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2015 Truck of the Year
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» Truck of the Month
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May 2016 Truck of the Month



The April 2016 TOTM belongs to Dalton Sexton

From Dalton:


In 1970, My mom purchased a 68 Ford F100 Long Wheel Base 2wd for my dad, Dalton Sexton Sr. The first thing he did was to change the drive train. He installed a 428 ci engine and installed a Borg Warner T18 transmission. Because he still had the 3 on the tree steering column, plus the big stick coming out of the floor, He had been asked before by a friend not so auto savvy, "Wow! you have TWO transmissions in this thing?!". Dad also replaced the rear gears with those from a 68 Galaxie. according to family that were along for the ride, Dad once chased down a Chevelle like it was standing still with this setup. He had to keep a chain wrapped around the driver's side motor mount to keep from breaking any more. In those days, people still used CB radios like telephones and a couple of times the local police chased a perp down by the river and get stuck. They would radio Dad and he would come pull them out with the truck. I was born in 1973. My mom worked long hours and had a long commute so I was always with Dad and he was always on the road. I literally can say that I grew up in that truck. One of my earliest memories was laying across that bench seat with my head in his lap, staring at the white dotted headliner. If you stare at it long enough, the dots would double and look weird. I know now that it meant I was falling asleep and my eyes were crossing.

Dad was wild with a touch of crazy and the truck was commonly how that was expressed. There was an Intersection where river road met with the main road on an extreme lowercase y angle. River road was a steep climb to the main road. Rather than take the hard right turn, Dad would cut across the ditch and climb the 12' almost vertical hill. It started a trend with the local teenagers and 10 years later, after many stuck and damaged failed attempts, The county dumped scrap asphalt in the ditch to stop the climbing. I remember when I was about 5 years old, My Dad let me "drive" while sitting in his lap. Unbeknownst to me, He was controlling the wheel under me. We veered off across a field, plowing over sapling pines like they were grass. Dad was laughing like mad but I was sweating bullets. I miss the days when we could ride in the back. I learned the hard way that you don't stand in the bed of the truck though. I looked over the top of the cab and caught a bumblebee in the forehead at 50! I think I backflipped back to the tailgate! Needless to say, Dad was regularly replacing grill and body parts because he was so rough. We jokingly call it the Johnny Cash truck for that reason. It has parts from every year in the series. The blood sweat and tears of Shubert, Hudson, and Sexton alike have gone into the survival and legacy of this truck. It is now tagged as a 72 because Dad dropped the cab on Scott Hudson's 72 donor body and replaced the door with the help of Joe Shubert.

When I was 20 years old, Dad told me that the truck would be mine one day. Every once in a while, I would ask Dad, "When can I get my truck?". "You ain't ready yet" he would say. This went on for ten years. One day at the age of 30, we were sitting on the back porch and I was staring at the truck. I mumbled to myself, "Man, I'll never sell that truck". "What did you say boy?" asked Dad. I looked at him and said matter of factly "I'll never sell that truck". As I turned my head back to the truck again, I heard a loud jingling and it was rapidly getting louder. I looked back just in time to catch the keys just before they hit me in the head. "I've waited ten years to hear you say that!" he laughed. I about fell on the floor. The first thing we did was to replace the brakes and the rear end gears. Sadly, The galaxie rear end had worn to razor blades. We put in a 3.25 gear set. Dad slung a rod in the 428 years ago, so I am currently searching for another. I would love to find a police interceptor. I had to park the truck for years because I became unable to stay awake and deemed myself unsafe to drive. I had just been laid off so I had no insurance. It took me 4 years to get diagnosed and another 2 to be able to afford to get the truck in running condition again. You let one sit for that long and expect to replace everything! I have converted it to HEI electronic ignition and have been slowly restoring the entire truck to a like new state from my art custom made item sales. I created the dragonfly hood ornament and will be ordering a custom shift knob in the near future from epcoshiftknobs.com. Eight months ago, the engine compartment would have made you cringe. Today I am proud to lift the hood. It tickles me every time I pop the hood and see someone's reaction the first time. It is truly currently a "sleeper", as in more under the hood than would be expected.

My dad passed away in 2006, but every time I am in and around that truck, I feel like he is right there with me. Four generations have been able to ride in Dad's "Ol' Blue". I plan to continue the tradition of passing the truck on as an heirloom. I will be installing a plaque on the inside of the glove box door with my Dad's name, Then mine, and when I pass it on, The recipient will be next. The plaque will be big enough for many generations to come and I pray this tradition is kept.

Dalton Sexton



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