Rise from the Ashes | TheUnion.com

Rise from the Ashes

An Egyptian myth described a bird named the phoenix that was consumed by fire, but was reborn from its own ashes. While Don Day never met such a bird, he has a ’40 Ford pickup that did just that. In 2005, Don bought it from the second owner, who had taken an old ranch truck well down the road to becoming a street rod. He had dropped in a 350 CID motor and Turbo 350 auto trans as well as front disc and rear drum brakes from a Camaro. It even had a Chevy 10″ rear end, steering gear box and column.

Although Don is a dyed-in-the-wool Ford guy, the work was 75% done and done right, so Don kept it as it was. He finished it, doing the upholstery in burgundy leather, detailed the engine, and finished the candy-apple, dark blue paint. It turned out great, winning best-of-show at a car show in Quincy. But about a year later disaster struck. Just as he started on a local trip, a piece of rubber fuel line started dripping gas on the engine. Don realized something was wrong and checked under the hood. Not having his tools with him, he turned around and headed home. As he drove past his gate, his Ford became firebird. When he quickly emptied the small fire extinguisher from the truck, he had to run to his shop for a second one. Although he finally put out the fire, the engine, wiring, firewall, hood and fenders all were severely damaged. Instead of giving up, though, Don rebuilt it to make an even better truck. It took almost a year, but Don is pleased with the result.

He and wife Marty again cruise in their phoenix Ford, now with all metal gas lines and a bigger, better fire extinguisher. One rise from the ashes is enough.

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