A couple of years ago, I decided that I needed an old Pickup truck, and that further, in a sense of national and civic pride, that I should get a piece of old--but not too old-- all-American Iron (or "arn" as they say in the old woodworking machine forum.) Lo and behold, I find a mid-80's ford long bed; a stripped-down model with a huge straight 6, 4-spd with Granny gear and nothing but a heater.
"This is a manly truck," I say to myself as I kick the tires and watch the oil leaking from the valve covers.
Lo and behold I discover a year later, when looking for the correct tire size on the door sticker, a little maple leaf. OMG, this thing was built in Canada. I had somehow managed to buy an import.
My luck continues.
I get a call from the Studebaker National Museum, where the nice people in their archives have been searching for the build sheet for my car. You can see where this is going. . .
Studebaker had 3 automobile manufacturing plants: South Bend, Indiana (their home), Los Angeles California (where I was just sure my car had been built) and Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.
My "ultimate American car" is one of 1,244 Canadian-built Champion Deluxe models in 1953.
I can only guess when, and with what options since the Museum's Canadian records are incomplete and, unfortunately, my car wasn't included in those records.
Ok, maybe saying this is total, abject failure is a carrying it a bit far. In revenge, I think I'll rod this thing and, instead of ghost flames I'll do ghost maple leaves. And to think, I was pissed off at my maple tree yesterday for being so damn messy. These things have a way of coming back to haunt you.
[to be honest, the only true disappointment I feel is that I won't be able to get the build sheet]