“It’s a tribute to my grandfather, an honor to my father, a gift from my friends, a legacy for my sons, a commitment from my wife, and a blessing for me.”Mike Struebing
For 40 years, Belltech has been manufacturing affordable, high-quality components that have been part of truck builds across generations. Mike S. From Minnesota shared his Belltech story and how this work truck has become a part of his family.
My grandfather Leonard Struebing purchased the truck new in 1971 for his farm truck and used it. My grandpa passed away when I was 7; my few memories of him mainly involve trips around the farm and the small town we would go to in that truck. After my grandfather passed away, my grandmother kept it and used it occasionally. Eventually, my dad brought it home and used it as a daily driver. In high school, it became my vehicle to use, and I fell in love with it. I often dreamt of restoring it and kept it but parked it when I went away to college. The Minnesota winters were tough on her, and it was very rusted out, not even salvageable if it hadn’t been for the sentimental value.
I met my wife in college, and she supported my dream of restoring the truck. After a few years of marriage, we started another journey together; restoring the truck. Along with my parents, sons, and close friends, who helped tow her, sourcing parts, and endless conversations (“drinking about it”) on what the build would entail and what ride height/stance it should be to choosing a paint color and body prep. We used the walnut from a tree my grandfather planted when I was born to inlay the door panels & door lock pulls. As this was my first “build,” I didn’t know what I was doing and didn’t ultimately choose the easiest path to restomod it. This created additional challenges, such as finding someone I could trust to flash the computer for the LT1, wiring the LT1, and the countless hours my friends and dad helped me in painting it (more than once, as apparently, I don’t know my own strength when wet sanding the paint with 2000 grit sandpaper, or more importantly listening to directions of staying away from edges), problem-solving, testing and laughing at my mistakes.
The build achievement; is that she runs quite well and looks pretty dang good, and we never attempted to project manage a build before. It’s a tribute to my grandfather, an honor to my father, a gift from my friends, a legacy for my sons, a commitment from my wife, and a blessing for me. We lost a dear friend along the way to ALS who was integral in the problem-solving assistance, and the truck has been involved in an annual ride to remember our friend. The ’71 helps keep the fun memories alive and create new ones. It has achieved what it was built for, a work truck, but it has become a part of my family and extended friend’s family.
From all of us at Belltech, we thank you and look forward to sharing more of your stories!