It all started when I was a young boy, about 8 years old or so. Every summer, my family would load up into the family vehicle for a few weeks of vacation, traveling around British Columbia, Alberta, and Saskatchewan, to visit family and close friends. I always looked forward to this time of year because I got to do so many of my favorite things like, road trip, swim, ride dirtbikes on my uncles farm, and go for a ride in one of my dads best friends cars. It was this car, that started it all.
About half way through our vacation, we always ended up at my dads friends farm near Hardisty, Alberta. It was an annual event I always looked forward to. We would go to the barn and push out a Cranberry red 1970 Chevelle SS, change the fuel and oil, take the moth balls out of the interior, wash the outside, and then the best part, go for a ride into town! It was this ride that made the whole day of work worthwhile! The sounds, the smells, the rumble of that engine just begging to be unleashed, the feeling of being planted back into the seat when Wyatt stabbed the throttle.......I'll never forget those rides.
This ritual went on for many years until my late teens when one day we were talking to Wyatt on the phone and he mentioned that he was thinking of selling the SS! My heart skipped a beat and sort of started to sink, but by the end of the conversation, we had agreed that we would make the trip to the farm to come and buy it! It didn't even seem that it could be really happening! But it got real in a hurry I'll tell you.
We made the long drive out to get the car in the middle of that summer, some 19 years ago. We didn't have a trailer so dad gave me the good news that I would get to drive it all the way back! I was so excited, but later found that dad did that for a reason..... the van had air conditioning, and the Chevelle did not! Well played, dad, well played. And hot it was, but I was ok with that, windows down in +34 degree weather wasn't so bad at 55mph, until we hit major road construction and were down to 10mph for a couple hours. As if that wasn't hot enough, now I started watching the needle on the Autometer temp gauge start to climb, and fast! Slow speed + big block power was adding up to a problem for me, and there was no where for me to pull over either to let it cool down! I was desperate, so I turned the heat on high in an attempt to help shed some of the heat from the engine, and it worked....just enough to keep me around 210-215! But dang, that was warm!
After we passed the construction we immediately came to Burns Lake where we stopped to let the car and myself cool down a while, then carried on home.
The car was in really good shape and to this day still has the original interior in it, but we immediately made plans to have the paint re done as the horses had chewed the paint off the edges of the fenders while it was in the barn at some point. Lucky for us, one of my best friends had recently completed his auto body and painting apprenticeship and offered to do the paint for us! And what a job he did! To this day people still comment on the quality of the paintwork that Kevin did.
Since then, dad made my dreams come true and has passed the car onto me. We still enjoy it as a family on nice days when we want to go for a cruise or maybe some ice cream! I hope that someday, my son will have as fond of memories in this car, and maybe then I can continue the tradition and pass it on to him.