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4 Lane – Memories in the Ivy

by Scott Mason

Memories can be a funny thing. They usually tie us to experiences in our past that we remember as fond, often times with friends or loved ones. Some have even been know to stir up emotions and experiences that we would like to forget. This story is one of those fond memories that starts with a father and son, and the experiences they shared with a truck.
In the 60’s and 70’s trucks were thought of as a tool, a machine to do work, not as a fine show vehicle. Function over form. No bells and whistles, just pure machine. Manual locks, seats and heat knobs, dial turn radio, crank windows with push out vent window – nothing like todays rolling living quarters.
East of Dayton, OH in the early 80s, in the small town of South Vienna, OH, Rodger Martin was busy building a life for himself and his family after relocating from the east coast. He had a few rental properties that kept him busy while trying to raise his young family. Rodger had a work truck, a 1967 C10, that he used to haul tools and supplies to the rentals. When Rodger’s son Lane was old enough to work, he would have Lane drive the ol truck down to the rentals and help him with the maintenance chores.
We all know that there are some vehicles that make it much easier to drive, especially when you are first learning. Lane was barely 13 and he didn’t have the ideal height to see out of the small back window, nor did he have the strength necessary to shift that 3 on the tree, crank that manual steering box or mash those manual brakes. It was everything he had to maintain control of that old work truck, but Lane enjoyed it because his dad was there to teach him and give him reassurance.
Eventually Lane got the hang of it, put on some pounds, and outgrew that old truck. Like many of us, he grew up and wanted his own car. He didn’t think much of that old truck after that, and eventually he moved out of town and got on with life. He wanted to get away from home and get out and see the world.
In the early 2000’s Lane moved to Chicago, Wrigleyville to be exact, and he had an apartment just behind left field at Wrigley Field. Now whether it was by chance or if he was somehow drawn to this spot is unknown, but Lane and his dad Rodger had both been lifelong Cubs fans. Im sure like many of us, he shared the love of sports with his dad. It was one thing that they really enjoyed doing together and that they had in common.
As Lane got older, he didn’t always see eye to eye with his old man. I’m sure many of us have shared a similar experience where you venture out on your own to make your own decisions and be your own boss. The last thing we want is someone telling us what to do. But as the years passed, he and his dad always enjoyed their time together watching sports, especially when it came to the Cubs.
Fast forward 20 years and Lane is busy with life and has his own career. He has moved back to the Dayton area to be close to his family and friends. As he got older, he realized that he was similar in many ways to his dad. Those same personality traits that he butted heads on where now showing though on him. Being closer to dad, he made an effort to watch as many Cubs game as each of their busy schedules would allow.
In 2016, everything changed. The same Cubs team they had been rooting for were now a pretty good team, good enough in fact to get into the playoffs, and eventually win the World Series. The first World Series for the “cursed” Cubs since 1908, a once in a lifetime experience for many Cubs fans. It was also a year that the health of Rodger took a turn for the worse. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and endured pain on a daily basis. But on that chilly day in early November, Lane and his dad were right there, side by side together watching the Cubbies make history. Oh what a special day it was in the Martin household, one they had been waiting for all their lives.
In the days leading up to that special win, and the months following, something started to change with Lane. He couldn’t stop thinking about all of the good times he and his dad had spent together over the years watching those Cubbies. About how they had dreamed about that seeming impossible day for decades, and then it happened, and how lucky he was to be able to share that special memory with him. With his dad struggling each day to get out of bed, Lane began to reflect on all of the things they had done together in the past. One of the things that stuck out the most was his dad teaching him to drive in that old work truck.
Like many of us, Lane was seeking a way to hang on to those fond memories of his dad. He started his search in late 2015 for a 1967 C10 with a small back window and with a step side bed, just like the one his dad had. By chance he was at the Springfield swap meet, just east of Dayton, and stumbled across the exact truck he was looking for in 2016. He could immediately tell it wasn’t from Ohio because the body was fairly solid. It had bad brakes, ran like it was missing a couple of plug wires, but it was THE truck, and he could see the old truck he remembered hiding in it.
Lane had some mechanical experience, but nothing close to the skills to get this ol truck back into running and driving order. He looked in the Dayton area for a shop but couldn’t find the right fit. After a bit of searching, a friend had mentioned a shop in Plain City, OH, about an hour east, was known for doing good work. Lane went over and met Adam Holderman, the owner of AA Customs, and liked what he saw and heard. Later on Lane leaned that this was the same shop that did the body and paint the LMC Truck C10 Nationals Week to Wicked giveaway truck for Classic Trucks. This solidified his decision to have AA do the work on the truck
Initially Lane only wanted AA Customs to doing some mechanical work, fix the brakes and replace the rear wiring (that was off a trailer). But after talking with Adam, and some help from an outside ad agency that helps automotive manufacturers create content for their products, Lane was able to do a complete restoration. Lots of new sheet metal from Golden Star Auto, and many new parts from LMC Truck, Right Stuff brakes, PUI Interior, Trim Parts, CFR Performance, CPP, Gandrud Chevrolet and more. Lane was only able to make a few trips to see the truck while in progress because of his busy schedule.
One thing was for sure, Lane wanted this truck to be a tribute to his dad, the Cubs and their World Series Championship. With the help of Adam’s wife Jena, Lane picked out a Cubbie blue color with a white top. He also had AA Custom’s Mirek Miroslav, a body work master and airbrush expert, paint a Cubbie bear on the air cleaner and a brick wall with ivy on the glove box with Lane’s dads initials. The truck is truly a unique tribute.
Lane’s dad, Rodger, knew that Lane wanted to build this truck as a way of remembering his him and all of the memories they had together. Unfortunately, Rodger lost his battle with cancer and passed away in September of 2017. Rodger never got to see the finished truck, but he knew that Lane had special plans for that truck and his reasons for doing so. They went for some cruises in the truck a few times before it became undriveable and taken to AA.
In early May of 2018, Adam loaded the truck into a trailer and hauled it to the LMC Truck C10 Nationals for its debut. Lane had not seen the truck in some time, so it was his first time seeing the truck completed. Lane was ecstatic with the results and couldn’t wait to show his mother when they got back to Ohio. During the show, Lane got to take laps around Texas Motor Speedway in his truck. This was the first time he had driven the truck and was overcome with emotion. A truck that meant so much, and that brought back so many memories, he was driving it for his first time, and in this setting. The truck won the Best All American award at the event, not bad for a debut.
This is another classic story of how a truck can have a personal connection. Like many similar stories, this one is unique to Lane and his family, and reminds us all why we enjoy this hobby. We like the way these trucks make us feel – youthful and free. There is an emotional connection to a past that we want to relive. The journey we have finding and finishing the truck is just as fun (most of the time) as the end result. It’s one of the best ways we can try to rebuild those memories from the past and hang on to them. We also pass down new memories by sharing these trucks with the younger generations.
Yes, we all have responsibilities and stress in life, but when we get behind the wheel with our elbow out the window, life seems to soften a bit. We forget about life just long enough to remember yesterday and the journey it took to get us here today. I like to call it a vacation, one tank full of gas at a time.

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