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Mick's Miracle Truck.


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This is a true story from my life recently, and while it’s a bit long, it just might inspire and help some of you. It illustrates a couple things: how some businesses will try to outright cheat and lie to us, and secondly, how we can overcome things like this. A little over a year ago, I was in a car wreck, in which I was sandwiched between a Metro Bus and a speeding Cargo Van. Besides the emotional shock of having (yet another) near-death experience, and being inches from becoming “human roadkill”. I was physically okay. But my truck was not. The damage was substantial to the front bumper, grill, hood, right and left fender, driver’s door, and of course much of the body frame. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I had just dropped my Comp & Collision coverage a week prior. I was at fault in the wreck, so with no coverage beyond the minimum, I was stuck with the bill, the responsibility, and a mangled piece of metal.

I towed to a shop to get an idea of what it would cost out of my pocket. I said, “Just tell me what it would cost to make it drive-able. I just want to get it on the road. It doesn’t have to look pretty.” Their best prognosis was, “ Six Thousand to repair, but the truck itself is only worth about $2000, so it’s totaled, worthless, & it’s only ‘good for parts’.” Basically my truck was given up for dead. And now it was the joke of the town

Then, with virtually no experience in body work, I set out on a mission to fix it myself, simply from used parts and sheer determination. I started out by spending only about $100 to just get it back on the road. It was still an ugly sight, and I couldn’t even open the driver’s door, but at least it was drive-able. Finally, after spending only another $500 in used parts and repairing it myself, the truck now looks like brand new in the photo below. My only regret is that I didn’t take a “Before” picture so you could see how far it has come. So try to imagine a “heap of rubble”, for the “Before Picture”. And now, my friends are so impressed with my work, I actually have people offering to pay me to work on their vehicles, even tho I had no training or experience prior to this. The original color was a “Redskin Burgundy”. Now it’s a “Redskin Gold/Yellow” color, and soon to have some burgundy trim added to it, to make it complete.

I've been waiting for this day for over a year. And now, the end result is better than getting a brand new vehicle, because of the way my beloved and sentimental truck has “died and resurrected”. If anyone is curious about the name of this particular shop that gave such distorted advice, it’s National Collision Auto on Gunn Highway in Tampa. Negative publicity is a powerful thing, isn’t it, haha? No doubt, the shop probably didn’t want to mess with it, since they didn’t really believe I’d have spilled out enough cash to fix it thru them, with no insurance being involved. The truck that they told me was "only good for parts", ended up being repaired - from junk parts !!! Little did they know, that if they would have taken the time to give me a reasonable offer, such as maybe $3000-$4000, I probably would have been willing to pay them to do it. That’s how bad I wanted my truck fixed, since mechanically it’s been flawless from day one. And if I would have listened to their atrocious advice, by either dumping it at the junkyard, or paying them $5000 more to fix it, than it cost me to do it myself, it would have been a tragic mistake. But I found a better way and maybe you can too, if you find yourself in a situation remotely close to mine. Don’t believe everything people tell you.




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Great job Mick :cheers:

When you do the work yourself, you get a much much better appreciation of the end product. The truck looks great, Congrads :)

Thanks, you're exactly right about having a greater apprecaiation. In fact, I'm so hooked on it, that I'm tempted to go out and wreck the truck again, so I can continue the "joy of rebuilding" :laugh:

what kinda work did you do? $600 bucks sounds like a good deal vs 6k or even 3k. i assume you didn't have any frame damage.

Basically uninstalled the door, both fenders, hood, and grill. And yes, the frame was damaged, but I bent it back myself, just enough to where the new parts would bolt into the frame.

Thats awesome! do you have any before pics?

Unfortunately, I didnt take any. Because in the beginning, I didnt actually beleive I'd take it this far

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