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A tango for two

Posted November 27, 2013 in Altoona, Community Featured
Phil and Kathy Ladd with their restored “his and hers’ pickup trucks. Phil has a 1948 and Kathy’s is a 1947 Studebaker.

Phil and Kathy Ladd with their restored “his and hers’ pickup trucks. Phil has a 1948 and Kathy’s is a 1947 Studebaker.

You may have heard of “his and hers” slippers or maybe even “his and hers” key chains. But Phil and Kathy Ladd have taken the “his and hers” idea a bit further, and people all around Altoona are checking out their “his and hers” classic cars.

Of course, that’s completely understandable to Phil. After all, if he saw a 1947 Studebaker pickup that was painted like Kathy’s “dreamsicle orange and chocolate malt brown,” he’d be sure to elbow the person next to him in the ribs and point it out also.

Likewise, Kathy would be sure point out a neon green 1948 Chevy pickup that featured “all the goodies” and was lit up like a Christmas tree.  (This one is his.)

The Chevy is mostly all “homebuilt” by Phil, meaning he collected the parts and put them together himself. He’s installed lighting all up and down the rig, and everywhere he goes, he’s quite the spectacle.

“He’s a real big hit at the ice cream shop,” adds his wife, Kathy, with a smile.

“I drive this everywhere. It’s my daily driver. It just buzzes along,” says Phil says of his pet project.

The other truck, Kathy’s orange and brown Studebaker, gets its share of stares and pointed fingers also.

“That engine runs like a sewing machine,” says Phil, beaming with pride.

The Studebaker’s old engine has more get-up-and-go than you might expect.

“It goes about 50 (mph), but the brakes are only good to about 40,” says Phil.

The Studebaker was a work truck in its day. So by the time the Ladds found it, it was in sad shape.

“It was a mice condo,” says Kathy.  After the Ladds took ownership of the truck, the mice were evicted.

“(Phil) took it all apart and put it all back together again,” Kathy continues.

The old truck doesn’t have seatbelts, power brakes or power steering, but that’s OK with the Ladds because they want to keep it in its original condition. And besides, when they want to cruise around in style, they have the green one.

Local onlookers aren’t the only ones who elbow and point at the Ladd’s trucks. Apparently, people are doing that all over the world. Phil says he’s gotten more than 100,000 views on his YouTube videos about the trucks and his efforts at restoration.

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