Baby You’re No Good

On New Years Eve 1974 twelve inches of snow fell in Minneapolis, Minnesota. My long time friend Earl and I were doing what kids do, drinking tea and playing pinochle, kidding. It was almost midnight and being average outgoing Minnesota teens we left the warmth of one party, and set out to find another. We threw the brew in the back, and then it happened. I broke the key off in the ignition. I looked at Earl, and he looked at me. We both expressed a “Dang it all” look. Just then the radio warmed up enough to break the silence, chastising me with “Your no good, your no good, baby your no good!”  Good times.

I had been working in my uncle’s body shop in Rockford, Illinois. In my younger day if I had a toolbox, and something to work on, with enough money for a date, I was happy. I am not a very complex person. One of my projects was this 1958 Dodge panel truck I bought for $75.00.  Mechanically this vehicle was very sound, all the glass was good, but the body was in desperate need for a makeover. One feature this truck did have, was a super low ratio high torque granny gear transmission; it was absolutely fantastic in the snow.  Perfect for bombing around town on said 1974 New Years Eve.

The back half of this 1958 Dodge Panel Truck had literally separated itself from the chassis.
Rusted sections were cut out, and replaced with sheet metal.
“Holy oxidation Batman this is a total piece of junk.”  “Fear not Robin. We will add some metal panels and smooth it over with some Bondo.” “Cut away that rusty metal and throw it off to the side.”
“That’s right, now braze some new metal into place. Curve it just so, and affix it to the frame.”  “Good job Robin.”
“Keep spreading that plastic filler Robin.  Fill in the holes with Bondo, and let it set up.  Slap it on, and grind it off.  Keep that grinder busy.” “Spare no expense, go buy more Bondo Robin. We need (3) more cases.”  “Holy budget breaker Batman, that’s a truck load of Bondo.”  “Get it, truck load?”  “Yes Robin, I got.  Not your best line.”













“Why didn’t we paint it black like the Batmobile?” “Well you see Robin, this is the Joker’s ride. It is grace that allows one to show good will, even towards your arch enemies.

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