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“Wheelie Truck” Slows Traffic Near His Shop
“The township where my repair shop is located doesn’t allow business signage, but they don’t have anything against yard art, so I built a ‘Wheelie Truck’ to get some attention,” says mechanic Chris Nielsen.
His traffic slower downer is a tricked-out 1958 Ford pickup body mounted at a 20-degree angle on steel I-beams. It’s a tribute to the old truck used in the 1970’s TV show Green Acres. “Everyone loves a Wheelie Truck, and mine has unbelievable power with a 16-cyl. mill that puts out 1,000 hp.,” says Nielsen with a wink. “My son Eddie and I built it with 7-ft. dia. by 3-ft. wide jet-black wooden rear wheels made from utility cable spools. Traction is provided by genuine slicks made from 1/2-in. thick black belting covering the wooden frames.”
Passersby might doubt the authenticity of a 16-cyl. engine, so the Nielsen’s added eight straight pipes made of 2 1/2-in. tube steel reaching 4 ft. above each side of the engine compartment. Artificial metal flames on the top of each pipe are cut from orange oil cans.
For over 40 years, Nielsen has rebuilt, restored, and tricked out many different vehicles, but friends say the Wheelie Truck is his most unusual invention. “The old ‘58 Ford truck sat in a neighbor’s woods for years, and I asked about it many times, finally he said I could have it,” Nielsen says.
“Surprisingly, the engine was in fairly good shape, so we removed that and will use it to repower a 1954 Mercury hardtop.” The replacement “model” engine is just steel framework to secure the straight pipes and a supersized air cleaner made from an old black metal mailbox. The truck’s original grill, bumper, and collector plate are still in place. The Wheelie Truck has real front chrome wheels and rubber tires.
Nielsen says kids who see the truck think there’s a real driver in the cab because he and his son cut out and painted sheet metal into the shape of a life-size arm on the left cab door and the likeness of a driver behind the wheel.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Nielsen Truck Repair, 25756 Galaxie Ave. West, Farmington, Minn. 55024.

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2023 - Volume #47, Issue #4