Paul and Karen by the side of the road..........again..

I want to be helpful here, I really do, but I am laughing so hard I can’t type.. Yes… Our trusty… Roving From The Side Of The Road Reporter, Paul and Karen Harrison are at it again! Now, mind you, being trapped in Montana, is one thing, OK, breaking a transmission in St. Louis on an old Suburban.. OK, Running out of gas on Lake Tahoe, We all understood.. So you know, Paul went out and bought a BRAND NEW top of the line GMC truck.. A HD one, the kind that can haul anything… Except for today where it’s having issues even hauling Paul and Karen.. You guessed it.. On the way to the Dry Rot show this weekend.. The unthinkable happened.. The drive shaft gave them the shaft..

This truck is BRAND NEW!


To quote Paul… “BRAND NEW %&*^ING GARBAGE – Just west of Salmon Arm BC, near home thankfully. Guess I will get the trusty old ’96 with the new trans and keep going. $^CK!!! Paul”

If we could make this up, we would do it this way, its to un believable..


What a capper to Disaster Week, Thanks Paul and Karen… Ben’s Towing to the rescue.. I wonder if Ben is on retainer!

OK Guys – While we are on the subject of Chevrolet trucks, on Wednesday this week I snapped a few shots of my buddies new (old) 1966 Chevrolet Suburban that he recently found and drives daily. He is the third owner, and it was originally purchased from Polar Chevrolet in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. In 1966 Chevrolet actually called this model a Suburban, and the GMC version was called a “Carryall” I believe. It still has the original 283 V-8 with a three-on-the-tree for those of you who remember those days… Also still has the 6 bolt wheels, very cool old truck. I should also mention that he lowered it 4-1/2 inches front and rear and added disc brakes. Texx


The Polar Bear sign was erected at Polar Chevrolet, in White Bear Lake, Minnesota in 1965…

Image Courtesy of Grickily's Photostream


And remains today.

Here’s an original Chevrolet Dealer Brochure from 1966… Note the maritime brochure theme that we found just for Woody Boater – It’s all about the details…

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47 Responses to “Breaking News.. NO Wait, DRIVE SHAFT Breaking News!”
  1. brian

    The Canadians must be taking more than their fair share of gravity.

    Boats heading to the bottom? Driveshafts being sucked to the ground?

    You all need to lighten up.

  2. matt

    None of this makes any sense.. Paul and Karen are careful people.. You would think on a brand new truck.. An American truck by the way.. This would not happen..

  3. brian

    Whoa Kemosabe – there is a logical explanation for this mishap.

    No no, Paul and Karen are not unlucky – they are very nice people.

    There must have been a mix up at the parts supply warehouse as clearly that driveshaft was intended to be installed in a Ford truck, not a GMC.

  4. matt

    There is always a logical explanation.. But there is nothing logical about the Paul and Karen part.. 10 foot snow drifts, Transmission goes.. Now a new truck..

  5. Alex

    Paul and Karen, my heart really goes out to you.

    I remember when this happened to my dad en route from Ottawa to Sea Island GA. Brand new Commodore Blue 1976 Cadillac Eldorado. Bullet-proof transmission failed, with only 500 miles on the car. He was livid!

    However, sympathies aside, I feel I must tell you, that since your 25′ SP is to be parked next to mine at Geneva, I have had no choice but to hire private security. The boat will also be draped and shielded from pathogens, lest your karma be airborne.

    We’ll stil be friends, of course. But no handshakes or hugs. Let’s stick to emails, phone calls, texts, and good ole WB.

  6. SS Dave

    The best replacement part I can think of would be this truck called a FORD! You the company that invented the truck.

  7. Paul H.

    well, the dealership has never seen this happen, nor has the tow truck guy. Can’t wait the hear the cause. I suspect a material flaw or crack in the driveshaft, because, really – what else can it be?

    Onwards, I guess towards a very late arrival at Priest Lake.

    • SS Dave Pickard

      I agree with metal flaw or something wasn’t as tight as it should have been. That or it was made on a Friday

    • Texx

      The first day of training at any dealership (Cars, Trucks, Bikes, Boats) is learning to say “Gee, we have never seen this happen before” with a straight face…

      Something about liability.

  8. matt

    Not to start a ford vs chevy pissing match.. but i have a 2005 suburban, a 2009 Silverdo and a 1958 Chevy Apachee. All of them have been fantastic vehicles.. The 58 is my go to.. owned it for 20 years. NEVER a problem.. Suburban. 130K miles, same thing.. This issue with paul is something in his DNA that ooozes onto the sterring wheel somehow into the inner workings of the car.. Its like a metal eating chromosome,

    • SS Dave Pickard

      Yea, and you had a tree fall on your truck! Must be a chevy thing….

      • matt

        Oh god, I never thought of that.. Dammm.. then again, I drove it to work and its fine.. needs some body work.. i will say, the sides are like tin foil.. Does not take much to dent it, The 1958.. I pitty anything that hits it.. Stuff bounces off it. Old ladies, dogs, deer.. I get extra points a t lot in that one..

        • SS Dave Pickard

          58 was a great year for all American automobiles, love those side by side headlights. Is it “restored” or a nice user? I just sold my 59 Edsel not to be confused with 58 with was a dreadful year for Edsel, I guess I just contradicted myself..

  9. SS Dave Pickard

    Took my 1998 F150 to 190,000 (mostly towing a 1000lb compressor with another 1000 in the bed) miles then needed to get a 4 door 250 cause of some babies. I wish I had held onto my 150, I have no doubt it would still be going. Let the pissing begin !!!

  10. chad

    That would never happen to a Dodge.

    I hope it has more than a 500 mile drive train warranty. Best of luck getting back on the road.

  11. Brian Robinson

    Since I have been alive my family has had 3 Suburbans (’79, ’92, ’97) one ’93 Dually, my ’00 GMC, and now our shop truck is a ’06 crew cab 4×4 diesel 2500HD – great trucks! Oh, I still have the car I got my drivers license in, a ’57 Chevy Bel-Air 2dr hardtop, my great aunt bought it brand new off the San Gabriel showroom turntable in 1957.

    • Texx

      Brian – Please send photos of the ’57 Bel-Air Hardtop. We need to talk…

  12. mark edmonson

    For 10 years I hauled boats all over the country and it was a FORD F-250 put 189,000 on her first engine and trans, never lost a driveshaft

  13. Alex

    C’mon people. This HAS turned into a, albeit still dignified truck pissing match.

    A reminder that this is not an automotive blog. There are plenty of those out there.

    This blog is about boats. Classic wooden boats. Classic glass and aluminum ones too.

    Oh, and as of yesterday, it’s about sexual deviants who are, ahem, in to boating.

    So let’s keep it in focus, shall we?

  14. Tom Mertaugh

    I use our trusty 1986 F-150 with just slightly over 272,000 on the odometer, every day, launching and hauling 200 boats a season, and we have never replaced the u-joints!!! Also my F-250 Powerstroke has 355,000 plus on it and still going. Can’t help but love them Fords! Hope all goes well Paul, and hope you get the shaft replaced soon!!

  15. SS Dave Pickard

    My f250 Harley edition with it’s gas thirsty V10 is a happy American bastard! And yes sometimes we here get off the subject from grommets to raft humpers but it’s all fun, enjoy!

  16. DonD

    Its about having the right tool to deliver the boats!
    Its always about the boats!

    F-250 with 7.3 turbo-diesel, doesn’t even notice a mahogany ‘model’ attached.

    All return safe and comfortable.

  17. John Rothert

    It could have been worse….if she breaks off at the transmission end, well……we call that result POLEVAULTING….get the grim picture? Seen it happen.

    John in Va.

  18. Captain Nemo

    I dropped a rear drive shaft out of a chevy b/4. I just yanked it out of the transfer case and drove it home in 4wheel, didn’t need a tow.
    GM has been doing sooo much better since the bailout! LOL

  19. WoodyGal

    Paul and Karen have hope! After something happens to each vehicle or boat, you can then consider it pre-disastered, surely nothing else will happen? Right? Hagerty should even give you a big discount.

  20. Josh

    It’s like anything in life, if you think something bad is going to happen, then it probably will. Matt proclaimed this as Disaster Week, and Paul was doomed to bear some of the trouble as the unfortunate “Roving Murphy’s Law Reporter” of late, so he had no chance of avoiding some type of problem this week.

  21. Paul H.

    Made it to Priest Lake an hour ago in the somewhat venerable ’96 Chevy- the last one that broke down and stranded me. No problem getting here not towing – let’s hope the same is the case on the way home when I am pulling 6500 lbs. of Gar, trailer and assorted crap.

    I was told by the dealer late today it will be a week or more to get a new drive shaft. That is a problem because I have to go to Portland on Friday to pick up the SP, due to travel committments I can’t do it later. The old Chevy half-ton can handle a 24′ Skiff and maybe the Gar but cerainly not a 25′ SP with Scripps and steel trailer. Now I am a bit worried about getting that boat to Geneva.

    I am thinking there is something wrong in the diff – possibly in the pinion. It (yolk) looked out of alignment when I peered under there. But, how could this shaft twist off like this, when the diff was not locked up and there would be nothing to torque against? I have had 15 years worth of new Suburbans, Denali’s, Escalades and not had a problem. A strange anomaly somwhere, I’m sure.

  22. Andreas Jordahl Rhude

    That big polar bear still watches over highway 61 in White Bear Lake!

  23. Alex

    Paul, your dealer should loan you a decent tow vehicle for Geneva if your new one is still out of commission. Perhaps an off lease late model HD.

  24. Phil Jones

    LOVE my FORD 250 Super Duty.

    We can’t all be wrong, Didn’t that other guy take the Obammy bail out!!!! Shoulda gone FORD!!

  25. Ken Miller

    I agree with Phil. I’ll take my 250SD anywhere, anytime. This thread sounds like a Best Rid Photo Contest is imminent!

  26. SS Dave Pickard

    Paul let us know if they figure out the cause! Hope your travels are safe ones, you deserve it!

    • Paul H.

      Will do, assuming I get home from the Dry Rot in one piece, pulling the Gar. What a great weekend here – we are very glad we persevered and came anyway. It is about boating aftger all, not all the assorted tribulations which accompany it.

  27. Dick Dow

    So Matt, we have more in common – Our family had a ’58 Apache Fleetside for years – “Bertha”. I tried to tow “Tango” with it after I switched out the old stovebolt six and put in a 350, (the granny gear would let you climb a tree) but when I was leaving a marina one day that had a steep drive, I lost traction and slid backward down the hill, brakes locked. Managed to miss hitting anything and got a good laugh watching the staff at the brokerage on the bottom corner office scattering out the door, but realized that I needed more truck -one that was heavier than the boat I was towing.

    About two weeks later I went out and found a ’79 crew-cab dually, (“Bertha Butts”) which I used until replacing it last year with an ’86 crew cab dually. (Both Chev, both well over 100K miles, both still working well, except for the AC)

  28. matt

    Wow. Small world. My 58 is called big bubba.. No way I could tow anything.. We use the silverado.. Paula break seems so odd? Something went very wrong for sure..but it is Paul!!! After all

  29. thomas d.

    i bought a new chevy truck,2002, and on the way to look a a boat in ky. the transmission went out….at only 700 miles. i found out it was built in mexico. learn something everyday. just glad i wasn’t pulling a boat when it went out but i did miss the sale.