Florida trip

My brother buys a truck in F.L.at an auction.  It’s an old 1975 GMC ASTRO with an 8v71 318 Detroit. The truck was hauled to F.L. from Wisconsin where it had been sitting for 5 years. He buys it for $700 and decides to drive it home. Now we do dumb things near home on a regular basis, but the key word is near home, you know within 200 miles or so here we are in Kissimmee, F.L. at least 1300 miles from home. Brother says I’ll drive it to Bronson first and leave it there at our fathers place. Now he needs to get it out of the auction and up the road. First he asks a buddy who rode down with him if he would drive his Freightliner cabover that they drove down in, up to Bronson, which is about 120 miles. He says sure why not. Brother takes one plate off his Freightliner and puts it on the Astro. Then he decides to hook up to his trailer so he will “blend in.” We watch from across the field to see if brother gets past the police at the gate. While there walking around checking paperwork, tags one shines a light up at the exhaust which has been cut just above the cab. Brother says ah, I caught some branches on a back road. This seems to work as they let him go. He made it to Bronson. So he loads his trailer and he and his Freightliner go back to N.H. About a month later he decides to go get the Astro. So he gets a N.H. twenty day plate for the Astro. Well now there’s a small side story that you need to hear. It seems his buddies want to go to F.L. with him to sight see and retrieve the truck. They decide to take a friends Chevy dually  that has bee used in the woods for quite sometime. Not my first choice to set out on a 2600 mile trip in. It seems the dually needs a carrier bearing. We have the driveshaft chained to a low bed, heating the slip joint with a torch, while pulling on it with a tractor. They get it fixed and hook up to an old 35’ gooseneck trailer that weighs about 8500# empty. After an eventful trip to F.L. they arrive and load the dually with a load bound for N.H.  Now here is where my brother pulls his usual trick, he pulls the dipstick and say’s “yep it’s black” looks in the radiator and says “yep it’s green”. Remember the part about the Astro has been sitting for 5 years? Wouldn’t you change the fuel filters, the oil, maybe give it new fuel? Nope not brother, he say’s “let’s go”. They make it about 150 miles when things start to go bad, with the dually. Seems the dually keeps overheating. So they decide to hook the trailer to the Astro. At a truck stop outside St. Augustine, F.L. they get someone to burn a hole down thru the cross member below the fifth wheel which they took off. Next they put the trailer ball in which doesn’t exactly tighten down all the way. I think we need trailer lights, so they twist some wires together from the tail lights. Off they go again. I get a call from Brunswick, G.A., seems they have full tanks, one bottle of soda, a bag of chips, and $3.65 between all 5 of them. Should be quite a ride home! Around Baltimore, M.D. a fuel leak develops. Finally they come up with some more money and they go get a fuel line. Off again, at least to the scale where they get the light to “precede to scale house”. Uh oh, my brother tells his buddy to grab his clothes and get ready to jump because somebody has to tell the other guys what happened. AS there sitting there on the scale with an unregistered, uninspected, no fuel sticker, no paper work of any kind, and a trailer that’s not hooked up quite right. He tells the buddy to call me to come down with a truck and money to bail him out. After sitting there and reflecting how they were lucky to have made it this far they get a green light! Off again! By the time they reach home all involved agree that next time they want to sight see they will fly! Yes the Astro made it home and brother use’s the Astro that summer on the same twenty day plate, which is only good in N.H., to haul around the north east. You would think with luck like his he would buy lottery tickets!!    P.S. the dually made it too!!


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