A 1970 Ford F250 Camper Special a buddy of mine had way back when was known as, The French Connection. In our minds, at least, it was one of the most recognizable and iconic vehicles to stir up the dust on the back roads of early 1980’s Wayne County, Ohio. Well, some 35 years later, in an effort to recreate ‘the style and swagger’ of that lost “Connection” I spent an arduous few days transforming a 1971 Ford F100 into a close replica of that legendary truck.
25 or so years back, the idea came about one night when Bubba & I was at one of our preferred watering holes, reliving our youth. As we reminisced of the good ol’ days, the conversation eventually ebbed and flowed towards the lost truck that haunted our minds. The original truck was long gone – not the result of jumping one too many railroad tracks, but rather because it was sold; sadly to spend its final days as a make-shift trash receptacle near the roaring shores of Lake Erie.
Fast forward to present tense. Shortly after buying a slightly beat-up but solid 1971 F100 that my wife fondly (read, with full disdain) calls, ‘that truck’ I began recreating Bubba’s legendary green, white and orange celebrity vehicle. With a handful of 35 year old faded photos of the original and a watchful eye to detail ensured that every essential detail of the vehicle was replicated – the tri-color paint scheme, a dog trophy topper turned hood ornament, mismatched rims, ah-ooga horn, period correct 23 channel CB radio with white mirror mounted dual antennas, KMC brand FM radio converter with gold tuner and the ever-so-present slight carburetor hesitation, just to name a few.
And what did Bubba say the first time he saw the tribute to being young and dumb, those wild summer nights and his old Ford pickup? He simply asked, “Why?”
Oh well. I guess could think of worse things to do with my time. Like weeding.
The recreation of The French Connection (2017):