Ole Blue! I love Ole Blue! I love this truck so much that I have actually had to fight with my mom and Cody to keep it. Once I came up with a way for us to make money from Ole Blue instead of the nickle and diming that goes along with old things, they were sold on keeping him. BUT that doesn’t mean that Ole Blue doesn’t give us a hassle from time to time…
History of Ole Blue
Ole Blue is a 1962 Jeep Willys (pronounced willis). He was originally owned by a lady named Trudy who was a family friend of Cody’s grandma, Leona. She lived up on the hill south of the ranch and used it to plow snow. Trudy gave Ole Blue to Grandma when she moved to Texas for health reasons. Ole Blue was then used on the ranch for hauling hay, checking cattle, and irrigating. He was gifted to Cody from his grandma when he expressed an interest in him. Grandma told Cody to load it up and take it away so he and a friend did just that. When they loaded up Ole Blue, his bench seat had been completely worn out from weather and mice, leaving only a few springs. Cody had Ole Blue stored at his job site in Yuma, CO, when we first met.
When Cody left that job to move closer to me, he moved it to his friend Jack’s house (a 90 year old friend). It wasn’t working during that time and was stored there for about 9 months. Cody then took it to some friends in Wiggins where they were able to get it running again (replaced brake lines, took out some dents, new tires, welded some holes in floor boards, and put a bench seat in). We brought Ole Blue with us to Loveland for a short time before buying our house in Severance and moving him there. Ole Blue hung out in our driveway for a long time without much attention.
After our second child, we decided, with much reluctance on my part, to sell Ole Blue. Cody and my mom felt that the money would be a better gain for us. Listing it on Craig’s List for several months with very little response made us stop actively seeking a buyer. We were scheduled to do Vintage Market Days of North Central Colorado in September of 2016. This was Ole Blue’s turning point but it wasn’t his first adventure with us…
Maternity Photos – A Narrow Adventure
Our first adventure with Ole Blue started with a maternity photo shoot with our oldest daughter. I was 3 months pregnant and starting to show. We had a wonderful photographer who happened to be our next door neighbor, Derek Mogensen Photography. Derek had already done our wedding photos and wanted to go up to Storm Mountain Road near Estes Park. And we wanted the truck to go with us… this meant needing to find a trailer to get it up there. Cody was able to borrow a truck from one of his co-workers. The road is very narrow and isn’t wide enough for passing with a trailer. Needless to say, it was a bit of a harrowing experience and I was pretty anxious by the time we got to the top. On top of it all, I was wearing jeans that were starting to fit a bit snug which I rubber banded to keep up. At the top I had to pee so bad due to the nerves! After finding a tree to relieve my bladder, we had a wonderful photo shoot (even though sneezing and tight jeans caused me some grief during the shoot, oh what pregnancy does to us!).
On the way down we were greeted by an old mountain man who had to stop us for a good 5 minutes to talk about the truck. Everyone we meet loves Ole Blue… well almost everyone…
Keeping Ole Blue – A Joyous Adventure
After moving Ole Blue with us to Severance, we had a neighbor move in nearby who has continually complained about him being parked in the driveway. Per our covenants, we are allowed to park him there as long as he is licensed and driveable. Both of which are true. I finally had to send the HOA a letter asking them to stop sending us warning letters or I would file a lawsuit for harassment. They stopped… but that still had us questioning whether we should keep Ole Blue. He wasn’t driven much and isn’t conducive to toting two kiddos around.
We decided to put Ole Blue on Craig’s List (I was very reluctant but it wasn’t my decision). After trying to sell Ole Blue for a year without much interest, we stopped actively seeking a buyer. We did have one serious prospect but he wanted to take Ole Blue back to his original condition and that was more money than he wanted to invest.
We were signed up for Vintage Market Days of North Central Colorado when we received an email from the organizer looking for a vintage vehicle for the show. I emailed right away thinking this would be a great opportunity to sell Ole Blue. They said they would love to have him at the show.
We drove him up there! Cody followed me and I drove our other truck with the trailer. It was nerve wracking for me to drive through the canyon which was, and still is, under construction. Ole Blue likes to stall out from time to time when he stops. With the stop and go of the construction we were worried about this the whole way up. Fortunately Ole Blue pulled through and made it to the top without any problems. We had a great show and Ole Blue brought in so much attention with people wanting to take photos with him. I looked at Cody and said, “What are we doing? We can’t sell Ole Blue! We need to use him as a rental for photographers and weddings!” Cody looked at me with a big smile and that was it, we were keeping Ole Blue. Funny thing is, we had a lot of people at the show offer to buy him. I am so glad we have kept him!
First Photo Shoot – A Gassy Adventure
After this first show, we got our first wedding booking for Ole Blue. He was booked for a wedding at the Tapestry House in north Fort Collins. When we dropped Ole Blue off, he immediately started leaking gas out of the gas tank. We were able to get a temporary patch on the pin hole in the tank, whew! It was a very stressful 30 minutes though, as we had the girls with us and the bride was due to arrive at any moment. Ole Blue made it through without any problems. Back at home, Cody got a more permanent patch put on. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any photos from the wedding.
Winter Shows – Success and Loss Adventure
We took Ole Blue to two more shows in the beginning of 2017, Old House Vintage Market and Rebel Junk. We didn’t have any issues at either of these shows with the gas tank. But on our way home from Old House Vintage Market, while I was following Cody with the trailer and the girls in the truck at 9pm, Ole Blue died at a stop light. It was January and Cody had the heater going which shorted something on the truck and he died. We were right next to Timberline Church Windsor where my cousin happens to be the pastor. Cody took the truck and trailer to the church parking lot while I stayed with Ole Blue to keep anyone from hitting it. STUPID!!! I stood out there in the dark intersection waving cars down as they came by to keep them from hitting the jeep. Silly and risky… a nice vehicle gave me their flashlight as they had a hard time seeing me and wanted me to be safe. Cody came back and we hooked up the jeep and towed it home. On the way we passed a cop and had no lights on Ole Blue…fortunately we weren’t pulled over. Once home, I got the girls to bed while Cody went back and got the trailer. We were able to get Ole Blue running again with a jump start. Rebel Junk went off without a hitch until we lost the ignition key at the end of the show… ugh! This meant we had to tow Ole Blue home.
We recently got the windshield replaced on Ole Blue as well as a new key made. Cody called around to a few places to figure out getting a new key made. Here are the responses he got!
Guy #1 – “I don’t work on anything older than 1990!”
Gal #2 – “It would be at least $200. It would be easier for us if you took the ignition out and brought it in.” Cody asked, “How much will it be then?” Gal replies, “At least $100 and I am not even sure when I can get you in.”
Guy #3 – “Yes, I am out of town today but can help you tomorrow.”
At this point Cody felt we should just buy a new ignition and put it in. I called guy #3 back the next morning at 7:30am expecting to leave a message. He answered! Bob with B&J Lock and Key was amazing! He checked to see if he had the right blank and, if not, if he could order a new ignition. He quoted me $125 and said he could be out by 10am. Bob came out and was so incredibly professional. He made us two new keys for the truck as well as a couple of other keys I wanted duplicated and the whole thing only cost me $57! Ole Blue was ready for the next show!
Ole Blue has been booked for 3 other shoots this summer, we are very excited to have him go to another wedding, a boudoir shoot, and a family photo shoot. Cody’s twin brother told him he would be happy to help deliver Ole Blue to the boudoir shoot, lol!
Spring Show – Another Gassy Adventure
Ole Blue was scheduled to go back up to Estes Park for Vintage Market Days of North Central Colorado. The weather for this late May show ended up being absolutely crazy with over 3 feet of snow! We started out driving Ole Blue up when part way through Fort Collins, the windshield wipers went out! We decided to park him at my parents’ house and then trailer him up later in the day. I got on the phone with Uhaul right away and scheduled a vehicle trailer rental.
We then headed up the mountain. Boy am I glad we didn’t have Ole Blue with us. The roads were terrible and they ended up closing the road down right after we got into Estes Park. We unloaded the trailer and headed back to Fort Collins. We decided to take Ole Blue up the next morning instead. Getting Ole Blue loaded on the trailer was an adventure in itself as the snow made it difficult to load. My mom came out with buckets of pink sand from the girls’ sandbox to help Ole Blue gain traction just as Cody got him loaded all the way.
We drove up on Friday morning and got Ole Blue set up in the booth but not without fully loading him up too!
After a rough start, the show was going well… or so we thought! At 8am Saturday morning I got this text from Travis, the owner of VMD, “Hey, your truck is leaking fuel from the tank. So they said you have to remove it and then we can’t start a show until it’s cleaned up. Please get here quickly.” UGH!!! We hustled over. The patch had failed and the leak was there again. We got it cleaned up and I begged the fire marshal to let us drain the gas off the tank and put the truck back in. I think I could have had him convinced to let me but the new grounds guy wasn’t having it. Bummer! Cody put Ole Blue on the trailer and took him home on Saturday afternoon. Travis was very gracious and understanding about it.
In all of the mishaps with Ole Blue, we still love him. We know that owning a vintage truck comes with its ups and downs. Ole Blue will be getting a new side window and a new gas tank in the next couple of weeks. We look forward to many more adventures with Ole Blue!
You can find out more info on renting Ole Blue for your next adventure here!
~ Jennifer and Cody