Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Maine Convertible

I had a brand new adult trike in my truck yesterday morning. I had promised to deliver it over to Mabel's house in Alfred. Then I was just going to go to the bike shop. On my way in as is my habit when burning some fossil fuels instead of calories on my bicycle, I stopped for a large "Regulah" at the Shapleigh Coffee Drive Thru.

That is not it's name. The Shapleigh Coffee Drive Thru has been around a few years now. I have never taken the time to remember it's name. All I know is they have good coffee and I don't have to get out of my truck to get it. Pretty handy for those occaisional mornings when I might forget to put on some britches before leaving the house. The girls inside are friendly and always offer Stub a treat when I have her with me. What's in a name anyway? Maybe today is the day I file it in my "remembered forever" file. Most likely not though.

I usually pull in and there is never anyone in front of me. I was surprised to find this wonderful Maine convertible in front of me at the coffee shop. Mainers love their pickups. But when the thermometer inches past 70 or 75'F, many of us will go to extreme lengths to have our pick up and a convertible too.

The folks from away who want to fit in will try to buy their way into a Maine Convertible. Put in a sun roof, a fancy slide window. It takes more than folding money to own the real deal. A real Maine convertible is a labor of love and rust. Once the corners of the cab have some decent sized rust holes, it only takes a few minutes with a Sawzall to really open her up. Toss the doors out behind the barn and I tell you what mister man, the air will really flow through at 50 mph. At 60mph, hold onto your hats.

This fellow must be from Shapleigh or Lebanon though. You can tell. Well, maybe you can't tell, but I can. No self respecting Actonite would be out in their best rig without at least one of their hounds battened down in the back with towing chain. But the real clue is the fact this guy did not have a tailgate. Or at least a solid chunk of 5/8 ply across the back to keep his beer bottles from rolling off onto the road. Jeezm, them bottles is worth a nickel apiece. Real Texas League-rs those folks from Shapleigh are. That's for sure. There's reasons you have to cross a bridge into Shapleigh from Acton. This is one of them.


GJG said...

ya gotta keen eye for details---and reading your blog is down right educational. Maine Convertibles----who knew??

Noah said...

My wife and I had this ye-olde Ford Aerostar, from the first production run in the US. I don't remember what model year it was. I was in the middle of replacing a bunk transmission in it when I just lost interest and set it up on blocks. We already had 3 other cars. If I ever got it running again, I was going to sawzall it up pretty much like this.

Leave the windshield and the B-pillars for some kind of structure, sawzall the bottom 12 inches of the doors off and weld them into place. Sawzall the back of the van so it looked kinda like a pick-em-up truck, then rivet scrap metal over all the open bits. Finish off by covering the whole van (inside and out) with rhino lining before installing shower drains in the floor and putting the seats back in -- with new waterproof upholstery, of course.

It would have been one mean mama, let me tell you.

We let some rednecks (more redneck than I, believe you me) haul it off for $100. We didn't realize that they'd show up with a dodge ram pick-up that had a tow-truck sling hoist held into the bed with rusty carriage bolts. And I thought MY project was crazy.

Missy's Blog said...

Loved this post ... I thought this kind of vehicle was only found in the south. I was born and raised in Florida and they look very familiar. (smile).

Demeur said...

Red Green would be proud of you guys. "Remember if the women don't find you handsome at least they'll find you handy."

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