EVERY TRIP HAS A MISSION
*A few weeks ago, I received and email from a gentleman named Mark Colby who attached a story that his then 11 year old son had written about their family's decades-long hunt for a '34 Chevy Panel. I thought it was great, I think you will too. Thank you, Carter Colby for this fantastic story:
Everyone has a car they have dreamed of or wished they didn’t get rid of. My dad’s dream car was Dick Hampton’s 26 T which he completed in 2009. And my mom’s was Dale Pierce’s 34 Chevy Panel Delivery. These two cars Dad and Mom followed to car shows when they dated in high school. So, this is where my story starts (Since I was missing school, my parents assigned me to write a story for Uncle Keith to put in the GSRA newsletter)
Dale and Cheryl Pierce and their '34 Chevy Panel, FAST FREIGHT circa 1993
Mom just bought Dale Pierce’s 1934 Chevy Panel Delivery from Ray and Kaye Majerik of Waterford, Pennsylvania. She had spent years hunting and searching for this car. This Panel was originally the Sykes (Our local drug store) delivery car and Bill Spurzem had it at his place. When Dale got it, he blew it apart and finished it in three tone green with the name Fast Freight lettered onto it.
During Dale’s time as a GSRA member, he showed the Panel at GSRA Rod Runs, cruises, and shows in the valley and throughout the state at other clubs events. Later Dale started to drag race his 1937 Ford and Fast Freight became his tow vehicle.
In 1995, Dale decided to sell his Panel. To sell it, he put an ad in a magazine. Ray saw the ad and called Dale. They made a deal, but Ray lived all the way in Pennsylvania. Ray and Kaye flew to Kalispell and bought the Panel from Dale. Then they drove Dale’s panel all the way back to Pennsylvania. They had a fun trip back. They went through Glacier Park and took a ferry across Lake Michigan. They loved the car and their trip.
When Ray bought the Panel, his plan was to repaint the car to match the color of his Milk Delivery company trucks and change Fast Freight letters to Kaye’s family’s dairy name. However, the color green grew on him and one day Dale got a card from Ray and Kaye. It had a picture of the Panel, still green, and his Milk trucks now painted to match. The panel’s color never got changed and the name did not get changed either.
Mom and Dad looked everywhere for Dale’s Panel for years. Dad looked on hot rod sites and Facebook groups. Mom talked to several people and searched for Ray (She was spelling his last name wrong) Neither Dad or Mom could find it and they thought Ray had sold it or the Panel was repainted.
Mom still wanted a Panel like Dale’s, but they could not find a 34 Chevy anywhere. One day Andy Tweet told Dad that he was selling his 1935 Ford Sedan Delivery. When Dad got home, he told Mom and she said, “Buy it and we will build it someday.” So they brought that Panel home, but have not started building it.
Dad and Rob Eickert started making lists for what cars needed to be found for GSRA 40th Anniversary Show and Dale’s Panel was added to this list. Dad had told Rob he had been searching for this car for years. They both looked for it but couldn’t find it.
Ray and Kaye Majerik left the Panel untouched.
When Mom was working on the slide show for the 40th Car Show, she got Dale’s picture books. In these books, she found a picture of Ray and Dale handing the check and title to each other. At the bottom of the picture it said, “Sold the 34 to Ray and Kaye Mejerik Waterford, PA.”
Dale Pierce completing the sale to Ray Majerik in 1995
Now Mom had the right spelling of Ray’s last name. When she scanned the picture, she found a phone number on the back of the picture, but the number was disconnected. Mom then searched Facebook and was able to find Ray. She messaged him right before the 40th car show, but didn’t hear back from him.
A few weeks passed and she still had not heard from Ray, so she looked at his friends on Facebook and found one listed as his daughter. Mom messaged her and within an hour she messaged back and they started to talk on Facebook. She said Ray may sell the 34 Panel to Mom and gave us his cell phone number. Mom called and they talked. Ray was on vacation in Hawaii, so they decided to talk when Ray got back home. When Ray arrived back from vacation, he sent Mom a text message that he would like to sell the Panel to her. Mom called him back and bought the car before 6AM.
Dad woke me up that morning with the news that Mom just bought the Panel, but we were not telling anyone until we got it home. I was so excited and this was a hard secret to keep! We told everyone that we were going on a road trip for Mom’s early birthday. We took off Thanksgiving week heading to Waterford, Pennsylvania. I knew it was going to be a long trip with a lot of driving.
On the way, we stopped at Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. We did the Innovations Building and saw a bunch of Old wagons and Quadra cycles. We also saw a lot of old tools and machines. There were also a lot of old and new race cars.
We finally reached Waterford, Pennsylvania on Thanksgiving. The Panel was at Ray’s parent’s farm (Where he grew up). They took us on a tour of the farm, tree house and picnic area. We finally got to see the Panel. It was just how he bought it 26 years before. He had only driven it about 2000 miles after he got home in it! We got the Panel all loaded up and had a nice visit with Ray and Kaye. They are very cool people.
We took a different way back to Kalispell. We went to the Museum of Speed in Lincoln, Nebraska. There were three floors of cool racing items. There were old dirt cars and very rare motors. There were also hot rods, Bonneville cars and old toys.
We decided to throw a birthday party for Mom at our house and show everyone Dale’s Panel has made it back to Kalispell and Mom got the car that so many had heard her talk about trying to find over the last few years. What a 50th birthday gift for Mom. She can’t wait for next summer to start cruising in her Panel.
I would like to edit my previous post. I meant Carter couldn’t have come from, not for a better family.
Great story, by a young man with ambitions, and a bright future. He couldn’t have come for a better family, or surroundings