Little while ago we launched our first #ratethistruck competition on our Facebook page in which we asked people that “liked” our page ti submit photos of their trucks to be rated by everyone.
Many of you applied, but the winner can be only one and this time that place was reserved for Blaine from Witchita, Kansas and his Jeep, “The Pumpkin”.
When Blaine contacted us, he intrigued us with this great ride and we are glad that we got the chance to talk to him about it!
Neotrucks: Hello, please introduce yourself to our readers
Blaine: Hello y’all I’m Blaine from Wichita, Kansas, I’m happy y’all chose THE PUMPKIN - [at] least that’s what I named her!
Thought you would like to see the 3 year frame off restoration. Every subassembly right down to the gauges, wiring harness, front end rear end, motor trans, front end rear end steering column, dash interior, total disassembly and renovation . Hope everyone out their likes it.
Why did you chose to buy Jeep Honcho? Are you fan of this particular brand?
As far as particular brands of trucks I like, [it] really doesn’t matter as long as they have some serious giddy up. My daily driver is my 2011 Ford Raptor, need I say more! I’m a Motörhead, I love horsepower!
What motivated you to restore and build this truck?
As far as restoration goes, my best friend (Marvin) and I do it as a hobby, past time. On every restoration we literally frame off everything, and I mean everything. We have restored a 1972 Ford Bronco, my J10 Honcho, Ford 8N, 1948 Jeep CJ, and currently an old John Deer. The only thing we do not do is the powder coating and upholstery of the seats, everything else we do, we even make on occasion the wiring harnesses!
Well back to the meat of this story, my 1982 Jeep Honcho Sportside. We tore the Jeep down in its entirety, literally every bolt, nut, spring, etc. — even the steering column to the instruments! Originally, we were not going to until I literally crawled under it and lifted the passenger side of the cab off the frame.
I looked at my buddy, he looked at me and read my mind — out came the big tools and a trailor for parts, and a designated spot for the next 3 years. Yes, three!
Now the real worries started. It isn’t like they are on every street corner. It’s really one of the rarest produced pickups, so myself and the computer started a long lasting love affair. The answer came when we discovered that from the back of the cab forward, all the Grande Wagoners, Comanches etc., are the same.
So, after a sigh, we hunted down the donors. Find about 6 and you’ll make — one.
Thank God the bed and rear fenders were relatively descent. I will tell you, Jeeps are relatively mechanically simple.
Now, when it comes to body lines you got your hands full — get ready to make your own sanding blocks. That part sucks, we rebuilt everything literally, put a rear end new springs, front end motor trans, steering columns, joints everything, one of a kind I’m told. Get ready for this shocker: if you can’t do 99.9 percent and you are thinking of restoring one of these — 1st of all good luck finding one worth it, and number two, after you purchase it, sell it! Call Barrett auction and when they roll one across the stage BUY IT, haha!
The hours that is in this honcho are [counted in] thousands, and if you had to pay for this renovation in labor I can’t imagine! That’s not parts, they were relatively affordable. The motor is a 5.9 360 v8, I kept it a 2 barrel, you see, this one won’t get drivin’ much, only because of my respect for the rarity of it. I’ll show it, though.
What’s the end result, can you describe us everything that was done to this beautiful classic?
The glass is all new, tinted. We cut out the driver’s side rocker and put in and brazed a new one, we had to fabricate part of the right rears radius by the bumper, it had cancer, not much, but I wasn’t leaving. The trucks only bondo is a skim coat to prep for paint, it literally is reborn brand new.
I could have put the honcho stripe kit on I located, but chose not to. To me, it’s too busy and ugly. I added polished toe steel to the kicker panels in the cab not to hide rust (’cause there is none but in my opinion looks better). There is two fuel tanks original to the truck independently and the roll bar is also factory, but I added a cross bar to mount the spare. The front bull bar is factory, too.
I guess I became obsessed with the detail of this renovation, we worked literally most weekends, holidays and some evenings for 3 years, to get the pumpkin out of the patch.
Everything works in it and on it, it’s got electric windows, cruise tilt, no AC on this one boys, visor light on passenger side (for her)! It also has: two factory cigarette lighters, two under hood lights, the original headlight screens, as well as fog light screens (very rare, hard to find them). It has the original add on window visors, but I can’t decide if they are going back on, though.
New shocks, disc front brakes factory, cruise control.
The parts you do not want to mess up in disassemble are: the electric window tracks, front headlight adjustment screws and the instrument panel assembly.
[The last one is] kinda delicate and it has a lot of parts, tape and a numbering system for bulbs and vacuum lines to it, so pull it out a little bit and start your numbering process right away.
Permanent marker will be your best friend, vacuum diagrams — throw them away, no one makes an understandable one. LOL.
Get ready to purchase a lot of grade eight bolts, most snap right off or strip when you disassemble, remember to scribe reference points on your frame for body and bed points for reassemble.
3 coats paint, 6 coats clear
The color choice, 1968 got hugger orange, came about because I wanted to replicate my 1978 Dodge Power Wagon short bed 4×4 which was orange and black. So that’s it, color picked.
Everything has been painted: inside doors, cab, fenders, under the hood, firewall… All painted and clear coated. Wheels are original, though, but we powder coated roll bar fenders, we made the rear bumper and powder coated it ( I wouldn’t have used the factory if I could have, ugly, ugly, ugly, terrible design).
The interior I chose real tree AP, orange and camo you know need I say more — they go together.
Anything else you would add to it?
The only thing I wish I had for this truck now is gun rack (can’t seem to locate one yet) and believe it or not a CB RADIO and set of whips off the roll bar.
Old school ya know.
What was the hardest thing you did?
The hardest part of the rebuild was for me the chrome around the front window. After I installed the windshield, getting that back into the channel on the rubber seal was a bugger.
You take on one of these ground up deals prepare for setbacks and unaccounted expenses, but mostly take your time, don’t worry about gettin’ out there drivin’ it — that time will come.
I enjoyed every bit of the restoration of my Honcho, we took our time made sure it was right. This truck as you look at it is 100 percent, as it sits here, as I envisioned it before we even started tearing it apart. We always paint a picture in our minds and they turn out as such.
If I can say one more thing it is this: when you put your first scratch in it with a wrench adjusting something or your daughter rides her first bike into it, remember, it’s just a piece of metal. You can’t take it with you when your gone, but I darn well wish I could look down and see everyone fight over it after I’m gone.
You can contact Blaine!
If any of you have further questions or need advice feel free to contact me, and I’ll help all I can! E-mail: Blz f150 [at] yahoo [dot] com).
Thanks to y’all and happy trails.