The Reverends David Poole and Kirk Mayo have more in common than meets the eye. True, they grew up together as kids in the hills of the nearby Aimwell community. Yes, they shared more than an adventure or two as teenagers, hunting and driving old trucks and just being typical boys. True, they both received a call into the ministry as young men that has taken each one to places and people neither would have experienced otherwise. Yet, beyond the obvious has emerged a somewhat different interest and pursuit, and that is the restoration of old Ford trucks. The two got together recently to share their knowledge about their classic treasures.
While Mayo, who has recently purchased and began restoration on a 1964 Ford truck, is somewhat a novice to the trade, Poole has remodeled, restored and sold several. His most recent restoration is also a 1964 Ford truck that he inherited from his stepdad, Virgil Ashley, who passed away several years ago. The sentimental value of his truck is evident.
“I mentioned to him one day that I’d like to have that old truck,” he recalled. “My stepdad had bought it, intending to restore it himself, but never did anything with it. I’ve restored it and now my wife says I can’t get rid of it because I’ve spent too many hours on it!”
Mayo’s Ford still has all the original parts, but Poole noted that all that was usable when he got his ‘64 Ford was the body. It had no motor, no transmission, nothing but a body, but that was enough. He started his restoration of it during COVID in 2019 to give him something to do. He found himself using his “Mustang money” acquired from the ‘66 Mustang he’d restored and sold, to bring it to its current state and doesn’t regret one minute or effort it’s taken to get it to the shipshape condition it’s in today.
One of his favorite stories from the restoration process was how the new motor for his project arrived around 8:00 one night and how he had to drop the truck motor by himself. He dropped it alright, when he let the jack down, the entire rear end fell out leaving him to pick it up alone, hold it with one hand and bolt it with the other.
Mayo, on the other hand, is riding high in the retro 1964 aqua blue truck with the original motor. He recently acquired the ‘64 from his neighbor, Gary Stuart. The truck originally belonged to Stuart’s father-in-law and only has a little over 65,000 original miles on it. Mayo intends to keep it as true to its origins as possible, and he is just in the infant stages of bringing it back to par while maintaining its authenticity, sharing that the truck still has its original alternator and generator. Poole’s reaction of “Wow!” seemed to validate the value of having original parts. The kinks are still being worked out with the help of more than a few friends and mechanics at the body shop located just across the major highway from Mayo’s residence. The team effort seems to be paying off!
“The thing that amazes me,” said Mayo, “is that the average retail sale of a 1964 truck like mine was $1,970.00 brand new. My truck in average condition today can sale for $15,700.00. In excellent condition it can sell for up to $72,500.00.” Incidentally, his truck is not for sale, although he has been approached with more than a few offers.
Both contend that restoration projects are works in progress and can take up to two to three years (or more) to complete. Doing a little along the way mostly through trial and error can bring satisfying results.
The two friends remember how, as teenagers who attended the same church, Poole, in his first ever truck, a 1969 Ford step side, would drive Mayo home after church ended. On one such night, the two managed to throw the truck bed off it while cutting a donut in a place that wasn’t conducive to cutting donuts. That brought more than a few chuckles.
“I had the truck bed tied on with wire. After we threw it off, we had to pick it up from the middle of the road and put it back on before heading off again,” Poole said laughing.
People and memories from childhood, mostly of community men and their trucks, have greatly contributed to the desire these two share for vintage vehicles. Men folk back then all had a particular interest in a certain brand truck and were adamant about owning their favorites. Poole attributes this to his current interest and habit of restoring and preserving vintage cars and trucks, recalling how his then pastor, Brother Shorty Mayo, (Kirk Mayo’s father) had an affinity for Dodge trucks and always bought his Dodge from Mr. Jimmy Humphries who owned the car dealership in Jena.
“We idolized so many old people with those trucks. We always wanted one just like they had,” Poole concluded.
Mayo added, “Now we’re nearing Social Security age and some of us are just now getting one!”
Poole credited various people in the community who had helped him with restoring his ‘64 Ford, including Phyllis Netherland who recovered the seats, David Ashley who provided beautiful ash board for the bed of the truck, James White who helped him get the needed parts and others. Mayo seemed to be taking notes and making plans to expand his current efforts toward his vintage treasure, referring to his favorite mechanic, ‘Timmy’ and the work he’s doing for him.
“When you get to be our age, old people think we’re young and young people think we’re old,” Poole mused. “Kirk has a lot of work ahead of him, but he’ll have to take it one day at a time. It’s an ongoing project and he’ll run into stuff he’s never anticipated.”
“I’ll get legal next few weeks,” Mayo added. “I’ll feel like a fifteen-year-old when I’m driving it!”
It appears that vintage trucks and vintage men have a lot in common, and behind every classic truck there’s a story, and behind every one of those stories is an older gentleman who’s just waiting to tell it. Breathing new life into past trucks and such is a club or a culture of sorts that appears to have members across the USA, notwithstanding these two locals and other local men just like them – all caught up in the pursuit of restoring the vintage model from their childhoods.
Stories are shared, plans are made, and dreams are realized when the fully restored eye candy rolls along the highway, much to the awe of other fellows who catch the spark and start making their own plans to own a classic set of wheels; thus, the story begins anew.
In the meantime, these two old friends can rest on their laurels, behind the wheels of their ’64 Fords while cruising on down the road.