I was fresh out of high school in1970. I knew I wanted to drive a truck, and felt I’d be better suited driving for myself, rather than hiring on to drive for someone else.
Cecil Lewis knew trucks. By that time he had owned a bunch of them, every type you could ever think of.
We went to Austin pretty regularly, with many of the trips ending up over at Searcey GMC just south of Ben White Blvd on I-35.
There was a new cabover GMC Astro Truck/Tractor sitting out front. It really looked good to me. The price seemed reasonable, I believe it was around $30,000, out the door. Cec said we needed to go slow with that deal. He’d never bought new heavy truck in his life, but I knew that I’d have a better shot of making money if I was driving down the road and not laying up under it much of the time working on it.
He never actual said no to me buying that truck but he kept procrastinating about buying it.
Looking back I’m pretty sure he thought there was no way we could ever put enough miles on that truck to pay for it. I think he also had his doubts about the truck itself. It was a GM Detroit Diesel 8V71, 318 HP. I didn’t know, yet he must have known that wasn’t a very good engine. All I knew was those engines made a lot of noise and had a reputation of leaking oil real bad, but I figured I could put up with the noise and keep it full of oil.
We made several trips there and he kept saying, “Let’s Wait”. All I could think of in my 18 year old mind, if we keep waiting somebody was going to buy that shiny new truck.
We never did buy it, and I’m sure glad of that. I don’t think anyone ever bought that truck. It continued to sit in front of that dealership for the next 2 or 3 years. It became the truck no one wanted. I’ve often wondered what ever really happened to it. At least it wasn’t our problem, thanks to the wisdom of Cecil Lewis.
I never gave my Ol’ Daddy enough credit I guess. But him leading me away from buying this truck probably was the biggest favor he ever did me, well except being the sperm donor that got me here.
If not for him playing down the buying of this truck kept me from spending more of my life behind the wheel of a truck. If I had ever put my name on it, I would have been so busy trying to pay for it, I doubt I would have had much time for anything else that happened shortly thereafter, like getting married and having a house full of boys.