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Customer Story: Travis D.

6/19/2019
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When I got out of high school, I had plans. Plans to be an unstoppable force in the corporate world. I set out to be a marketing and advertising professional, convincing myself that I would be the person that everyone depended on to get things done. I wanted to be an office hero, a leader that everyone looked up to. I used to want that. When I was 17, my grandparents both passed away within 2 days of each other. My mom and dad had to work a lot and couldn't afford childcare for my brother and me, so we spent most of our childhood with them. They practically raised us.

Losing them was a life-changing event for me. I say that to say the reason that I even know Speedway Motors is because my grandpa left me his 1954 Chevy 3100 1/2 ton 5 window deluxe cab truck. After my grandparents passed, my uncle inherited the truck and always said that he had plans to fix it up, but never did anything with it.

In 2013 my uncle passed away from late stage 4 cancer and that left my dad, the only person left of his family with the truck. He knew my plans for it and knew that I would want to fix it, so in 2014 I officially got the title for the truck and started to form a plan to get it running.

5 years later, it's not running just yet, but it is very close. I've tried to do what I can with the internet and social media to show my build to the world and people seem to like it. There is, however, a backlash from some folks who tell me sometimes that I'm just a millennial that doesn't even know how to start a lawnmower, so what business do I have fixing up an old Chevy Truck? Every video I make on YouTube, every Facebook post I make shows me trying to find answers to what some would consider elementary components of the build.

Some days, I wish my grandpa was still around so that he could show me what to do. What moves me is that I want to show the world that I can keep up with the older builders. If you want the next generation of hotrodders to enjoy their passion, encourage them, coach them and teach them all the things that you know so that they can enjoy the hobby too.

Everything about restoring that truck, I've had to learn how to do myself. I've had to build transmissions 5 or 6 times before I got it right. I've had to teach myself how to weld, tap threads, build a rear 3rd member, rebuild a transmission and many other things. I want the next generation to enjoy hot rodding and turning a wrench like I do. The more I build on this truck, the more it becomes a part of me, the more it becomes a device to connect with my late grandparents, and the more I learn to slow down and use my mind to solve problems. I don't want to be that corporate hero now. I just wait for 5 pm so I can go home and build my dream.

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