Dysart’s 217 Autocar
Have you ever wondered about the big green truck with the flag as you exit off I 95 southbound? Our Dad and Grandfather, Dave Dysart loved 217. If you had been on the road the day of Dave’s funeral in 1999, you may have been surprised at the site of the 180 tractors escorting the hearse to the cemetery to celebrate his life. At the head of the line was 217, Dave’s favorite. To those who knew David, there was no surprise at the turnout of family, friends, employees, and loyal customers. Dave made friends wherever he was.
The truck is an Autocar bought in 1974. It has a unique wide radiator to accommodate more cooling for the 350 HP Cummins. Named 217 because of some obscure numbering system none of us remember. We do know trucks are always an odd number because Dave had a belief in superstitions. Even numbers are bad, odd numbers are lucky.
From the brochure about Autocars “Everything about the Autocar is tough. And everything about the Autocar is geared to unusually harsh, even hazardous conditions.” Our old truck can attest to the Autocar being tough. It has over a million miles and worked for over 30 years.
According to experienced driver’s you had to be tough to drive any trucks in the 70’s . 217 is a rough ride by todays standards but better than most of 1970’s trucks. No air conditioning. No fancy air ride seats. Truck driving in the 70’s was like walking to school uphill both way.
So when you drive by that old truck getting off I 95 onto the Coldbrook Road give it little wave, There is a lot of history in 217’s 46 years