Bringing a Family Heirloom Back to Life

I want to introduce our 1976 F-250 Highboy, a.k.a. “Project Green Giant.” There is a lot of history with this truck for me, starting with a ride home from the hospital as a newborn. That’s right, this truck has been a part of my family since before I was born.

The truck was purchased by my parents brand new off a lot in Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1976. From there, it made the trip out to Colorado where it spent winters pulling a hay trailer through snow-filled pastures feeding horses and summers exploring the mountains around Gunnison. From there, it went to southern Utah and this is where the truck enters my earliest memories.

I can remember standing on the seat, steering the truck while it putted along in the granny gear, as my parents loaded hay on a trailer in the alfalfa field. The summer was spent riding around in the bed of the truck casting a Snoopy pole out the back with a rubber practice casting lure and reeling it back in. In the fall, it was riding around in the hills pulling a gooseneck horse trailer either headed to round up cows or going to deer camp.

At this point, I bet you are wondering why the project is called the Green Giant when it was never lifted or modified from its original state. I don’t know how many of you remember getting up and watching Saturday morning cartoons as a kid but there were always the “Jolly Green Giant”      commercials that popped up during my favorite cartoons, and from that moment on that became the truck’s name.

After my folks split up, the truck made its way back to Colorado. When I was old enough to get my license, I had the choice between this truck or a crotch rocket, and of course I picked the truck. From that moment on, I drove the wheels off it, getting in trouble and making memories. After high school I left the truck with my mom where it saw its fair share of hard use and abuse around the farm. A few years ago, I was able to pick up the truck and bring it to Idaho. It was in rougher shape then I remembered, so I parked it in the pasture until now.

The plan for the build is to clean up any of the rust issues it has, add  fresh paint, a lift kit, fresh wheels and tires, and a complete interior overhaul. Having the opportunity to make these changes will really help bring the truck that I always dreamed of to life. With the help of great companies like LMC Truck, Detroit Steel Wheels, Toyo Tires, Skyjacker Suspension, Auto Metal Direct, and TMI Products, we will transform this pasture ornament       to a head-turning daily cruiser.

This project isn’t a complete frame-off restoration. The whole point is to clean up the truck and make it nice to drive, so I can start making memories in it with my son Emmett (currently 10 years old). Once he gets to driving age we will dive into the engine and build it together, so he has some personal investment in the truck before he starts driving it to high school. As you can see, the truck was in rough shape and a little ugly to start with and it will have to get uglier before it starts to get prettier, but that’s all part of the process. Right now, the truck is in the rust repair and bodywork stage of the build. I can’t wait to share each part of the process with all of you as we bring this truck back to its former glory.