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1952 Chevy Truck Serves 3 Generations
The "Red Bomb" was as cool when John Rietmann drove it to school in the late 1960's as when his youngest daughter headed to school this fall. The 1952 V-6 Chevy pickup was the family's old farm truck. Because the speedometer was replaced and turned over at least a couple times, Rietmann doesn't know the truck's mileage, but he estimates it's more than 300,000.

    "I was in high school and I needed a rig, so I fixed it up," recalls Rietmann, of Ione, Oregon. "It was blue, but I painted it red and white for the school colors."

    Over the years, the car became sort of a school symbol parked in the same corner parking lot spot. After Rietmann graduated, his younger brothers drove the truck to school.

    "The one rule was that we were to just drive the 10 miles to town and back," he adds. It's a good rule that continues to this day; he recalls that once when he tried to go further it quit on him.

    After his brothers graduated, the truck sat idle for a few years until Rietmann's oldest son, Nathan, got his license in the 1990's. Then second son Jeremy drove it, and last year, Brenna, took her turn at the wheel.

    Though it has a manual transmission and no fancy features, everyone has looked forward to driving it, Rietmann says. His mother, Betty, drove it when it was brand new after marrying Bob Rietmann in 1953.

    Though it has had a few mishaps - including nearly going over a cliff - it has been a good truck, Rietmann say.

    The truck has had makeovers through the years, including an engine overhaul. Rietmann changed the electrical system from 6 volts to 12 volts. In 1998, his son, Jeremy, added decals and a Chevy radio to restore the truck's classic look. Before Brenna started driving, Rietmann had a new custom rear end installed, as well as upholstery work and a new paint job.

    "The plan is that when she graduates from school it's my pickup again," Rietmann says. "The only difference now from when I drove it (years ago) is that you take the keys out when you're in town."

    Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, John Rietmann, 66904 Olden Lane, Ione, Oregon 97843 (ph 541 422-7123).

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2008 - Volume #32, Issue #6