On his way to pick Linda up for one of their first dates, Howard Burke applied the brakes on his restored 1953 Chevy pickup as he approached Stage Coach Lane heading south on Mission Road. Nothing happened, so he kept pumping the brakes. The truck finally stopped.
Did Howard find another vehicle to pick up Linda? No! He drove the truck to her house, picked her up, and took her on a semi-controlled drive through De Luz. Heading downhill on Sandia Creek Drive, the road curves slightly to the right, and then sharply left. The truck stayed on the roadway, but only barely. Linda recalled, “After ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride ™’, I took to calling him Mr. Toad. It was definitely an ‘e-ticket’ ride!”
She married him anyway.
They have been married for six months. Both of their former partners passed away. They both attend Calvary Chapel in Fallbrook, and became reacquainted through friends there.
Howard saw a 53 Chevy 3100 ½ ton, five-window pickup for sale at the last annual FVCC Car Show held at Fallbrook High School. He loved it. Later he found another one and purchased it. The interior had been redone, and it was powered by a 1993 5.0 liter Ford Mustang engine. All four tires were different sizes, and the Bondo® was cracking, but it did sport Beauty Rings, and Baby Moon Hubcaps.
Howard had Lone Wolf Garage complete the restoration and chose to paint it a (Ford) Metallic Pearl Burgundy. After mounting Gangster (wide) Whitewalls, installing a wood bed kit, and chroming the painted grill work, this truck’s gorgeous!
Howard was born in upstate New York, and spent summers on Long Island with his grandmother and at summer camp. He moved to Fallbrook by way of San Diego, and Escondido. He joined the Navy from San Diego in 1965, and completed two tours in Viet Nam as a Seabee in both Da Nang, and Phu Bai along the DMZ.
He moved to San Diego and felt it had the small town feeling he missed. It grew. He moved to Escondido and again got the small town feeling. It also grew! Finally he moved to Fallbrook, in 1989, and enjoys the small town feeling and very friendly people. He originally found Fallbrook during a motorcycle trip to Live Oak Park.
Linda moved with her Navy husband to Fallbrook in 1973. They loved it. She taught elementary school in Fallbrook for ten years. She enjoys riding horses, and owns two Arabians (a Bay and a Grey). She began riding when her daughter started lessons.
The Burkes joined the FVCC to meet people that do the kinds of things they do. They were not disappointed.
The Fallbrook Vintage Car Club (FVCC) is always open to guests and new members. To receive more information about the car club, send an email to [email protected].
Monthly meetings are held at the Fallbrook Woman’s Club, 238 West Mission Road, in Fallbrook, on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m.
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