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The Dart: Fix ‘em up

Codie Owens attempts to fix a winch on Quint Blanchard’s 1974 Ford Bronco in order to recover Blanchard’s newer 2005 Chevrolet Z-71, which was stuck on a cypress root on land near Natchez State Park. (Rod Guajardo \ The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — Quint Blanchard and Codie Owens spent part of Friday afternoon as electricians trying to get the winch operational on Blanchard’s 1974 Ford Bronco in order to attempt a rescue mission to recover Blanchard’s newer 2005 Chevrolet Z-71, which was stuck on a cypress root on land near Natchez State Park.

Blanchard said the two long-time friends came up with the idea to use the Ford Bronco after several failed attempts to retrieve the truck, and they were busy fixing the winch when The Dart landed at Blanchard’s home on Madison Street.

“We had trucks up there (trying to get it out), broke some chains and punched a hole in the gas tank,” Blanchard said. “We will probably tear this one (the Ford Bronco) up too.”

Blanchard said approximately eight of his friends had attempted to help him get his truck out before they decided to try the Bronco.

Blanchard said he and Owens were out looking at deer Thursday and at approximately 10 p.m. they drove up a hill and managed to get the truck stuck.

Owens, left, and Blanchard attempt to fix a winch on the Ford Bronco. (Rod Guajardo \ The Natchez Democrat)

“I floored it and gave it too much gas,” Blanchard said. “That made it slide, and it dug down. I tried to back up and there was a root in front of the axle and it stuck in there.”

Blanchard said he did not know what his next plan of action would be if the Ford Bronco was unable to get his Chevrolet out, but he hoped that the Bronco would be able to do the job.

“That winch is a beast,” he said.

Blanchard said he used to use the Bronco and its winch to uproot trees, but the winch had not been used in two years.

Blanchard, 24, and Owens, 23, both said they have some experience working with cars, and both had worked on their own cars before, but they are not necessarily professionals.

“I’ve done basic stuff like helping my dad over the years,” Blanchard said. “I’m no mechanic or anything.”

Blanchard said he often hunts the land around the state park but this was the first time he took Owens along with him. And after the truck incident, Owens said, he does not plan on going back out to that particular hunting spot.

“It was my first time to be out there,” Owens said. “I just want to get it out and that will be it.”