The Norman Transcript

Local news

March 2, 2013

A one-of-a-kind ‘abomination’

NORMAN — The first motor vehicle that Greg Burnett got his hands on to drive with no adult supervision was at his relatives’ farm in western Kansas. His mom’s side of the family were hardy French-speaking Canadians who had immigrated to the Sunflower State to raise wheat and children.

“My cousins were accustomed to driving long before they were 13 or 14 years old,” he said. “They’d drive trucks and other farm equipment across the pasture.”

When Burnett was a kid he’d visit and get to crunch gears on the 1940s era International Harvester trucks around the place. Decades later in a new century those fond memories made him want to find and own one of those trucks from the mid-1900s.

Burnett knows his way around vintage automobiles, trucks and motorcycles. He’s the owner/operator of Riverside Speed Shop, 2219 S. Robinson in Capitol Hill. Burnett rebuilds and restores vehicles made before 1964 for private clients.

He’s also a rockabilly musician and is well known in metro artistic circles for his singular style and retro panache.

“A few years ago I told my wife Traci that I needed another truck for the shop,” Burnett said. “The van I was using had seen its day and didn’t really have a lot of cool factor.” One Monday morning after a trip to visit friends in Austin he was looking through Sunday’s newspaper classified ads.

“I found a 1941 International Harvester pick-up for sale in the antiques and classics section,” he said. “It had no engine or transmission but I didn’t want that anyway.”

His new acquisition was pretty much just dented sheet metal that had been sitting in a pasture.

“There was no glass in it but that was easy to replace because it was all flat,” Burnett said. “The window regulators were still operative and I kept the 1941 air conditioning which consists of a crank-out windshield.” He found no official source for International Harvester parts. The company was broken up and sold off 25 years ago. Replacement parts for the truck that he christened “Abominational” were painstakingly collected on E-Bay and other on-line resources.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local news
  • Junior Police Graduation First Junior Police Academy graduates

    The room went dark and a slideshow flipped through photos of children participating in the first Junior Police Academy as kids chattered excitedly, remembering what they had done over the past two weeks. Norman Police Department hosted ...

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Nonprofit raises $3.9M-plus for new center

    The Center for Children and Families, a United Way of Norman partner agency, announced Thursday that it exceeded its public fundraising goal of $3.5 million and raised more than $3.9 million to complete the purchase and renovation of a ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Police log

    Police responded to the following incidents Wednesday: · 5:58 a.m. indecent exposure, 100 block of West Comanche Street · 6:08 a.m. burglary in progress, 100 block of West Hayes Street · 8:09 a.m. larceny report, 100 ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Felonies filed

    The following people were charged with felony counts in the Cleveland County Court Clerk’s Office: · Angela Beth Mendinghall, 36, unauthorized use of a vehicle; driving with a canceled, suspended or revoked license · Daniel ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Grad to serve as delegate at camp

    William Long, 2014 Norman North High School graduate, recently represented Oklahoma as a delegate at the 2014 National Youth Science Camp. Long joined 100 other top high school graduates representing the United States and eight other ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Healthplex, EMSStat recognized

    Norman Regional Health System’s Healthplex and EMSStat teams were recognized Thursday by the American Heart Association, receiving a Silver Plus Quality Achievement Award. Living in a state where one in four deaths are due to heart ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Crime news

    Norman man charged for possession of child porn A Norman man was charged with possession of juvenile pornography after law enforcement tracked an IP address that child porn had been downloaded from....

    July 25, 2014

  • Shop couple charged again

    A Norman couple whose felony charges were dropped last year for intent to distribute synthetic marijuana out of their aromatherapy shop were charged again Thursday in Cleveland County District Court. Dennis Kirby England, 42, and Christie ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Norman native reflects on winning Emmy Award

    Norman native Kevin Hurley won an Emmy Award last month for his work as a producer on Steve Harvey’s daytime talk show. Hurley has come a long way from home, but still remembers his Norman roots. NTown caught up with him to pick his brain ...

    July 25, 2014