About month and a half ago I was about to do my weekly search for parts truck and discovered that adhuntr.com isn’t available (it’s working now) so I used searchtempest.com and found an RK43 in Texas. After emailing with the seller and telling my Toyopet story Matt Birkedahl was kind enough to sell me the truck way below his asking price. He liked the idea that it will be used for a such good cause. Truck arrived a couple weeks ago and pictures are below. Truck is 99.99% rust free, and that was a reason to buy it. Matt started a frame-off restoration. So the frame has been taken care of, as well as gas tank and radiator. It came with new carb for 3R engine. Nice grille and windshield.
I was trying to get the articles published in the local newspapers, so perhaps someone who is familiar with the story sees it and contacts me. Let’s hope…
When the truck arrived to us we started with throwing away all the scrap it came with and looking for the clues. Under the seat, along with extra parts we discovered a few maps and papers which were partially destroyed, but we still were able to get an idea of what they were.
1. Map of Afghanistan UN edition (1962) (the destroyed original and the one found on the web)
2. Map of Kabul with a legend (1958)
3. Cover of the Map of West Pakistan 1959(?) (ordered one in good condition off of eBay)
4. Karachi Lahore road tourist guide (can’t identify the year)
5. Student Travel Guide (can’t identify the year)
6. Swiss hostel form (1964)
7. Highway toll road receipt from Greece (Tempi Post) October 19th, 1969(?)
Some history on where the RK45 came from:
We found and bought the RK45 on eBay from Chicago area in April 2012. In the email conversation that followed the purchase, seller claimed that the pickup was a part of Lee Roy Hartung property, who at a time has just passed away. Seller’s company was contracted to haul away scrap metal, which wasn’t the part of the auction. However seller didn’t have a heart to let such a rare vehicle go to a scrapper. Time of the eBay auction matched the time of the collection sell-off. Years of collecting super-rare and old cars, trucks, motorcycles and American memorabilia in general made $4M sales. More info can be obtained here
Recently we have been in contact with Lee Hartung’s life partner – Margie. She informed us that a young couple took the truck for a honeymoon road trip in 1968 / 1969. The couple later settled in Morton Grove, IL and sold the Truck to Lee. Currently we are trying to find any info about who and when did the trip.
We have re-constructed most of the original country names and based on that created a map of original travel cerca 1960-1965