Chuck Wagner, Napa Valley Cabernet winemaker of Caymus Vineyards, which he co-founded with his parents, Charlie and Lorna Wagner in 1972, received today a custom 1956 Ford F-100 pickup purchased from radio broadcast star Don Imus.
The proceeds of the $100,000 sale will support the Imus Ranch for Kids in Ribera, NM, a summer camp opened by Imus and his wife Deirdre in 1999 as a charitable organization that seeks to ensure the continuity of the lives of children who are afflicted with cancer or serious blood diseases. The charity’s goal is to provide children ages 10 to17 with an experience of living life on a functioning cattle ranch free of charge, to build up the child’s self-confidence and sense of accomplishment, in the company of similar children facing serious illness. More recently, it has also opened to siblings of SIDS victims. The ranch has hosted more than 1,000 children with cancer since opening in 1998.
The truck will be used at the 73-acre Caymus Vineyards estate as a showpiece and personal Napa Valley tour truck of the Wagner family throughout the growing season. Chuck originally planned to utilize the truck as a light-duty vineyard vehicle but then changed his mind.
“Once I saw the absolute flawless condition, I felt typical vineyard duties were out of the question—this is a fair weather-only truck!” he said.
The truck has been fully restored by P.J. Classic Stop in Albuquerque, N.M., to bring the historic car to its present glory. While the vehicle maintains its vintage character, many of the internal components have been updated to dramatically increase performance and safety. The pickup has a new 351 Windsor engine and is loaded with pristine custom-built parts. Prior to the completion of the restoration, the truck competed in several New Mexico car shows.