Becker County man's 'Built from junk,' truck ends up on calendar
Glen Erickson's love of old trucks and cars started when he was 9 years old and his father gave him a small slot car racer truck.
"I had this little race set, and around and around I used to watch that little pickup go," he said. "So when I was able to drive, my dad brought me home a 1949 Plymouth, and he said if I could get it running, I could have it. Well, it wasn't long and I had it running."
From those early years in that Plymouth until today, whether his ride is a custom-built 1936 Ford pickup, a mint condition 1959 Corvette or a 1930 Model A Ford, Erickson has always had a project to work on. His hard work and inventiveness throughout the years landed Erickson's Ford pickup in the October slot of the 2012 Snap-on Mini Snap-shots calendar -- an honor he is quite proud of.
"I completely built this thing myself, which is where the honor to get into the Snap-on calendar comes from," he said.
According to Erickson, most of the cars you see in the calendar are done in a professional shop with all the correct parts being purchased.
"This is scrounge. This is all built from junk," he said. "It makes me feel pretty proud that a guy that lives out here in the woods can qualify with the big boys from California."
Erickson said the Snap-on calendar has a note on the back to submit your car for consideration in the calendar. Local Snap-on representative Brent Motschenbacher got Erickson the forms and he entered and is now on the calendar.
Erickson recalls details of the trucks he built in high school -- a '54 Ford pickup with no power steering; a '52 Chevy pickup that was "all chromed out and the engine all souped up." He also tried out hobby stock car racing, then drag racing.
After a motorcycle accident in 1996 forced Erickson to retire from both the military, where he served for 22 years, and his job, he needed something to keep him occupied.
"So then I decided to build another race car," he said.
That's where the '36 Ford entered Erickson's life.
He bought the truck from Walt Lystrom in Lake Park.
"He wasn't real happy when I started cutting it all up cause I did a lot of work to this thing," Erickson said.
He estimates he has put 20,000 hours of work into the truck over the years. It took him 10 years alone to complete the initial restoration work on the widened, chopped and lowered truck.
Initially, the truck was a lot faster than it is now, Erickson said.
"If you'll notice the license plate on there, it says, 'Blow It'. And the reason is the first engine I put together had 635 horses in it. I made it to Audubon. I made it 10 miles and blew it sky high," he said.
After a new engine, the truck would still run a 10-second quarter-mile, according to Erickson.
"It was so radical, I couldn't drive it on the street," he said. "It was just too much. So now I've calmed it down so you can actually drive it down the road now."
Erickson attributes everything he knows about cars and trucks to his father, who he describes as a jack-of-all-masters.
"Without him, I wouldn't be able to do nothin'," Erickson said.
The two at one point were doing a little farming together and working on a multitude of vehicles, motors and equipment.
"He's still doing it. My father is now 79 years old and he's still picking rocks," Erickson said.
He also said his wife of 35 years, Ruth, puts up with a lot to let him build his trucks, cars and snowmobiles.
"Sometimes them women don't understand, but mine does. I have a good wife," he said. "It's kind of amazing she puts up with me, but she does."