First thing I did was put some 255/70R15 tires on the rear of the truck and off to college we went. The rest, as they say, is history. Adventures in Old Yeller with my college buddies, and me became somewhat legendary. Most of which involved high speeds in low MPH speed zones in and around College Station, TX. One of the things I love about this truck that most people would hate is the old SM-465 trany. If you've ever driven one you know what I mean. They're clunky, period, end of story. Not only that, the throw between shifts is any thing but short. But, the very first vehicle I ever drove was my parents ’80 model Suburban with the same transmission. The ranch I grew up on had Chevy trucks all with the SM-465. So I never knew any different.Anyone who’s ever watched me get on it will tell you I can shift it (when I want to) as fast as an automatic. You have to learn to run what you brung. So yes, I drag race with it, believe it or not. Which gives me an advantage my friends were never aware of. Second gear on the SM-465 is the equivalent of first gear on an automatic with one caveat. It’s still geared way lower in second (3.58:1) than first is on any automatic trany (usually around 2.5:1). The unsuspecting always focus on rear end ratio (in my case 3.07:1) and assume it will be a slug coming off the line. But it reacts like a rear geared 3.73:1 with an automatic. Surprise.Now I’m not saying I’ve got a Vette stalker by any means. Nor did I take on 5.0 Mustangs and Camaro SS’s. However, I had one friend with a ’72 Cutlass and another with a ’70 Chevelle both equipped with 350’s and it was no contest. Chevy and Ford trucks with 350’s or 351’s were no problem either until 1995. That’s when Chevy came out with the Vortec heads. I test drove one and knew I was sunk. Whatever they may have lacked in gearing, they made up for it with a lot more horsepower. By 1997 the heads on Old Yeller were about worn out (they turned out to be 441 castings which explains all the torque). I drove on until about 2 ½ years ago.The first modification was done around 1992. Up till then Old Yeller had no power steering. Try parallel parking a truck on a college campus once or twice and this becomes any easy decision to make. I probably would have lived with it except for an ‘incident’ one Friday night on University Ave. Weasy (short for Weasel – AKA Chris Patterson) and I were headed westbound and chatting away when I realized I’d just run a red light. I was so surprised I didn’t realize I was right on top of another red light until Weasy shouted “Tex, TEX, TEX!!!!” (that’s me) and I saw that not only was it red but there was a Honda CRX sitting there about to be creamed by yours truly. Immediately, I pulled the truck hard to the right and ended up doing a 180 right there on University Ave and literally slid backwards right next to the shocked driver in the Honda. Needless to say Weasy urged me to get off of the street post haste as we both new the Cops routinely patrolled University Ave. In my eagerness to exit the street (think screeching tires) I smacked the curb, as we jumped over into a parking lot, bending the outside edge of the wheel and, as I discovered later, busting a gear tooth inside the steering box. So, when I went looking for a replacement I happened upon a 67-72 GMC that gladly donated it’s power steering box and pump and brackets for Old Yeller.