PHOTOS | HELEANA GENAUS
Life right now is marked by a whole lot of goodbyes. While it was easier to do this to an inanimate object, I still shed a tear as it left.
This Dodge pickup belonged to my husband's late Grandfather and sat abandoned in a paddock on their property in the Southern Tablelands of NSW for decades. Having been out there many times for cracker nights and bonfires, in 2008 I finally decided to buy the dodge from the family to get it back on the road.
Given the dry country it sat in for generations the only rust was from mud built up on the brackets over the front wheels. Otherwise, it was just seized up and unloved.
I never worked out what year it was manufactured, but the model was produced between 1948-1952, characterised by the split windscreen, curved rear side glass, 4 cylinder side valve engine and a whole lotta space under the bonnet.
My plan was for it to be a daily drive, so we looked at only keeping the body and chassis original and using the diff, drive train and engine off a V8 holden to give it more grunt in city traffic. Dad was keen to restore the engine anyway but I didn’t have the time or money to restore it nor did I have any hot rod intentions, so the approach was to get it road ready, looking brand new and not lose money in its value.
Needless to say, we never really got there however her new owners are old hats at restoring Dodge trucks and so I couldn’t think of a more worthy home. Can’t wait to see what they do with it, no doubt I’ll probably cry again on that day.
I was going to name the truck “Judy” after my husband's Grandmother who stands a beacon of resilience for her family. She has an International parked out there too from the same time... in better condition... just waiting for me.
Side note: apparently the direct translation of "Petrolette" in french is an old abandoned truck (or something like that). Maybe when I saw this truck I was really looking for IVV.... or maybe I just wanted a project.
Heleana is a force of nature. The founder of In Venus Veritas and The Petrolette, and a co-founder of Rising Sun Workshop. Heleana shares her love of vintage cars, riding motorcycles, and (not-so-secretly) dreams of flying planes and piloting a riva aquariva (a la Sophia Loren) very fast through the canals of Venice. Supportive and connected, community is her lifeblood, and she is as real as they come.