Above and Below: Most of you should be familiar with my 1961 Chevrolet Apache 10 by now. If not, here it is again. A couple of black and white shots. In fact, the first pictures I have taken of it since I have moved it.
I have often wondered what kind of history my truck has behind it. Well, I finally found out some of it. The other day I was sitting in the cab reading the Patrick McManus book, "The Night The Bear Ate Goombaw" when I noticed a raised square on the dashboard, where the black paint was peeling. I had noticed this many times before, but had never really thought about it - until then. I set the book aside and began scratching away the black paint to reveal - a sticker, (I guess that's what you would call it,) and it is pictured above. It reads, "No job is so important, and no service is so urgent, that we cannot take time to perform our work safely. Bell Systems." Finally! Some history on the truck! It was once owned, and probably originally ordered, by Bell Systems. A telephone company truck.
Due to the peeling red paint, I have always known the truck was not always red. The cab was a dark green. The bed was a happy light blue. I figured that the bed was not original to the truck - it's never sat quite right on the truck. It's the right kind, it just wasn't mounted right. Of course, my theory on the bed being from a different truck led to some disagreement from my "hired hand." Well, I took a look at the paint code - only to find SPEC - instead of a number. I am assuming that means special - and it was ordered by Bell Systems in that green.
Finally, I did something that I do not know why I had never done before - I decoded the vin number. Ah! My theory was proven. The bed could not have been original as the truck was ordered without a bed. A Cab/Chassis.
Disappointly, for me, that's about where the known history of my '61 Chevrolet Apache 10 ends. It was probably mounted with a utility bed by Bell Systems, and sometime later down the road someone put a true bed on it. I wonder how long it served as a Bell Systems truck. Was it used until Bell Systems 'broke up' in 1984? I do know that two owners before me the truck was owned by a drug dealer - which explains the happy red color, mag wheels, and Corvette engine. The drug dealer paid his lawyer with the truck. Then it was sold to Brian Mallard in the mid-90's, then I inherited it about three years ago.
But what of all that unknown history? I suppose I can only wonder!