X 1/9, I'm the second steward on this one too!
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