Note: This feature is in the Nov. TT&C 2012 issue.
Pastor Richard Coaxum dressed in his Sunday “go-to-meetin’ clothes.”
This Flying J model was purchased at a Flying J truck stop. It was an impulse buy for Coaxum, “I didn’t have one, so I bought it.” The model is 1/50 scale.
These piggyback tractors were made by First Gear. They are Mack Granite tractors, and their hoods and doors open. Coaxum purchased them at Evers Toy Store in Dyersville, Iowa.
Other stories in the Nov. TT&C 2012 are:• Kleemann’s New Mobirex MR 110 Z EV0 by Carsten Bengs
• Reality in Miniature
• 2012 Macungie Show by Mark Macreading
In the movie “Inherit the Wind,” the character Henry Drummond explains to Matthew Brady why he never hoped to own Golden Dancer, a beautiful rocking horse in a storefront window—“My father could not afford it,” Drummond says matter-of-factly. “It was two weeks’ wages.”
Most model truck collectors have similar stories of the model that got away because it was too expensive. Richard Coaxum is no exception.
Coaxum’s father, Willie Coaxum, was a career Air Force serviceman, who died from wounds received in the Korean War when Coaxum was just 7 years old. Coaxum had three siblings, but they were all much older than he, leaving him essentially alone with his mother, Beatrice.
“Mom loved this old department store in Fort Worth called Monnings. Its toy department had a display of Corgi trucks, so whenever Mom had to shop, she left me glued to the Corgi display rack.
“Around that time, approximately 1960, a Tootsietoy sold for about 75 cents. But Corgis were expensive, averaging $3–$15 each. Corgis were worth the additional money because of their exquisite detail, but they were too expensive for us, so I did not dare ask for one.
“When I was 10 years old, Corgi introduced a circus truck that was a six-horse hauler. It had two ramp doors on one side and one ramp door on the other. Inside each door were two toy horses. The trailer could detach from the tractor, and it even had a facsimile of shock absorbers, which gave it that independent suspension. Wow!
“This particular truck with all of its accessories cost $25. When I saw its price, I started my bucket list right then ’cause I knew I would never own one. Man, was I ever wrong. Mom scrimped and saved for about six months, and on July 22, for my 11th birthday, Mom gave that truck to me.”
For many reasons, this Corgi circus truck is Coaxum’s most memorable truck. It’s the kind of truck that most collectors regret not still having in their collections as adults, but Coaxum has no regrets. When he was 17 or 18 years old, his nephew, Roland Hayes Brooks, desired this truck, so Coaxum gave him the truck.
That’s the kind of person Coaxum is. And some 43 years later, Coaxum still has no regrets about giving away his bucket list truck. It may have been the first model truck he gave away, but it was far from his last.
Richard Coaxum is pastor of St. Mary Baptist Church in Pflugerville, Texas. Both as pastor and as a collector, Coaxum drives many hundreds of miles each year.
“I like seeing America, so I enjoy driving,” Coaxum said. “I stopped using regular car filling stations a long time ago. I only fuel at truck stops now—Flying Js, Pilots, Petros, and TAs—any truck stop I pass. I want to see some of the really nice big rigs on the road.
Want to read the rest of the story? It's available in the November TT&C 2012 magazine!
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