The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 3, 2010

Carthage hot rod bound for Australia

By Andy Ostmeyer
Globe Metro Editor

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Don and Rosemary Going’s 79-year-old Chevy pickup has enough life left in it for one more journey.

It will be a doozy of a trip, though.

The 1931 truck, modified as a hot rod, will begin this week traveling halfway around the world, to the land Down Under. Specifically, Melbourne, Australia.

Don Going sold the vehicle through a friend in Arkansas, who advertised it online.

He’s not surprised, though, that someone on the other side of the planet would buy such a vehicle, and pay the thousands of dollars it will take to have it shipped.

Vehicles like it are a rarity, he said.

“Chevys had so much wood in them, and they rotted down and they just threw them away,” Going said of the old trucks.

The beds were made of wood, and the paneling on the inside of the doors was made of wood, as were the floorboards and “all the framing for the cab.”

“You just don’t see very many of them,” he said. “Very rare. I know of three that I have seen in all the shows I have been to.”

He has been to a lot of shows, and he has a room full of trophies won by the truck.

“I am going to send those to him,” Going said of the trophies. “My wife don’t like to dust them anyway. She said they are dust collectors.”

Going said he found the truck in 1999.

“I had a backhoe service, and (the seller) called and wanted some gravel,” he said. “I seen it sitting there, so when I settled up with him I said, ‘Want to sell that truck?’”

Several months later, after Going’s persistence, the two men came to a deal. Going got the truck for $750, but it was in “real poor” condition, he said. The engine and wheels had locked up.

He put a lot of years and thousands of dollars into the old vehicle, and a lot of parts. The original was a flatbed, but Going used parts from a 1951 pickup for the bed. An axle came from a 1991 Dodge truck, and the engine was made in 1985. He tapped a Hyundai for the rack-and-pinion steering.

“It’s like the old Johnny Cash song, ‘One Piece at a Time,” except I didn’t steal it,” said Going.

In the song, a man who spends his life making Cadillacs that he knows he never will be able to afford begins taking a part home each day. What he ends up with is a Cadillac constructed over a period of years with parts and colors from many different makes.

While he won’t disclose the sale price, Going said it will cost the buyer at least $5,000 to have the vehicle shipped to Australia.

Asked why he is parting with it, Going said: “I got bad eyes, and this is my last year for driving. ... It has been my baby. I got a picture in my billfold right by my driver’s license.”

Andy Ostmeyer is the metro editor for The Joplin Globe.


Don Going plans to keep his 1967 Dodge A100, a stub-nose pickup with a Mercedes diesel engine. Although he won’t be able to drive it much longer because of his vision problems, he said his wife, Rosemary, will take him to car shows with it.

“I am going to have my wife try to learn to drive it,” Going said.