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Rough and Ready Rampside

Noah Swanson of Chicago, IL purchased this Rampside in 2002 from Bob Deja and scrapped it in March 2012.

Bob had this to say about the truck:

"Bought in June '98, finished October '99. Bought for $500, turned out to about 450 bucks more than it was worth! But the ad was asking $1200!

Never having owned an FC before, and just dying to get a ' 64 Ramp in particular, I threw caution to the wind and did an uncharacteristically quick look over.

For instance, I checked the soundness of one frame rail, the driver's side (the passenger side was in the mud against a wall). The ramp itself seemed to open and close well (with an empty bed). The glass was good! Sold!

The owner told me it had been "sitting awhile" and that he had "gotten it to run a little yesterday" but his "girlfriend told him it had to go". I believed the first and third part, but knew the running bit could not be true; I am not a complete fool.

At least it had an intact '64 truck drive train. And some free gang graffiti. And besides, it needed me! (Like Charlie Brown and the little tree in the Christmas special.)"

To make a long story short, I firmly believe that my Rampside must be the most beat up, rusted Rampside ever to have been saved! For starters, I needed to:

  1. Weld in a frame rail for an International Harvester Scout II (from JC Whitney) to replace the passenger side rail that was pretty much gone
  2. Braze a 2" exhaust pipe through a good automatic gas tank (to accommodate the shift tube) since mine was 4 speed and I could not find a correct tank
  3. Weld about a third of new bed in
  4. Replace all the corners of the vehicle with new metal, along with the usual holes in the cab floor and bottom of the panels

Then there was the engine, which sat for maybe 20 years, outside. Three of the cylinders had dropped valve seats. That's right folks, and one seat had worn a smooth valley for itself into the head. The previous owner somehow actually ran this thing on the remaining three cylinders for some time. I was stunned.

There was the matter of the wheels. Each one was held on with just two lug nuts. There must have been a shortage! The other three lugs on each wheel were so rusted, I could not just use a die on the threads. No big deal, right? Just replace the lugs. But the rear lugs were welded in! Closer examination revealed serious deformation of the holes through which the lugs pass.

Obviously, my rig was driven around (on three cylinders) with very loose lug nuts for quite a while to cause this. Both rear axles were replaced. Basically, name anything on the rig: It was trashed.

I should point out that what I wanted was a unique truck to use as originally intended, never to be shown or envied, but for hauling building and landscaping stuff and occasional antiques from auctions (I am married). And I finally got it.

Guys with clean West coast rigs may scoff at it—it still has dings and flaws—but the bed does not flex anymore, it runs very strong now, has great heat, has an alternator conversion, and after all it is a '64 Rampside Deluxe with a 4-speed and Posi!"

Hats off to Bob for not letting this one go to the wrecking yard and for extending its life by more than 10 years.

Information from the data plate

Trim code

Description

Paint code

Description

Delivery Date

Description

Z60

Custom equipment

537

Light blue, two-tone

None

N/A

(Click on a heading in the table for more information on that item.)

 

 

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