Lost for over two decades in a barn in the rural farming community of Rochelle, Illinois sat a lonely pickup truck. Gone were her glory days of cruising the streets, running down roads sided by growing corn and upholding her duty as a work truck for a local business.
She began her life rolling off the assembly line completed in Flint, Michigan in 1972 ironically only about 40 miles from where I, myself grew up but many years later. She was sold and sent to Rochelle, Illinois about 80 miles west of Chicago.
Stamped across her door from the years spent as a work truck she still bears the city name from the business location. For unknown reasons, the last sticker placed on the truck was in 1984 and artifacts found within are dated to a similar era, leading research to believe that was one of the final years the truck was driven. The tires are also very old, mismatched and advertise themselves as being “tubeless”.
Luckily, she is still in running condition and must have been cared for enough to keep her operational. The things that this truck has been through seem to be astonishing. On April 9, 2015, a large and deadly tornado struck Rochelle, Illinois with barreling winds of 200 mph and caused nearly 20 million in damage.
Pulled from the barn estimated around the end of 2018, this 1972 GMC Stepside pickup was auctioned online and sold to a shop in Mobile, Alabama. So if you are curious as to where the truck has gotten its name, it came from the state I purchased her in.
I had recently bought a boat a month before and decided my VW New Beetle would not have the strength to pull it. My father who has an extensive knowledge of classic cars found the truck for sale on Craigslist.
We rented a U-Haul and my parents and I drove from Panama City, Florida to Mobile, Alabama. This is a nearly three hour car ride to pick up the truck. The truck was driven onto the trailer and we brought her home. I was thinking of a name for her (because I name everything) and decided on Alabama because that is where we met.
We stopped at Love’s as we brought her home and didn’t reach Panama City until the middle of the night. I remember looking back out the rear window watching as Alabama was coming home with us and the smile that would not leave my face. She needed a lot of work but I knew it would be worth it in the end.
Stay tuned for more posts and videos about Alabama’s Road to Restoration!
Thanks for reading and as always, “Keep on truckin'”-Violet Sky