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Postcards from the

Truck My Blues Away

For almost every sports car at a race track there is a truck and trailer that got it
there. The big boys have been using the big semi rigs for some time now but for
the thousands of club and part time racers, the transport for their hobby is a major
purchase. A few months ago I was helping out on an inspection of a 1973
Porsche Carrera RS for a couple whom already have several collectible cars.
While Mark Powell was finalizing the deal I had an interesting conversation with
his wife, Jo. One of the topics was how to choose a pick up truck and I told her
about some advice a marketing type told me. Look for a woman driving solo and
pulling a horse trailer. The chances are excellent that she did all the research and
rated the truck according to her needs. Not her boyfriends or husbands. More than
flash and polished wheels, it has to haul heavy four-legged cargo. Jo Powell
confirmed that she had heard basically the same thing. Since this is a somewhat
eclectic website and the major manufacturers are among our readers, I asked two
of my friends, Terry Burkhart and Lizett Bond, that have horses to comment on the

The Wages of Fear
  It should be noted that two of my biggest fears are driving a car that I worked on
and backing up a truck and a trailer. An almost amusing confession… recently I
purchased three Nash Healys with my friend Steve Sailors. The cars were behind
a warehouse in North Hollywood and literally buried. I was driving an F-350 dually.
I can’t back up a non dually, I used an F-250 King Ranch to haul my Porsche 935
up to San Jose to Ron Gruener’s shop to get it ready for Rennsport. I stopped at
Terry’s house and she had to back it for me and she has a large driveway. So
much for my skills. To get to the Nash Healys, I would have to back down a very
tight one-lane alley between two buildings. Steve wasn’t much better than me at
reversing. Ah hah ! It was a Sunday and I knew Liz was on her way back from a
team penning practice so I called and asked if she wanted to go for a short ride
with us. She agreed and we met her somewhere near El Monte on the way to
NoHo. Of course the real reason we were glad to have her was evident as six
males stood around and watched the solo female expertly back the dually and the
trailer down the alley on the first try and pulling it up a few feet short of the first
Nash Healy. No ego or vanity loss that afternoon.

                                                                     - Kerry Morse

Terry and the roads of the 209
  Terry Burkhart is a long time racing enthusiast and a contributor to sportscarpros.
She is also the only one I know who is on the short list for a new Ford GT.
However, her horses are passion number one and she is taking up photography
(shooting and collecting) as a serious hobby. First and foremost though she is a
country girl raised in the Central Valley of California although she could have been
the girl in the flatbed Ford from “Take it Easy”. Today she is the owner of the family
farm that was formed back in the 30’s. So what did Terry learn to drive first and
when ? Hint: It wasn’t the MG she wanted.

Tractor Taffy
  “My very first experience was a tractor in 1965, I was 11, living on a ranch, and my
Uncle took me with him to work.  When we arrived at what we called the Snake
ranch he told me he was going to teach me to drive a tractor so I could take my
part in working on the ranch by raking the he showed me the tractor told
me to get in the seat and put it into 2nd gear and I was off. My uncle then pulled
along side of me and told me to drive any road I wanted, and that he would be
back in about 5 hours. Needless to say it was the first Ford I wished I had never
learned to drive. But today as my Uncle put it, you will remember that day forever
and he was right.”

It’s a Foooooord…
  “A couple years later I remember my father had a blue and white Ford pickup
truck.  I bugged him to teach me how to drive a stick shift, as when driving a tractor
you put into one gear and go, no real shifting. So my dad and I went on some back
roads until we turned on a road about 20 miles in length. It did not have one turn or
bend in the road. My father had the patience of a tiger, but as with the old tractor, I
had to learn to drive a stick shift that day. I was pretty cool I thought, being a girl of
only 13. I'm sure my Dad had second thoughts as I always wanted to drive his
truck after that, and sometimes he would let me take it thinking I was just going to
the ranch which was a 7 mile drive from our home. I had some great times being
able to do all that driving before I was 16, those are days I will remember always.”

Anyway I’m almost grown…
 “Being a girl and then a woman, I am asked why I would want to own a truck?
I've lived on a ranch all my life so driving a truck isn't new to me. Of my list of
previous vehicles I have had a Pontiac Firebird, a Ford Bronco which was BK
(before kids), a Chevy Tahoe 4dr. to haul kids, horses, and a boat around. Of
course there have always been pick-up trucks around the farm and down at the
ranch. I wanted to get a new truck that was just for my own personal use and that
of my two equine friends to ride in comfort in their trailer.

  Before I made my decision I drove several different trucks, a Chevy crew cab, a
Dodge Ram, an Avalanche, ( what was I thinking ?) and a Ford King Ranch F-350
Dually courtesy of The Ford Motor Company. The King Ranch was my first choice
but I had to make a cut somewhere and a dually can be tiresome, so I opted for
the Ford F250 Diesel Crew Cab. Trucks are so much better these days. Better
brakes, better seats, more reliable.

  I did a lot of reading and internet research of what I would want, a six CD player
as music is one of my passions, leather interior, and of course a sunroof...  With
my list in hand I headed to the local Ford dealer in Firebaugh whose motto is “ No
suits, No Ties, No Lies “. After the salesman looked at my options, he told me the
trucks didn't come with a sunroof, and I pointed out they do according to the info on
the Ford Internet site. I told him he needed to familiarize himself with this info !  I
had to order the truck because there was not one to be found with the dreaded
sunroof. He tried to get me to just have a sunroof put in but quickly figured out I
wanted everything factory built so later there would be no problems down the road.
After a couple of months I got the call from Westside Ford that my new F-250 had
arrived. So... do I love my truck ? YES ! With so many trucks in the agriculture
community, I am the only one who can wave out the sunroof as the others flash
their lights on the road. I am constantly asked by men at the feed store, pool
supply, water board, the Basque restaurant in Firebaugh, or just on the road,
about the sunroof. Shock when I tell them it is on the order form. Any other
drawbacks ? Just one, making a U-turn on a two-lane road but you adjust and
plan ahead for that most the time. When I am not in my truck, which is most of the
time, I use my Lexus SC 430 but that is a different story.”

- Terry Burkhart

Napa Liz and Giant Peach
 I have known Lizett for a long time. Born in Oakland, raised in the bay area in the
early years and learned to ride horses in Napa, actually not too far from Sears
Point Raceway… she later moved to a small town just outside of Modesto and got
her start behind the wheel in an orchard. The evil metropolis of L.A. called and her
family arrived in Southern California in the early 70’s but she kept her
horsewoman spirit alive and that meant she needed a truck.

  Liz does like GT and sportscar racing as her piece she did for sportscarpros
on the ALMS will show, the woman moves fast. At the moment Liz is living near
Reno on “Misfit Ranch”, a large sprawling area near Pyramid Lake best known for
being the backdrop for the last film appearances of Clark Gable and Marilyn
Monroe in “The Misfits. Sometime we will run her story of a weekend with a Ford
Lightning and a Bruce Springsteen gig.

  “I began driving trucks and trailers when I was 12 years old.  Every summer for
several years was spent working on a large peach ranch.  My job was grading
peaches which included driving to, through and from the fields in a Model A
pickup, a 1940's Chevy truck and an assortment of small farm tractors.... 7 days a
week through the summer peach season.  Each vehicle pulled a 16-foot trailer
laden with peaches.  Aside from learning to drive old trucks with manual
transmissions, we had to learn to negotiate through the orchards with vehicle and
trailer.  "Be sure to swing wide" the foreman told me on my first attempt through
the trees.... I did and drove that Chevy truck right into a tree!  Did I mention that
shifting, steering and stopping were the biggest challenges in those old trucks?
But I was in heaven.... I was DRIVING and make enough money to support my
horse habit”.

Bad Night at The Whiskey
  “Like any horse crazed girl all I wanted was my own truck...and my first ride was
an MGBGT and then a Triumph, a BMW, and we had a Porsche for a short time but
I've always had a truck too. I think I've driven just about every model of Ford or
Chevy made, including, for a time, a 72 Ford 4wd diesel with a manual
transmission...while I was pregnant and for a time after the baby came. With
children I needed a truck that could haul horses, kids, dogs and various farm
animals and discovered crew cab duallys. They were perfect unless one needed
to go to the grocery store, the mall or pick up kids at school where a dually could
make it seem like a one way road to hell. For almost 20 years I drove a dually,
either a Ford or Chevy. I've had several. A Dodge is the only make I'd never owned
but always admired, but no more duallys for me.  I'm on the road a lot with my job
and in L.A. traffic they are just exhausting to drive. When Dodge came out with a
2500 quad cab short bed it seemed the perfect compromise. Drives like a car,
easy to park, decent fuel mileage, 4 doors and it can haul my horses on the
weekends. The diesel engine solved the gas mileage problem and a Cummins
no less with a turbo”.

Ram Tough
  “The Dodge media people were kind enough to give me the ultimate test drive....
the very truck I wanted for a week to haul my horses to a competition. A 2500
Cummins Diesel quad cab short bed although red would not be my first choice of
color.  I loved the visibility from the cab and pulling the trailer was so easy, it was
like it wasn’t there at all. All that torque from the big diesel. But the best part was
pulling into the Del Mar fairgrounds, where stable parking is notoriously tight, and
realizing that I could park just about anywhere because I had a short bed. This
truck feels like driving a car and after all the trucks I have owned, I know the

  After that drive, I purchased my own dark metallic blue Dodge 2500 quad cab
diesel and christened it with a drive to Las Vegas. It was comfortable, it parks like
a car, the cab is so roomy and on it's maiden trip got 16.5 miles per gallon. I love
it! Although I wouldn’t say no to a Porsche C4S.

    - Lizett Bond Jerome
August 2004

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Index Index
Back Back
F-250 & 935
F-350 & Nash
Terry and her 2
Tis the reason
Terry & her F-250
Liz & Lena
F 250 & trailer
Dodge 2500
Liz & a 2500
Drifty & Chesty
Burkhart Farms
When cows go bad
Good Whackie
Liz and her 2
Penned in
sportscarpros Across the Border

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