Running his hands over the shiny mint green paint, Carl Bunch feels a strong connection with his 1964 Chevy truck.
It gets noticed around town a lot with complete strangers stopping him to get a closer look. The truck itself seems to have its own reputation.
But the vintage ride is so much more for Bunch. It was his late father’s truck, and it’s not just a ride....it’s a reminder.
“It’s what I have of my Daddy’s,” Bunch said. “It’s a nice truck. In fact, it’s really nice for it to be so old. It’s a smooth ride. It’s just a good truck.”
Bunch’s father purchased over 50 years ago.
“My dad bought it brand new,” Bunch said. “I really don’t remember him buying the truck. He just always had it.”
Bunch was born in 1958, but he always remembers the Chevy as being “Daddy’s truck.”
“It was just his truck,” he said. “This is the only vehicle I ever remember him having. Sure, he had some old used cars. But he always had this truck.”
Bunch said he would often take the truck for a joyride when he was a kid.
“By it being a standard shift, when we were kids, we used to press the clutch, push it down the street, crank it up and drive back,” he said.
When Bunch’s father passed away in the early 1980s, the truck remained in the family. But it sat parked in the apartment complex where he was father was living at the time.
“The truck was just sitting over there,” Bunch said. “It really didn’t look that good then. It was just an old truck.”
And it seemed like no one wanted it.
“My brother was gone, and the rest of my siblings were sisters,” Bunch said. They really didn’t have any desire for a truck. So I charged the battery up and just drove it on home.”
It wasn’t long before Bunch started a few small jobs on the truck. And he soon realized that he liked working on it.
“I just got to mingling and bumping around with it, so I decided I would try to fix it up,” he said. “I decided to paint it, put some rims on it. Most of the work I did myself, except for the paint job.”
Bunch wasn’t quite sure what color he wanted to paint the Chevy. So, he left it up to someone else.
“I just carried it out to the body shop on the highway in Little Yazoo,” he said. “I told them to paint it the color it was. He said, ‘you don’t want this old color here. Just leave it with me, and I will come up with a color.’”
Leaving for a vacation, Bunch left his truck, unsure of what he would return to find.
But when he saw the mint green paint greet him when he returned...the truck had become officially his own.
“When I came back and saw it, I was really satisfied with the color,” he said, with a smile. “I get a lot of compliments on the truck, but I think it has a lot to do with the color.”
Bunch said he regrets later changing the original motor out from the truck, but it was unavoidable with a number of mechanical issues popping up.
Over the years, Bunch has attended car shows. But he was never entered one.
“Everybody tells me to go to Cruising on the Coast,” he said. “I was coming from the coast, and I saw all those classic vehicles heading that way. Boy, you talk about a fire that was lit under me. I needed to be heading that way in my truck.”
For now, Bunch stays around Yazoo City in his Chevy. He likes taking it out and riding the same streets he grew up on.
But for Bunch, it is more than just a ride.
“This is my dad’s truck, and I ride in it,” he said. “I live in my Mom’s house. It lets me still have a connection to them.”
Throughout the conversation, Bunch never really calls the Chevy “his truck.” It’s almost as if the truck will always be his father’s.
But it’s in good hands.