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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • Mangled truck is reminder, project for Allison

  • Anyone who drives along Florida Avenue on the west end of town can probably tell you about the cobalt blue 1972 GMC half ton pickup truck sitting in Ferrell Allison’s driveway. But this isn’t a magnificently polished show truck or a powerful country-road beater. The mangled, twisted, rusty frame is one of last remaining vehicles in town from the May 4, 2007, tornado.


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  • Anyone who drives along Florida Avenue on the west end of town can probably tell you about the cobalt blue 1972 GMC half ton pickup truck sitting in Ferrell Allison’s driveway. But this isn’t a magnificently polished show truck or a powerful country-road beater. The mangled, twisted, rusty frame is one of last remaining vehicles in town from the May 4, 2007, tornado.
    With residents throwing away truckloads of rubble, furniture and crumpled vehicles in the days, weeks and months following the May 4, 2007, tornado, Allison, an agricultural consultant, saved his 1972 truck. When he built his house he set what was once his labor of love in the driveway, planning on getting to it later. 
    “I kept it because I wanted to take my engine out and my transmission and my fuel tank out,” said Allison. “Since the tornado I’ve been working my all-the-time job and I built a house. To be honest it’s just been a low priority to get down here and do something with it.”
    Ferrell bought the truck in 1976. The 4-year-old GMC had never been wrecked and over the next 30 years, in between children being born and other family commitments, he replaced the engine, the transmission and began to fully restore it in 1997.
    “It was tornad-ed,” laughed Ferrell. “This thing went over another truck, out the shop and we found it a block away from the house, wrapped around a tree. It’s beyond repair.”
    Ferrell acknowledged that the truck might serve as a reminder to passersby of the power of the tornado and the destruction it caused, but said that it’s been life, family and work that has kept him from removing the engine, parts and shredded frame and not some purposeful reminder of the tornado.
    Allison does admit that there is some sentimental attachment to the truck. He drove it away from a church in Lubbock, Texas, more than 30 years ago with his now-wife Greensburg Librarian Debbie Allison on their wedding day.
    “I’ve had it a long time,” he admitted. “And part of it is ‘yes’ this is what kind of destruction there was. But, the main reason it’s still sitting there is the parts. I love the body style and if I could find another one I would probably try to buy it and put this engine in it.”
    Allison said he had gotten a phone call Monday morning from the city telling him he would need to move it.
    “The city called and said I’d have to move it. Ed Truelove called me and said ‘People told me that you were reasonable and said that this was a really beautiful pickup.’ He said they were going to go after people for cars in their yards and even though there weren’t any weeds growing around mine they’re going to say ‘why didn’t you go after Ferrell’s truck?’”
    Page 2 of 2 - Allison said he would make room for it in his garage and pull it out of the driveway.
    “I have not had any negative comment from anyone about it,” he said.

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