New Generation Truckers - Conner Cox Story

6/28/2024
Bob “Video Bob” and Jeannine Huff
When Connor Cox was growing up, his playground was in & around his father's "Pony" Auto Restoration & Repair shop in Locust, NC, a shop that specialized in rebuilding/repairing Classic Mustangs.
 
When Connor wasn't getting in his dad’s way in the shop you could usually find him out back "banging gears" in his dad's old defunct parts runner truck. Connor logged 1,000's of imaginary miles in that old truck before outgrowing that phase of his trucking career. With a deep-seated love for trucks imbedded in his genes he had dreams of someday rebuilding that old truck & turning those imaginary miles into real ones.
 
 
While Connor could never grasp the passion for cars like he had for trucks he did eventually work his way up to become an integral part of his father's Mustang Restoration business. Dad, knowing the love his son had for trucks, suggested that during their "down time" he bring their old parts runner truck into the shop & start restoring it. Connor was overjoyed with the suggestion but before he was able to get the project underway "Mother Nature" intervened with a hurricane spawned nor’easter coming out of the gulf that destroyed everything in its northward path including the "Pony" Auto Restoration & Repair shop along with the old parts runner truck that Connor had dreamt of rebuilding someday.
 
After months of clean up Connor was faced with the reality that Life Must Go On regardless. Finding himself without a job & no transportation to get to a new job if & when he found one, he began searching the local classifieds & car lots hoping to find something cheap & drivable with the emphasis on "cheap." Just as he was about to run out of leads a friend called him & told him about a "project truck" listed on Craig’s List.
 
After calling the Craig’s List number he found out that the project truck was a 1979 Ford F-100 that the owner had attempted to "restore" but lost interest in it for various reasons. The truck had pretty much been reduced to a roller having been stripped of its engine, transmission & much of the interior.
 
Connor, who had been looking for some cheap transportation, had 2nd thoughts on buying this "Craig’s list project "until the owner let it slip that the real reason he needed to get rid of the truck was that the city had given him a 30-day notice to remove the vehicle from the property or else they would remove it at his expense. With Connor now aware of the situation he made the owner an offer he couldn't refuse & the truck became his.
 
After trailering the F-100 home Connor made a list of what parts were missing & what parts needed to be repaired or replaced. Unaware of what skills if any the previous owner had other than dismantling the truck he decided it would be best if he started at the bottom & work his way up. After cleaning & detailing the frame & underside of the truck he reinstalled the original engine & transmission back in the truck.
 
Next on the agenda was to slick out the body removing all the dings & dents before applying the paint. This phase of the restoration took time seeing how Connor was a novice on body work. After several weeks of blocking, sanding & priming the outside of the truck was ready for paint.
 
Before any painting could be done the "office," (cab) which had pretty much been stripped of everything right down to the bare floors, had to be made livable. After installing a new dash pad along with a set of Stewart Warner L.E.D. backlit gauges, a Retro Sounds stereo system & a new form fit carpet, a Hurst shifter was installed to replace the original "3 on a tree."
 
Having come without a seat Connor headed out to the local "pick & pull" to look for a replacement. After several hrs of measuring & crawling in & out of cars/trucks he chose a 60/40 seat from a late model Bel-Air
 
Up until this point Connor’s wife Maggie watched from the side lines while he reassembled the truck. Wanting to get involved in the project she asked if she could do the interior decor. Being on the decorative committee for the local Annual Watermelon Festival, Maggie decided to work the melon’s brilliant colors into her husband's truck: green for the melon’s exterior surface, white for the rind & red for the heart of the melon. For her final touch she added a N. C. flag headliner.
 
With the drive train intact & body work & interior finished Connor concentrated on making the truck roadworthy to where if need be it would pass the NC safety inspection. After driving it for several months, he decided it was time to finalize the exterior. To go along with his wife's watermelon colors on the inside he chose to go the two-tone route with Wimbledon white on the bottom & a special green metallic mix on the top. Satisfied now that the truck met all his expectations, he decided to enter it in the Grand National F-100 Ford Truck Show in Pigeon Forge where you become a winner by just entering the event.
 
If you are building or thinking about building an "old truck" like Connor’s, no matter what make or model it may be, we would like to feature it in Truck Round-up's "New Truckers" column. For more info contact: ?????????
 
Until then, stay safe & Keep on Truckin’ "Round-up Style."
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