The big day has finally come! After a good night’s rest and a breakfast at IHOP we made the one hour drive to Maryland, weaving the trailer in and out of the concrete mayhem affectionately called the “mixing bowl” by locals. Roads on top of roads made GPS navigation sketchy at best. We continued the theme of failed GPS directions when we called the owner of the NAPCO, and he informed us of the “real” way to get to his house.
We really didn’t know what to expect upon arriving. Most of us, going only off the older pictures we had been provided, were picturing a rusted out old truck in a derelict barn. We had worn our work clothes, and imagined hours of working in mud and sand to free stuck brakes, inflate tires, and do whatever we needed to load a “junker” vehicle. Our ideas couldn’t have been further from the truth. Instead of some old farm, we travelled the winding asphalt drive through a manicured wooded estate, to a large modern shop. As we pulled up, we were warmly welcomed by Mike Boteler, the gentleman we were purchasing the truck from. He welcomed us into his shop, and we immediately noticed it was kept immaculately clean, and decorated with vintage advertising and toys. In the center of the building was our Napco, almost as if she was on display. Accompanied by a vintage military Jeep turned fire apparatus, a huge two-ton antique Chevrolet tow truck, and a beautifully restored 1950’s fire engine, we had entered the garage-mahal of a genuine enthusiast.
Mike showed us around, starting at our Napco, which was in much better shape than anticipated, and he covered in immense detail all the history he was aware of for it. He presented us with a huge binder of information and pictures, 13 years of his acquired knowledge on the truck, for us to keep. After the Napco, he told us all about his other vehicles, and then he showed us the immense collection of parts he had collected to put our truck back together, many of them brand new or in near new condition. We already knew that these “extra” parts were not included in the sale, but we entered negotiations on a few of the prime pieces. All in all, we ended up buying over half of what he had to offer.
Finally, we backed up the trailer, ran out the winch, and started pulling the truck out. At first look we were a bit nervous, as the truck was much larger than we had imagined. But after a few measurements, we knew it would fit. The winch spooled up, and the truck moved, although dragging the rear tires. We threw Justin up in the truck, and had him hold the clutch pedal down and tried again. At first it still acted like it was in gear, but then with a pop it started to roll. At this point we are unsure if something was locked up in the drivetrain, or if the rear brakes were seized, but either case, it rolls freely now.
After carefully packing the rest of the parts in the Excursion, and in the back of the Brush Truck, we said our goodbyes and headed for dinner. All in all, we had spent over six hours talking with Mike, interviewing him on video, and loading parts. We were famished, and stopped by a local seafood restaurant that was recommended to us. However, after finding out it would be a significant wait, and seeing the portion sizes did not match the prices, we chose burgers at Fudruckers instead. Bellies full, we headed back to Adam’s, and we are now resting for tomorrows adventures!