Michigan Picking Trip – July 2018

A number of years ago, my friend Lee Makielski passed away. Lee and his father Ed were avid collectors of the early Dodge trucks. With the help of another friend, I was able to purchase the vehicle part of the estate. Carol and Diane treated us super nice while we were there. Diane made us iced tea and showed up in the afternoon with plates of cookies. We needed the break from the heat by then and welcomed the treats. I want to thank the family for allowing me the opportunity to share Lee and Ed’s passion back with others who treasure them as well. I sincerely appreciate the trust and friendship they all have shown me.

Don and Dan checking out the WC 27. Some goodies inside.
VC 1 Command under restoration, buried in parts.

A tribute to Lee and his father Ed. Not sure I can sell this door.
One of the storage rooms that we had to clear out. Some very interesting things found hidden in here.
One of several closed cabs we found scattered around. Several military and a few civilian models.

Lots of things hidden in the weeds. Too bad no one is using the equipment anymore. The berry farm has ceased operations.
VF401 hiding in the tall grass.
A Ben Hur was also lurking around.
Small mini dozer. Not military, but cool nonetheless. 
The crane attached to a halftrack that you cannot see. Thistles were quite tall here.
Had to use the garden tractor to move some things around until we could get the Deere going. Good thing we did not have anything too heavy to move!


VC1 chassis with some extras stacked on.

Sorting wheels and tires before we tried to move the carryall.
Been in there a while with all that dust on it. Threw a wheel on and it moved very easily.
Poor old half tonner. Nothing left to save on this one. It had become an organ donor. Filling in the ruts the tractor made. Almost rolled an ankle in the hole and Don had had enough.

Some of the stuff we took out of the main shop and the attic above.
Got the little Deere going. Without it, we would have had a tough time loading.
WC27 pulled out in the daylight. Super nice truck. Runs like a dream.
After a bit of farm trickery, I figured out how to start the big Deere. We had to keep the screwdriver close by.
Safe storage for the trip home. 
Starting the loading process.
Don in his familiar position. The man can pack 20 lbs in a 2 lb bag. He is invaluable to me, and a dear friend.
The first item on the flat deck. 
Heavy items in the tri-wall. Winches, transmissions, pto units, transfer cases. The box got very heavy.
The machine shed had tons more stuff to go thru. Lots of VC stuff here.
More shelves to clear. The backs of which revealed some really nice things.
Yes, under there is a VC5 open cab truck. You wouldn’t know it by the photo.

The ride out to the half track to extract the winch for my friend in TX, who demanded that we get it before we left. 

After a bit of thistle pruning we found what we came for.  Now, how do we get it off this thing?
Nothing a little gas axe action can’t fix!  Luckily, it was bolted in place and not riveted. 
I am on the phone with the man in TX.  Don is having a good laugh at the conversation about, “how bad do you want this thing?”. It ain’t gonna be cheap!  
A few extra cuts and a yank or two with the big Deere and we had it. Not for lack of injury though. Many burns from flying slag and the berry thorns were the size of small knives. I got hacked up good.
Not gonna go over the axles on the center of the deck. No clearance says Dan.
Just about loaded for the trip home. WC 27 went on the back and this load was done. Two more loads were done on subsequent trips back by Tracey our driver. 

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