Freshman Parker Ray fixes up truck to former glory

After finding a truck on the side of the road, Ray and his grandfather spend their summer restoring it


Courtesy of Parker Ray

Ray and his grandfather work on their truck.

By Oliver Rubenstein, Reporter

This story begins at a deserted road in rural Kansas. Freshman Parker Ray and his grandfather spotted a run-down truck for sale at the side of the road. For many, the truck would be passed off as junk, but Ray and his grandfather saw a project awaiting them. 

Ray and his grandfather knew what they had to do. They purchased the truck for $2,200 and took it to his grandfather’s welding shop.

 “[We] slowly started tearing it down and taking stuff off,” Ray said. 

The process was strenuous, and involved plenty of physical labor, along with work requiring specialized skills like electrical wiring. 

“I had to pull all the interior out of it and redo the gauges and speakers. It was my first time ever doing anything electrical, and I’ve never had any experience with it before,” Ray said. 

Although Ray had his grandfather for assistance, he did the majority of the work on his own. 

“He let me do most of the work by myself,” Ray said. “But if I had a question, I could ask him and he could guide me a little bit.” 

Leading up to the project Ray didn’t do any preceding research. Since his grandfather was a mechanic, and his dad worked with cars, he has gained an intuition on how to work with cars from a very young age. 

“I’ve always kind of known mechanics since my grandpa used to build race cars and paint them, he kind of guided me on how to get it prepped for painting,” Ray said. “But then most of that I just figured out by myself.”

For 10 hours every day over his summer, Ray tediously worked on his project. 

“Every morning at six, we went up there,” he said. “And then we stayed until six o’clock in the afternoon.” 

It wasn’t until the end of the summer that he finally finished his project.

But this is only the beginning of Ray’s car journey. When asked if he could see himself having a future in cars, he mentioned that he already had a new project. 

“I was working on a farm this summer, and I saw a truck sitting down in the field,” Ray said. “I asked my employer about it, and he said I could have it since it doesn’t run.” 

Ray plans to get it running soon.  

“I think I’m going to do a little bit of work and not drop too much money into it,” he said. “That’s my next project.”