By Brian Livingston
From grandfather to father to son, a truck that links all three men has continued to solidify a bond that none want to break.
It was this truck, a 1949 Studebaker first owned by Talbert Goldman's grandfather that was recently awarded the Truck of Year award by Goodguys Rod and Custom Association. The award took Talbert Goldman by surprise, but not his dad, Mike Goldman.
"I never dreamed I would win," Talbert Goldman said recently as he stood next to the impressive ride dubbed "Champagne High." "I was proud of the work I did on it but to win truck of the year was more than I could've hoped for."
The Goodguys Rod and Custom Association is America's largest association catering to street rods, custom cars and show cars. The Goodguys Association has more than 70,000 active members worldwide. Goodguys stages 19 annual rod and custom car show events throughout the United States, as well as vintage drag races. Goodguys corporate headquarters are in Pleasanton, Calif.
It was Mike Goldman, of Goldman Customs located on Espy Road, who took the old truck and got it running back in the 1980s. When Talbert Goldman turned 14 years old, he got the old truck and immediately did some work on it. As he grew older, while working for his dad in the garage, Talbert Goldman began to envision the truck in a much more slick, stylish way.
"I tore it down to the nuts and bolts," Talbert Goldman said. "My weekends and nights were spent working on this truck."
For a year and a half, Talbert Goldman worked. He admitted there were times when he wanted to throw a hammer through the windshield but he kept thinking of the finished product.
The truck is the only Studebaker to have ever won a Goodguys Teriffic 12 award. It was chosen as a finalist for the award earlier this year at the Goodguys 8th Nashville Nationals.
The third generation truck has been smoothed but not so much as to take away from its Studebaker heritage. A 350 V8 powers truck that sports 18 and 20-inch wheels. The inside of the cab is done in a chocolate brown leather and suede upholstery highlighted by Dolphin gauges and a Billet Specialties steering wheel. The truck has air suspension goodies that rises and lowers the truck depending on the mood.
"He did this all by himself and I'm really proud of him," Mike Goldman said. "He tries to give me credit but I'm not having any of that. He is talented."
"My dad did teach me everything I know," Talbert Goldman said. "He is a good teacher."
Talbert Goldman said there is no price tag on the truck. He said he would have no idea what he would even ask for it given the sentimental value and all the work he has put into it.
"I think I'm going to give it to my son," Talbert Goldman said finally. "Why not keep it in the family."