Labor of Love: A Father's Day Tribute
By: Jason Witt
I’ve always loved vehicles. Not just for their looks, but for the freedom they provide. My first go-cart, my first dirt bike, my first truck—they all gave me the freedom to escape. Whether hitting the trails or the open road, hauling fishing poles or heavy loads, a vehicle held power. And for a young boy growing up in a big world, freedom and power were very important.
It was my dad who helped me build my first go-kart. My dad who bought me my first dirt bike, a PW 80. And my dad who helped me buy my first truck, an ’87 Chevy Silverado, royal blue. I was only 14, but somehow I convinced him that it was never too early to invest in my future, and besides, I would need the next two years to get the thing dialed in time for my 16th birthday. I had big plans for my truck.
With my dad’s help, I replaced the small block 350 with a big block 454. I installed custom headers with x-pipe exhaust. I added blue LED lighting into the tips of the exhaust so it looked like blue flames trailing behind me. I added a roll-bar, halogen floodlights, and a Billet Grille. A truck wouldn’t be complete without four W6 subwoofers tucked in behind the seat and custom-built header with two 1000 watt Rockford Fosgate amps. We tore apart the entire wood bed to sand and replace all the bed pieces. I gave it some height with 38” TSL tires. Looking back it was all a little ridiculous. But this was a dream truck designed by a teenager. Can you blame me?
My dad will leave behind many legacies for his children, but among them, for me, is the love of a good vehicle. He taught me how to appreciate an engine, how to give it the proper love to keep it running for hundreds of thousands of miles. He taught me that building and maintaining a vehicle is a labor of love.
Today, my wife is five months pregnant with our first child. We just found out we’re having a boy. And I have to wonder: How will I be remembered?