By 1953, a number of small changes and upgrades had accumulated on the truck. The vehicle was powered by a 216 cubic inch, 6-cylinder engine that produced 92 horsepower. Although paltry by today’s truck standards, at the time it was more than enough for the needs of most drivers – and certainly a good way for Bella’s dad to keep her out of trouble by making sure she never got the pickup going too fast out on twisty Washington roads. A 3-speed manual transmission controlled gear shifts, and used a column-mounted shifter. Newer door handles, shock absorbers, and window vents helped to differentiate the truck from its earlier ancestors, but by and large the vehicle stayed true to its early design roots. These vehicles make popular hot rods, given how easy it is to install a more modern and more powerful drivetrain, along with lowering suspension and other handling upgrades.
Bella’s truck has a more function-first bed installed, which sets it apart from stock Chevrolet pickups of the era but also helps to give it a certain charm that indicates that the vehicle has been around the block a few times. The quaint, antique image of the pickup contrasts well with Bella’s young age and newness to Washington, giving her an anchor she can rely on while everything else around her is changing so quickly. It also provides her with a connection to Jacob, a friend of the family who is also not all that he seems at first, and who is able to consistently help Bella get through some of the harder times that she faces throughout her new life outside of Arizona.
Wait until you read about Bella's "After Car"!