National Tailgating Day with Ole Red

It’s National Tailgating Day! We thought we’d honor the occasion by showcasing a classic tailgate everyone would love to sit on to enjoy an icy cold Litchfield Distillery Cocktail Can. So we reached out to Paul Szymanski who recently acquired a beautiful 1963 Ford F-100 pickup truck and asked him if he’d let us admire his new rig. Trucks like these really are a sight to see, the classic look never goes out of style and are admired by vehicle lovers from all over. Nowadays, trucks have gone through a variety of transformations, from classics to a squatted truck that is used for racing, among other things. No matter what they look like, trucks are always going to have a special place in people’s hearts just like Paul’s does.

Paul purchased “Ole Red” in August 2019 from a seller in Oregon and had it shipped to Connecticut. The classic pickup is nearly all original and in excellent shape. The previous owner kept most of the truck’s documentation including the bill of sale, deposit slip and registration documents. The original purchase agreement was dated October 31st, 1963 with a selling price of $812. It cost more than that for Paul to ship the truck back to the east coast!

Paul’s inspiration for acquiring the truck was his family and younger son. He felt all of his hard work and volunteer commitments to the town of New Milford had commanded a huge amount of his attention and that it was time to create a special bonding experience with his son. After purchasing Ole Red, he created a Facebook Page where he will record all the adventures his family enjoys with the truck. Plans include restoration and upgrade projects, which he’ll share along the way. Eventually, he hopes to gift Ole Red to his son when he is old enough to drive.

Sitting inside the truck is like taking a trip back in time. The dashboard and panels are simple, clean with no frills. The F-100 was a work truck designed for comfort. Here is how Ford’s 1963 dealer sales brochure described the vehicle:

Ford Comfort-Conditioned Cabs For 1963:

Slip into the cab of a ’63 Ford F-100 and discover for yourself the solid comfort everywhere. No knee-knocking “dogleg” in the door opening to get in your way; doors open wide, too; and a handy inboard step eases entry and exit. New polyurethane foam seat cushion padding (1 1/2 inches thick in standard cabs, 5 inches thick optional) gives you less seat bounce, less seat sag, more comfort.

Polyurethane is softer than foam rubber and distributes support more evenly. Ford cabs provide plenty of stretch-out length and width for three. In addition, insulating materials under the floor and on the fire wall, door panels, and rear cab wall provide a quieter cab … keep cabs cooler in summer and warmer in winter. All this is yours in a Ford F-100.

New 3-Speed Synchro-Silent Transmission: Brand-new for ’63 and only Ford has it! For the first time, low gear is fully synchronized along with second and high. Now you can downshift into low without clashing gears while still moving forward.

Truck design has certainly changed dramatically over the years. Today’s trucks have a distinct style aesthetic, which seems focused on over emphasizing toughness and ruggedness. While there isn’t anything wrong with that, we tend to miss the simplicity of older truck designs. They didn’t always look tough, rugged or built for speed, but they got the job done–and that’s right up our “Spirit of Hard Work” alley. We’re reminded of Teddy Roosevelt’s famous quote, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”

So whether you’re planning on tailgating this season at a sporting event or just want to park and enjoy the upcoming fall foliage, we hope you’ll pack the cooler with our delicious Craft Cocktail Cans and toast to what we think is the best time of the year. Of course, if you do so, please drink responsibly.