Category Archives: Classic Cars

Magic Of The Model A

Gordon & Sam with the 1930 Model A in winter.
Gordon & Sam with the 1930 Model A in winter.

When I was told Gordon Glen of Keremeos owns a very pretty, restored Model A half ton pickup truck, I was intrigued. Possibly my fascination stems from early experience. I was about age 5 when my parents decided to move from rural Manitoba, not far from Steinbach, to Abbotsford, B.C. Dad bought a Model A, which he was confident could weather this arduous trip via Stevens Pass in the U.S. There were 6 of us in the car, my parents, sister Vi, plus 2 paying passengers. Amazingly, we encountered no mechanical difficulties. For a couple of years Dad drove the Model A every 2 weeks to his job at a logging camp near Hope. Having this experience in my history, I phoned Gordon and invited him and his wife for a visit.


Sam Glen
Sam Glen

When they arrived, he introduced us to Sam. Sensing our puzzlement she explained, “My name is Joan but my Dad tagged me with the name “Sam” when I was a kid. It has stuck and I’m happy with it.”

Sitting around the table in our sun room, Gordon said, “We’ve both been married before, we both have a set of twins, and we both lost our spouses through illness. About 5 years ago, a mutual friend introduced us at the Keremeos Legion. We were married a year ago.”

Sam, a slim blonde, has her own experience with vehicles. At one time she owned a T Bird and still has a rag top VW convertible. Equally interesting, she drove semi trailer transport trucks all over Canada and the U.S. for 15 years. Having a Class 1 driver’s licence, she was qualified to drive the fire truck at the Williams Lake volunteer fire department. “Often the men were away at their jobs during the day, so I drove,” she said.

Gordon Glen
Gordon Glen

Our conversation turned to the subject of Model A’s. Gordon’s experience with the iconic cars goes back to his early years. “Our neighbour had a Model A,” he recalled. “One summer my two older brothers worked for him. At the end of the harvest he gave them the old car for payment. We used it to haul potatoes and bring the cows in from the field.”

Eventually the brothers tired of the Model A, parked it in a slough, and departed the farm. “When I was 17,” Gordon said, “I asked for the car and they gave it to me.”

Having heard there are still a significant number of the much loved Model A’s tucked away in garages across this continent, and even around the globe, I asked Gordon what is so special about the car. “They’re almost completely constructed of steel,” he said, “Dodge and Chevrolet used wood and they didn’t last as well. While other companies lowered standards to keep prices down, Ford continually raised the bar and still kept the cost of the car affordable to any working man. They have a simple design and are easy to maintain. Some farmers actually turned their Model A’s into tractors for farm work. Even today all the parts, including tires, are available.”

Then he added, “I’ve been surprised by how well the Model A runs. It’s intended to go up to 45 mph, but is actually capable of higher speeds.”

The Model A was in production from 1927 to 1931. “The first couple of years they were quite small,” he said. “I’ve heard that Henry Ford wanted them small so that couples could not comfortably have sex in them.”

In time, Gordon sold his Model A with the understanding the owner would restore it. Some years later he again wanted to buy one, but owners were not selling. He bought a 1941 half ton Dodge. “It was my answer to not finding a Model A,” he said. “When we moved from Moose Jaw to B.C., driving it was like driving a Sherman tank.”

The 1930 Model A in summer.
The 1930 Model A in summer.

Acting on a tip from his brother Al in Vancouver, he finally located a Model A for sale, a 1930 pickup. “I bought it on the spot,” he said. He also joined the Lions Gate Model A Club and is still a member. “I’ve done a lot of upgrading on the truck. Members share knowledge and tools with other members.”

I don’t golf, do sports, garden, or gamble,” Gordon said at the end. “For me the Model A is a good hobby.” Sam nodded and smiled. She’s just as hooked.

Dan Twizell And His 1929 Dodge

Dan Twizell
Dan Twizell

At the recent Harvest Dinner in Hedley I introduced myself to a man with a luxurious, white beard. He said, “My name is Dan Twizell. I’m the owner of that 1929 Dodge parked across the street.”

A week later Dan came to our home for coffee, driving the Dodge. In response to my question he said “I chased the car 10 years. The owner didn’t want to part with it but I called him every 6 months. Finally he agreed to sell. It came with only the body, windows and wheels. No motor, running gear or interior.”

I had never done painting, upholstery or body work. My friend Leroy Fague and I spent 13,000 hours over 5 years. I drive the Dodge everywhere. I don’t want it to be a garage queen.”

Dan Twizell & his 1929 Dodge
Dan Twizell & his 1929 Dodge

Dan was born near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan where his parents were homesteading a small acreage. Family income was meager and at an early age Dan began learning the importance of making sound decisions and being independent. “There was always a 30-30 Winchester at the back door,” he recalled. When he was 5 his father instructed, “don’t fool around with it. If you’re going to hunt, be sure you don’t need to use more than one shell.”

One day his father said, “we’re going to starve to death here. I’ll have to go west to look for work.” Two months later he sent train tickets for the family to join him in New Westminster, BC.

For me it wasn’t good timing,” Dan remembers. “I was just completing grade one. The school made me repeat the grade. They considered us farm kids who didn’t know much.”

For a kid who supposedly didn’t know much, he had a lively and practical mind. “On my 8th birthday I was given a wristwatch.” he said. “I went upstairs to my bedroom and took it apart.” Like many boys, myself included, he wanted to know what was inside. However, unlike most boys, he put it back together and it worked!

At the senior secondary level he opted for the trade school, an indication of his preference for a career that didn’t require sitting behind a desk in an office. “I heard they placed students in practical work assignments, like a tire shop and a dairy farm. I wanted the experience.”

When his parents bought the popular take-out Snack Shack near Aldergrove, he got plenty of cooking experience. “My parents worked there all day,” he said, “so when I came home, I needed to prepare supper for the family. My dad told me to make meals from scratch. Even now I do most of the cooking. I’m a throw it together cook.”

Upon completing high school he demonstrated he was a “roll up your sleeves and go to work” type of guy. He went to a garage to apply for a job. Seeing that the owner was busy, he removed his jacket and began pumping gas. Two hours later the owner said “o.k. you’re on the payroll as of a couple of hours ago.”

As a young man he drifted into beer drinking associations. “In time, I saw that the crowd I was with was becoming dependent on the pub. I wanted to get away from the pub so without telling anyone, I moved to another town.”

In his mid 20’s, he applied for a job as a heavy duty mechanic. “I was the happiest guy in the world when they made me a field mechanic. Often I’d come to work and there was a note telling me a float plane was waiting to take me to a job. I’d ask the pilot where we were going. I stayed with the company 30 years until I retired at age 56.”

Asked about his greatest success, he replied, “my wife Judy. We attended the same school but I didn’t meet her until we were both at a mutual friend’s Christmas Eve party.” They’ve been together 36 years, enjoying lots of camping, hunting and fishing.

In 2004 they moved to their present property, which they named Crazy Goat Acres, on Old Hedley Road. It was here he rebuilt the Dodge. Regrettably, the goats needed to be sold recently. Judy has MS now and walks with a cane. Even so, with chickens, ducks, 3 dogs, a horse, a donkey, and the Dodge, they’re pretty content.

Model A In Princeton

Model A in Princeton, BC
Model A in Princeton, BC

It was a delight to see this 1928 Model A in the Princeton A & W parking lot on Sunday. I asked Tim, the owner, if I could get a few pictures. He said, “Sure, most people don’t ask.” He said it had taken more than 8 years to re-build. I gathered it was a job of finding parts, making those that weren’t available, and assembling them. A labour of love. I should have suggested he stand by the car. That was a case of negligence on my part.


Seeing Tim’s creation mentally took me back many years. My Dad owned a 1929 Model A (basically the same as the 1928 according to Tim). Our family made the move from rural Manitoba, not far from Steinbach, to Abbotsford, B.C. in that car. There were six of us in the car, Mom & Dad, my sister Vi, myself plus two young guys who I assume helped with expenses. A large trunk containing all we owned was strapped to the rear of the car. I don’t think the young guys were able to take anything except for the clothes on their bodies. That Model A didn’t let us down, not even a flat tire. Thanks Tim, for the photos and the memory.

MG Roadsters in Manning Park

A few days ago Linda and I were traveling to the Coast when we overtook 8 vintage roadsters, mostly MG’s. Immaculate and exuding charisma, they were cruising at a leisurely pace, like touring royalty, nearing Manning Park Lodge. I was intrigued and delighted. We stopped at the Lodge and I hoped they would too. About 10 minutes after we arrived, the roadsters began pulling in.

For me the Lodge isn’t just a pit stop and an opportunity to pick up coffee to go. I’m constantly alert for opportunities to meet people who are doing something unusual or special. This is a marked change in my thinking. In the past, I hurried in and out, rushing too much to notice the possibly fascinating individuals all around.

Austin Healey
Austin Healey

Among the roadsters was one Austin Healey. I was impressed by the mint condition of the vehicles. These were attention capturing character cars, meticulously maintained by doting owners.

Camera in hand, I walked over to a couple sitting in their shiny red MG. From the moment they reached out to shake my hand and introduced themselves as Dave and Barb, I liked them. They had friendly faces and smiled easily. In response to the cool morning air, Barb had donned a hat and wrapped a red plaid blanket around her shoulders. Although they were already set to move on, when I asked if I could snap a few shots they readily agreed. They seemed quite willing to engage in a brief conversation.

Dave's 1953 MG TD
Dave’s 1953 MG TD

It’s a 1953 TD,” Dave said in answer to my question. “I’ve been driving it since I was 8 years old. That was on the farm. It’s very comfortable and a lot of fun to drive.” I gathered that his father had been the first owner and driver and had passed it on to him.

I asked if they are a club and Dave said, “We’re an unclub. There is no formal membership or fee. There are about 32 of us. We were in Osoyoos for a few days. The others are sleeping in.”

He then said, “I met my wife in this car. She needed a ride to the airport to fly home to her boyfriend. I offered to take her there. She never got on the plane. The boyfriend may still be waiting.”

Barb chuckled when I asked Dave if she had been attracted to him or the car. “I’m not sure,” he said smiling, “but I’m keeping the car just in case.”

1948 MG TC
1948 MG TC

We shook hands again and they departed. I then noticed a black MG beginning to pull out of its parking spot. I hurried toward the car and asked if I could get a few pictures before they went. A woman was on the driver’s side. She said “sure.” After getting the pictures, I asked about the year of the car. “It’s a 1948,” she said. The man on the other side added, “it’s a British model.” I didn’t immediately understand the significance of this. These early MG’s were all made in Britain, weren’t they? Then I realized the steering wheel was on what we consider the passenger side. That, of course, is where they are in Britain. Like Dave and Barb’s car, this one appeared to be in flawless condition. I thanked them and they pulled out, the last car in the cavalcade. I waved, sensing a bit of nostalgia.

There is some lack of agreement as to the inception of the MG, but 1924 is a likely year. Until the company was sold to a foreign buyer, the MG roadsters were an esteemed British product. When we saw one, we tended to think of England. Unlike the proud Cadillac or Lexus, both of which are likely to eventually fall victim to a remorseless crusher in a scrap metal yard, an MG roadster becomes more iconic and precious with each passing year. The car exudes personality and the pride that comes from an uncompromising commitment to excellence.

For me the MG is more than a car. It is symbolic of the time when I was a boy and life was simpler. People seemingly understood better the importance of having sound values and maintaining relationships. Sure, I know I’m somewhat romanticizing the car. I may be giving meaning to it that only I understand. Beautiful classic vehicles tend to have that effect on me.

Awed By Classic Rolls Royce


This elegant classic Rolls Royce was parked at the Hitching Post Restaurant in Hedley a couple of weeks ago. The restaurant has a solid reputation for sumptuous dining well beyond Hedley and I frequently see expensive cars there during the dinner hour. Apparently people with means consider it worth a lengthy drive, or plan to stop here when they are travelling to other destinations. Certainly the high priced vehicles I regularly see here are not owned by local people.

When I spotted this Rolls, I hurried home to fetch the camera. Probably I should have gone into the restaurant and found the owner so I could learn more about it. I considered it but don’t like to disturb people at their meal. It might have been a special anniversary for them.


For me the car exudes character. It doesn’t have lines similar to virtually every other car on the road. When we see a car like this, we don’t need to look for the name of it’s maker. It is truly distinctive.

Linda went online in an attempt to find out when it was made but we’re not certain of this. What she did find is that there are a number of very impressive models.

I realize now I should have looked for the owners. Was it an elderly couple marking a special occasion? They might have been as interesting as the fabulous car they drive.

Builder of Unique Vintage Cars

"What is a car?" Ken asks, as we walk past an unrestored 1924 Dodge.
“What is a car?” Ken asks, as we walk past an unrestored 1924 Dodge.

For someone who doesn’t consider himself a collector of cars, Ken Helm of rural Cawston, BC certainly has a lot of them. When I asked “how many?” he replied, “I don’t know. Besides, what is a car? I have bodies of cars and plenty of parts. Just haven’t had time to put them all together.

1958 VW. Ken's version.
1958 VW. Ken’s version.

A congenial man with a snow white beard, Ken is eager to share his encyclopedic knowledge of vintage automobiles and their genius creators. We were treated to a virtual seminar as he took us on a tour through several sturdy, weatherbeaten structures, some of which he had moved to his farm from places like Hedley, Princeton and Manning Park. “I married the farmer’s daughter,” he said to explain how he had come to own this 15 acre property with a phenomenal view.


1929 Model A Coupe Ken's first car.
1929 Model A Coupe
Ken’s first car.

Ken bought his first car, a 1929 Model A coupe, when he was 16. After restoring it, at age 20 he was interviewed for a job by a B.C. Tel (now Telus) foreman.  He realized I knew something about electronics and liked the fact I’d rebuilt a car. They needed someone to fix equipment in remote areas.” He was assigned to the Hedley Microwave site and traveled to this area in the Model A. He drove the car to work every day for at least 20 years.

The incomplete "approximately" 1916 McLaughlin
The incomplete “approximately” 1916 McLaughlin

An incomplete (“approximately 1916”) McLaughlin awaited us in his work place. “I had only the 6 cylinder motor when I started this one,“ he said. “I’ve put electric lights on it. In the early years, cars had coal oil lamps for headlights. The fuel tank is a small barrel held in place with brackets from school desks. The throttle is on the steering wheel. It will be a 2 seater, with motor and driver exposed to the elements.”

For Ken, much of the joy comes from being unorthodox and innovative. “I’m trying to be a bit creative,” he told us. “I have a picking pile. When I need a part I look until I find one that interests me. Sometimes I make a part.”

Ken with his 1923 Model T Roadster
Ken with his 1923 Model T Roadster

In a long narrow building I counted 20 motors lined up on sturdy shelving, ready for him to pick one that interests him. In another structure numerous headlamps and steering wheels were hanging from the ceiling.

1929 Model A Pickup Truck
1929 Model A Pickup Truck

“Finding the right part is like a treasure hunt,” he said. “It’s a big part of the fun. I’m excited when I come up with something totally unique.”

For most of us, driving these elderly vehicles would be a nightmare. Not for Ken, although he admits “you’re pretty much on your own for figuring out how to fix them.” He has vivid memories of a trip to Horsefly in a 1928 Model A. “The car went through 15 quarts of oil and 7 tires. When my last tire went flat, a waitress in a café said her ex-boyfriend had tires. He did.”

This trip provided another significant challenge when one of the wooden wheels broke going around a corner. “Luckily, I was able to get a wire wheel from a farmer,” Ken said. “I welded it on and we continued.”

1 Cylinder BMW Isetta
1 Cylinder BMW Isetta

Some of Ken’s cars offer unusual features, like a tiny BMW with a single door at the front. The steering wheel is attached to the door and swings out with the door. This little gem cost him $800. to buy and fix. There is also a Czech built 2 cylinder model with a canvas body. To put it in reverse the motor must be shut off. The same to go forward. Not likely it was ever a big seller.

1927 Model T
1927 Model T

Some of the concepts incorporated into early automobiles would baffle today’s young drivers accustomed to high levels of technology. Looking at a Model T, I said, “you’d have to crank to start it?”

“Yes,” Ken responded. “They don’t have a starter.”


1921 Dodge Roadster
1921 Dodge Roadster

In retirement, Ken is still blessed with the enthusiasm of a 20 year old. As we were preparing to leave, I asked what inspires him to continue accumulating and creating what I think of as cars with unique character and sparkling personality. He considered for a moment, stroking the snow white beard, then said, “I think a guy likes to feel he’s part of something. It’s deeply rewarding when you can figure out how to fix a tough problem. It’s a way of expressing who I am.”

Watch For This Awesome Coupe

My neighbour Dwight (better known locally as Whitey) has recently finished rebuilding a 1928 Chrysler coupe. When Linda and I first saw the vehicle in Leroy’s shop, it was still very much in the early phase of its restoration. Leroy is a friend of Dwight and a gifted builder of hot rods. (Some time ago I wrote about him and posted a photo of his 1936 Ford pickup. You can find the post under People.) The body of the Chrysler was pulled out of the Vancouver Dump. Leroy bought it and found a frame for it in the bush, somewhere along a side road.

Leroy and the vehicle in its early stage
Leroy and the vehicle in its early stage

Dwight has done much of the work on the coupe himself, but he credits Leroy with the creativity, meticulous attention to detail and high skill level that has helped him restore this former derelict and make it a trophy car. The 1979 Chev motor is a 350. In a small, very light car, that’s a lot of power.


I asked Dwight about taking a picture of him and the car. He said, “can Kilo be on the picture?” A young pitbull, Kilo is a recent addition to his collection of friends and toys. I agreed willingly and suggested he bring a chair and a cup of coffee. The coffee idea didn’t resonate with him. “I’ll bring a can of beer,” he countered.


Well, here he and Kilo are, at the intersection of two streets in Hedley. We agreed that one day we’ll do this on Scott Avenue, Hedley’s main street, in the heart of the commercial section. The commercial section of Hedley consists largely of the Hedley Country Market, The Hitching Post restaurant, the Post Office and the Hedley Inn & Hostel.

Watch for this little coupe on the highway this summer, but don’t make the mistake of trying to keep up with it.

Breathing Life Into a Defunct Camaro



This 1981 Camaro has been thoroughly neglected for 15 years. Hasn’t been driven. Hasn’t even been started. For much of this time it has been parked on Mike’s yard, the next door neighbour of our daughter Vivian and her family. No one demonstrated any interest in the car, except for one person.

For about 2 years our grandson Brandon has periodically said to Mike, “When are you going to give me the Camaro?” He was 14 when he began asking the question. Mike is about 40, a big guy with a big voice. He just laughed.

Maybe he was waiting for Brandon to be old enough to drive. Approximately 3 months ago he said to him, “O.K. you can move the Camaro onto your yard now. It’s yours.” Brandon will turn 16 at the end of June.

It’s a Z28, with a 350 cubic inch motor, the biggest one available in this top of the line model. This is a lot of power for a driver at any age, especially a young man of 16. It has Granny a tad concerned but we know Brandon has demonstrated an ability to make wise choices. Even so, Granny will say some extra prayers once the car is road worthy.

Having stood idle so long, the car needs more than just some tender loving care. Fortunately Brandon’s Dad, our son in law Troy, has plenty of experience with breathing life into classic vehicles. His restoration of a red 1970 Cuda convertible still produces a sense of awe in me. One of the Dukes of Hazard bought another car he had restored. He sets a high standard and gives meticulous attention to detail.

Brandon admiring some of the changes that have been made.
Brandon admiring some of the changes that have been made.

Most of Troy’s working life has been in automotive parts outlets. Fora number of years he has been with Mopac Auto Supplies (“where power is everything“). He knows cars and is the brains behind the restoration of the Camaro. He gives the directions and Brandon does most of the work. They can be found in the shop long after dark.

In the photo at the top they are discussing the best means of removing the gas tank. Troy has an automotive scope camera that allows him a peek at the inside. “There is a lot of gunk in there,” he said. The problem at this point is that someone put a hitch on the car years ago and it won’t permit the tank to come down. It’s hard to believe anyone would put a hitch on a Camaro.

It’s actually somewhat amazing to see Troy working on a Camaro. From the beginning, he’s been a loyal Chrysler Corp. fan. I’m certain he hasn’t worked on a General Motors Co. product previously. It’s good to see that his loyalty to Chrysler is outweighed by loyalty to his son.

There will be a cost to bringing this old lady to life. Fortunately Troy can buy at wholesale and he also knows people who have used parts. In a few instances, some individuals have taken an interest in Brandon’s project and have donated parts.

Some years ago Chev General Manager Pete Estes said, “the name Camaro suggests the comradeship of good friends, as a personal car should be to its owner.”

This Camaro is also deepening the comradeship between father and son.

A Second Look At Leroy’s 1936 Ford

In an earlier post I stated that if auto maker Henry Ford could see what Leroy Fague is doing to his cars, he’d likely want to come back and join in the fun. Leroy’s cars are practical, go fast, and charm the senses. He works alone in his garage on Old Hedley Road, relying on ingenuity and using parts he has harvested from retired vehicles.IMG_0603

When Leroy parked his 1936 Ford in front of my neighbour’s home recently, I couldn’t resist the urge to get up close.

“It was originally a one ton fire truck stationed at the Bellingham Airport,” he told me. “Front and rear suspension come from a Mustang. The engine is a chev 327 small block. I built the box myself. The seat is from a Dodge minivan.” His recitation included a dizzying array of parts from other vehicles. I gathered that this pretty pickup is a Ford mostly in name and appearance.

Before he drove away he said, “come over sometime and I’ll show you what I do. I’ll give you and your wife both a ride.”

Linda and I accepted the offer this week and found that entering his single car garage was somewhat akin to stepping back into an earlier era. A 1928 Chrysler coupe, partially finished, invited our attention.

“It was built without a roof originally,” Leroy explained. “They didn’t have the technology to stamp a roof then. Someone put this roof on it later, but it’s flawed.” He pointed to rippling in front and along the sides. He’ll fix that.

As he talked it became apparent that Leroy is meticulous and passionate, much like a Nobel Prize winning scientist. He’s an artist, a creative genius.

Pointing at the head lights on the Chrysler he said, “It took some fiddling to get the lights mounted at the height where they look best. I built the fenders, chassis and frame. You can see it has a rake (slant). That’s to make it look like it can go fast.”

“When I have a car at a certain stage,” he said, “I push it out and eye ball it from about 50 paces. If it doesn’t look right, I push it back in, take it apart and do it again.”

When I asked where he learned to build cars, he said, “I had zero training, just a desire to do it. When I started building my first car, a 1923 Ford Model T, I got a shop to create a windshield frame for it. They did a poor quality job but charged a lot. After that I read and studied and learned to make parts like this myself.”First car Leroy built 2.img

He remembers that 1923 Model T as a fun car. “It weighed 1920 pounds and had 300 horse power. It was very fast.”

“That was about 40 years ago,” he said. “One day I raced a Porsche from Whistler to Vancouver. It couldn’t keep up. My wife was pretty unhappy with me. That’s something I don’t do anymore.”

The Model T drew enough police attention to make him uncomfortable. “They pulled me over for noise, for no fenders, and sometimes out of curiosity. One officer told me he didn’t like my car. He kept me waiting more than an hour in a hot sun, in a car without a roof. After that I put an ad in the paper and sold the car.”

Leroy has obviously matured a good deal in the intervening years. He is excited about his creations, but not boastful. His approach to car building is pragmatic. “I build practical cars that can be driven anywhere, anytime. I’ve driven the 1936 Ford pickup 18 years. It’s never let me down. I expect my vehicles to be mechanically sound.”

I asked my last question and then reminded him of the promised ride in the pickup. He took Linda first. When it was my turn, he found a quiet road and stepped on the accelerator. The ride remained smooth and comfortable. “We’re doing 70 mph now,” he said. “Should I do 100?”.

Appraised at $36,500, this pretty truck is well beyond my budget. Anyway, Leroy says it’s not for sale. I can understand why.

Leroy’s 1936 Ford

If automotive tycoon Henry Ford could see what Leroy Fague of Leroy Fague and 1936 FordPrinceton, B.C. has managed to do, he’d surely be more than a little green with envy. A few days ago I saw this pretty 1936 Ford pickup parked on the street in front of my neighbour’s place. I couldn’t resist the impulse to get up close. Dwight (better known as Whitey), introduced me to Leroy, the truck’s owner. Leroy invited me to sit behind the wheel. What comfort and pleasure! He has certainly improved on Henry Ford’s creation.

“Originally it was a Bellingham Airport fire truck,” Leroy told me. “A one ton. I built it on a 1953 Ford F1 frame. Built the box myself.”

Listening to Leroy talk about the pickup, I quickly realized he is focused, serious and meticulous in re-building vehicles from the past. “I don’t do muscle cars,” he said. “I build only hot rods. That way I can select parts off any vehicle I choose.”

As he talked about the parts he had installed on the pickup, I concluded that in fact this really is a 1936 Ford mostly in name and appearance. “It’s got Mustang front and rear suspension,” he said. “The engine is a Chev small block 327. It has a turbo 350 GM 10 bolt differential.” I’m not mechanical but I understand that in assembling such a variety of parts to create a very special vehicle, he has accomplished something remarkable.

The ride is unique he told me. “It’s visceral.”

Leroy began this interest by building custom Harley Davidsons. When he switched to cars, the first one was a 1923 Ford. “No fenders. No top,” he said.

“I wanted to learn about the science of building a car,” he continued. “I learned to do welding, engineering and fabrication.”

At one time he had a business in Surrey, doing it for others. “I didn’t enjoy that,” he told me. “I don’t like selling what I build. I rarely make exceptions.”

You’d need a hefty stash under your mattress to buy this 1936 Ford pickup. It has been appraised at $36,500. In my case, looking at it admiringly is the limit. Anyway, it’s not for sale. Leroy did say he’d give Linda and me a ride in it though, and that’s an offer I plan to accept very soon.