I'm of the mindset that each man should do as his heart and his head tell him to do.

Fortunately we live in a country where we can do that. We also live in a country where we can walk away from the things we donít like. If we see a bearded lady at the carnival, and she creeps us out, we can walk away. The same goes for classic trucksÖif we donít like to see modifications done to them, we donít have to look.

And we certainly donít need to say anything to the owner of that truck.

On the same note, if we get the urge to call a painstakingly restored original Power Wagon a Trailer Queen, we should resist. Flathead engine, drum brakes and all. Resist. As Mark Twain once said, ďIt is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open oneís mouth and remove all doubt.Ē

Simple enough for everybody.

Hereís the thing. Weíve all paid our fair share of dues, myself included, and, at this point in my life, I feel lucky to have survived it and still be on this side of eternity. If I want to go out and enjoy the world while Iíve got a little time left in it, then I ought to be able to without someone telling me how to do it. If I want to keep my truck original, then so be it. If I want to modify it, fine. If I want to travel across the Nevada desert in a low rider carryall with the rear dragging and magnesium sparks flying through the air, thatís gonna have to be ok too.

My experiences in life have led me to think that both sides of the mod vs. original thing have merit. I donít know much about 1929 Packards, but I know a bit about Power Wagons.

Truth is, my bond with Power Wagons spans the full length of my life, which is something I canít say about very many other things. Things come and they go, few endure, and scarcely any stay with us for a lifetime. For me, the Power Wagon has stayed from the time I was born and they wrapped me in swaddling clothes and laid me in the cab of a WDX. It has stayed for 50 years. It has stayed until I am old enough to have a considerable number of Power Wagon stories to tell and yet young enough to remember most of them.

Looking back on my early days, the Power Wagon was primarily a tool for the farm, and much of what we got done in a day was measured out by what our tools could help us with. Thinking about that old truck gives me a keen sense of the past, a keen sense of a time in our country when everyone produced something. It brings back memories of a time come and gone, and thereís a bit of longing for what once was. For this very reason I have kept my Power Wagon stock for all these many years.

And now, as I look to what is, and what is yet to come, I wrestle with the idea that most people arenít producing anything nowadays. The world has changed and the vast majority of people are now sitting in cubicles for eight hours a dayÖdoing unrewarding work. These are people who are descendant from farmers,ranchers,loggers,mechanics and such. Theyíve been reduced to sitting at a desk and working on such things as quality assurance for imported koozies. Itís not any fault of their own. They are simply doing what they must do to make ends meet in a changing world.

When I get in my stock Power Wagon and drive 45, I go into that world of smells and sounds from my youth and itís amazing. But the fact is, I am impeding the road to the cubicle. Such being the case, the danger of a bad accident is very real, and I want no more of it.

After seeing what Charles Talbert does at M Series Rebuild, and actually taking part in a few of his builds, Iím convinced that the best option, for me, is to make modifications that will improve my truckís usefulness in the years ahead. When these modifications are done with a good measure of planning, the essence of the Power Wagon remains.

For me, my truck will always need to be a tool. I live in the woods and my life is nowhere near any cubicle of any sort. Looking at it objectively, I believe my father and grandfather would have approved of moving ahead with disk brakes and a Cummins engine. A good tool for the woods. A good tool for keeping myself safe from the cubicle goers. I donít find anything wrong with that and I donít think they would either. At this point in my history with Power Wagons, itís just a logical step forward. But believe me, Iíll not forget, ever, what once was.