The truck as performance art

It’s been a few weeks since I got my first look at what I’ve started thinking of as “the Eldon truck.” It’s sitting outside the garage of a local mechanic who one day hopes to find the time to bring it back to life. In a bizarre example of cosmic coincidence, it’s the same year (’79) and model (Series III) as my Land Rover. While I’ve yet to get my hands on my truck, I have been allowed to poke around inside the Eldon truck.

The the owner of the truck (now deceased) reportedly bought it new in 1979 and wasn’t bashful about “enhancing” it over the years, the flyswatter and fan being to of my favorite mods.

As a general rule I tend to be clutter-averse. I like things tidy. But sitting in the driver’s seat of this old truck, it’s hard not to get a sense of performance art. There’s a Rube Goldberg Machine quality to all his little tweaks.

In the photo above, note the Mystery Knob. I don’t think this was merely decorative. It had some purpose but the old man took that with him when he went.

My truck will arrive in pristine condition. Seems unlikely I’ll live long enough to give it the character of this beauty. I’ll do my best.

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