I got an email recently from Ann, who wanted to share the story of a truck her late father-in-law used to drive. Fred was a World War II vet who recently passed away at the age of 93. He owned a 2002 Chevy Avalanche and he drove it everywhere. Long trips from Maryland to Georgia were nothing for him. Ann said they were like a short Sunday drive for him. In fact, he made that same trip just two days before he passed away. Despite knowing about his long drives, Ann was still shocked when she checked the odometer: the truck had 703, 605 miles on it. Which is an incredible amount of mileage for any vehicle.
Ann gave me a little background about her father-in-law. He saw some of the worst fighting during the war. He had two ships shot out from under him and survived. He became so sick of eating fruit and fish from his tour on Pacific Islands he never ate them again.
Ann told also told me about Fred’s relationship to his truck. He had surgery on his knee when he was 89 and wasn’t allow to drive during the rehabilitation period. He used to sit in his truck, and when Ann pressed him about why, he said he just felt at home there. He also used to make long trips out to visit family in the truck and never thought twice about it. Making time for family was always on his mind.
Apparently, other than oil changes, Fred never made did any other routine maintenance on the vehicle. It still has its original engine, spark plugs and wires. Ann and her husband are currently in the process of getting the truck inspected and clear for emissions. It will be a $3000 re-haul and they don’t know how long the engine will last, but they say it’s an emotional journey for them, and they want to try to keep the truck going as long as possible. They once tried to put it up for sale, but the form wouldn’t let them enter the mileage. It kept telling them to put in a valid odometer reading. With so much history in this truck it makes sense to keep it going. To keep his spirit alive with the truck. Whatever they decide, I am very happy to hear this story from Ann. I wish you and your husband the best.