Saturday, June 20, 2015

Bad dad? Or brilliant? Probably neither.

What have I done? After 3 years of my daughter's nagging, praying, searching, begging, and saving money, I've let her to buy her first vehicle: a 1982 Jeep J10 Loredo pickup. She could not be happier.
As it sat when we bought it.
See the missing fender flare?
Ever since I came home with my Wagoneer a few years ago, she's been in love. She wanted mine, and when I told her that she wasn't getting it (and after her mother said, "no more Wagoneers" in this family) she was determined to buy an old truck. Since she turned 15, I have been inundated with her near daily texts with links to trucks and we have seen many of them. Then she sent me a link to this Jeep J10. She particularly likes J10s because they are basically a Wagoneer truck! Long story short: the guy wanted $5000k for it, we talked him WAY down, she handed him the money and we now have it.

 She could not be happier about this old truck. You would think it is a brand new car. But it is far from new. Mom says it's a piece of junk. There's a long list of things needing attention: like the fuel level gauge or the speedometer that don't work. The hood is covered with pink polka dots of bondo where the previous owner began to repair dents from some hail damage. The metal fender flare was ripped off when the previous owner had a tire blowout (it's in two prices in the bed). The mirrors are mismatched. But all the really important things work: it goes and stops and all the lights work. Amazingly, it doesn't leak!

I've got buyer's remorse and I'm not even the buyer—she is. I feel like a totally foolish parent. Maybe this will be a lesson. Only thing is I'm stuck with picking her up and figuring out how to get the thing home when it breaks down at the most inopportune times. But it will serve as a lesson in life for her. How to fix cars, how to make something better over time, how to settle for what you can afford...or at least, that's what I'm telling myself.
Ok. Sure I like it. It's cool. It's black and loud and tough and just cool. It is actually quite original except for the engine: its straight six has been replaced with an AMC 304. Ok, I don't care who you are, that's just cool. The important things work, but there are many problems. Broken speedometer, gas gauge, air conditioning, and some needed body work. But the old thing has very little rust.
She's got big plans for the big thing. She's already given it a name: Truck Norris.
Happy Father's Day.