My Suicidal Costa Rica Pickup's Despair Evaporates

Update Nov.2014: See How This Truck Turned Out in The End.

You may have forgotten about my trashed Mitsubishi pick-up. Sometimes, even I forget about it now and then. After all, it's been over five months since we discovered it had rolled down a 200 ft. ravine into the creek, whether by accident or through malice we'll never know.

motor mounted in bare truck chassi
Motor re-mounted in the old, but re-painted bare chassis

After I determined that, despite outward appearances, it was still drivable (sorry, no video of me tooling around the neighborhood in my "new" convertible), I called my body shop man, Deiner, up to the house to take a look. He was quite confident that it was salvageable and the hunt began for a new cab from the north of Costa Rica into Panama. 

This model of cabin is tough to find despite having been used by several different manufacturers from Mitsubishi to Dodge to Mazda and more. The first couple of leads petered out when Deiner found they were too rusted out upon closer inspection. Another one from the large auto parts outfit Guacamaya was in good shape, but came completely stripped and would have been quite expensive with all the extras we needed.

body parts from the old truck cab
Pile of junk #1


old hood and doors from old truck cab
Pile of junk #2
It took another two months to finally locate a good condition, reasonably priced cab with everything, including better side mirrors, in Heredia, a few hours drive to the north. Indeed, it's rust-free and straight with the exception of a couple minor dents. The seat frame is even in better condition than my original. Soon after he hauled the cab down to Perez Zeledon, Deiner came up for the old, smashed truck, with a new battery lashed into place. He drove it as-was to his shop on a clear sunny morning. He attracted plenty of curious looks from onlookers along the way, but none from the police fortunately.

stripped down truck cabin being repainted
The new-to-me truck cabin being repainted

The restored truck might be back on the road in as little as another week. I've told Deiner to leave off the old bed as I'm going to build a wood and metal bed and rack myself when I get it home. I'll try to sell the old bed and liner.

One theory as to why the truck rolled over the edge was that it was a suicide since I  had a very interested buyer the day before. So, I've decided not to sell it after all and to re-do it in style in order to reassure its potentially fragile psyche. Seems like the right thing to do after all it has been through, no matter the cause.

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Thanks so much for your comment! - Casey

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