Dad's old truck a People's Choice winner for Dunsmuir man

Steve Gerace
Sam Blanton and daughter Lisa in Ole Black in the Castle Street intersection in Mount Shasta after Saturday's Mount Shasta Police Department Car Show.

Sam Blanton joked that his story never changes.

The Dunsmuir resident won the People’s Choice Award in Saturday’s 26th annual Mount Shasta Police Department Car Show with a 1957 Ford F100 he originally purchased in June 2010.

Parked in the Castle Street intersection after the awards presentation with his daughter Lisa in the passenger seat, Blanton said he found the F100 in a backyard in Weed.

“I was looking for an old truck for firewood,” Blanton said. “I bought it for $400, a price I could afford.”

Then he tracked the old pickup’s history through two owners in Weed and back to Mallory Chevrolet in 1963.

Then he said he realized that the back bumper was the same homemade back bumper that his father had made for the F100 their family owned when they moved from Mississippi to Dunsmuir in 1960.

Knowing that he had his dad’s old truck, Blanton changed his plan for it. “I tore it down to the frame and started over,” he said.

With a lot of coaching from his wife Kathy’s cousin, Gary Truttman, Blanton said he rebuilt the truck with mostly original parts and some safety updates.

He had 300 Facebook friends following the progress as the vehicle was reborn. They all started calling it Old Black, because that was its original color. After it was finished and painted red, Blanton changed its name to Ole Black.

“Everybody was calling it Old Black, so I didn’t want to change it too much,” he said.

Blanton said Ole Black “wouldn’t have been this nice” without Truttman’s help.

“I didn’t know anything about body work when I started,” Blanton said. Truttman, owner of Color Blender Auto Body on Montague Road in Yreka, “coached me, gave me use of his tools and his shop. I have to hand him a lot of credit.”

Ole Black came out of the shop in September 2011, and Blanton started showing it in June 2012.

Saturday’s People’s Choice Award was Ole Black’s 11th and Blanton’s first in the annual Mount Shasta Police Department Labor Day weekend car show.

“I have a ’68 Chevelle I’ve brought here but never won anything. Now I win with my old truck,” Blanton laughed.

He said his dad bought the truck in Mississippi in 1957 and brought it west to Dunsmuir in September 1960 when they moved there so he could take a logging job.

Blanton said they drove it to Mississippi and back for Christmas in 1960, ’61 and ’62. “Then dad traded it in to Mallory Chevrolet for a new truck.”

The list of winners from among approximately 120 vehicles entered in Saturday’s 26th annual Mount Shasta Police Department Car Show in downtown Mount Shasta. Winners are listed by award name, winners’ name, make and model, and sponsor:

MAYOR’S CHOICE

Bob and Dottie Sales, Burney, 1977 Cadillac Eldorado Camino, ECI Flooring

CHAMBER CHOICE

Bob Haynes, Lake Almanor, 1956 Chevy 210 2-door, The Fifth Season, Inc.

LONGEST DISTANCE TRAVELED

Tim Blanton, Marysville Wash., 2011 Kia Soul, Mt. Shasta KOA

CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL

Tom and Rose Harris, Yreka, 1942 Ford Cp, Mt. Shasta Runners, Inc.

DISTRICT ATTORNEY’S CHOICE

David Jenkins, Weed, 1951 Chevy Pickup, Siskiyou Opportunity Center

DISPATCHER’S CHOICE

Barbara Bedner, Dunsmuir, 1967 Austin Healy Sprite, Scott Valley Bank

OFFICER’S CHOICE

Jim and Linda Ayers, Redding, 1957 Dodge Power Wagon, Nicolet Glass Centers

MERCHANT’S CHOICE

Jim Collins, Shasta Lake, 1940 Ford Pickup, Mt. Shasta Animal Hospital

SHERIFF’S CHOICE

Jerry and LaDora Cooper, Redding, 1965 Chevrolet Corvette (pro street), Shasta Family Care

FIRE CHIEF'S CHOICE

Gary Brinkman, Yreka, 1956 Ford Pickup, Siskiyou Central Credit Union

POLICE CHIEF’S CHOICE

Frank Vita, Auburn, 1955 Chevy 2-door Wagon, Wholesale Solar, Inc.

PARTICIPANT’S CHOICE

Rita Kurth, Redding, 1946 Ford Custom, Stanley Steemer of No. Cal

STAFF CHOICE

Rich and Patti Williams, Central Point, Ore., 1965 Ford Mustang, Mt. Shasta Shell

PEOPLE’S CHOICE

Sam and Kathy Blanton, Dunsmuir, 1957 Ford F100, Mt. Shasta Ambulance

MSPD Car Show Winners 2014