published Thursday, March 5th, 2009

Readers’ Rides from the past: Stoney’s ‘66

Story and Photos by: Shannon Hammett

Steve Spurgeon’s F100 pickup has been in his family since 1966. Steve’s grandfather, Ruail Hill bought the truck new. “My grandfather was very attached to this truck,” Steve recalled. “When he drove it home on the day he bought it, he said, ‘Someday this truck is going to be yours.’ All the grandkids wanted it, but for some reason, he chose me. He drove the truck to work and back everyday. Eventually, after his retirement, he got to where he wasn’t able to drive the truck anymore due to the fact that it didn’t have power steering. So I bought it from him.”

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Steve purchased the truck from his grandfather in 1983 and it became his daily driver. He began restoration on the truck in 2004. Aside from a little bit of rust here and there, the old ‘66 was still in great shape.

“I helped out on just about everything that was done to the truck,” said Steve. “I learned about cars from hanging around with my dad. He was always piddling on things. I took everything apart. Street Rods by Rudy did the paint and body. I had it painted the same color as it was originally. I rebuilt the engine, only to throw a rod the next day and have to redo it again. You learn as you go. I tore it apart and put it back together just like my grandfather had it, hubcaps and all.” Two years later, the ‘66 Ford looked as good, if not better than the day it was driven off the dealership’s lot.

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Although the ‘66 pickup was never intended to be a show truck, since its restoration it has brought home wins from numerous shows including 2nd place in trucks original at The World of Wheels, Chattanooga this past year. “I didn’t build this truck for show. I built it in honor of my grandfather,” Steve explained. “My oldest son took it to a show and from then on, it was a show truck. It usually wins 1st place in just about every category it’s in.”

Everything on and about this ‘66 pickup is in memory and in honor of Steve’s grandfather, including its name. “There was an old western in the early ‘60s that starred actor Jack Lord. His character’s name was Stoney Burke,” said Steve. “Everyone always said that my grandfather looked like Stoney Burke, so they started calling him Stoney. Everytime anyone would see the truck go by they would always say, ‘That’s Stoney’s old truck.’ So, we named it Stoney’s ‘66.”

Keeping Stoney’s ‘66 in the family looks like it will continue with Steve’s two sons. “I have two sons. Willy is 28 and Brad is 14,” said Steve. “Both of them love the truck. Brad pulls it out and keeps it clean. We usually drive to a cruise-in or Sonic in Ooltewah just about every week.”

Out of all the awards won by the pickup, there is one that stands out above the rest. “The best award I ever received was when my grandmother saw the truck,” said Steve. “She sat down behind the wheel. It brought tears to her eyes. All the other awards I’ve won could never compare to that one.”

Email: pitdoggen@aol.com or pitbullsigns@aol.com

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