Picture this: You’re cruising the open road, windows down, hair flying in the wind. Tall crescents and peaks of snowy mountains are reflecting back at you in your rearview mirror. You’ve got your friend by your side and Waylon Jennings blaring through the speakers.
Welcome to the life of David and Don.
When David Morton sold his car and began scouring the B.C. classifieds for a replacement, he stumbled across a vintage, aqua 1968 Ford F-100 truck – and knew it had to be his. After purchasing the car and doing some digging, he discovered the truck was originally built in Ontario – and the idea of a homecoming road trip was born. After enlisting the help of his buddy Don Giroux, the two car-guys-turned-truck enthusiasts set out on a 10-day adventure of a lifetime across Canada.
Canadian Traveller chatted with David all about trucks, trip highlights and advice for your next cross-Canada roadie.
Hey David! Give us your story...
I am a marketing director with a background in startups. I am one of the founding members of a brand called Bunz Trading Zone, which now goes by Bunz. I guess one could say I'm an adventurer. My first adventure was in Vietnam where I purchased a motorcycle and rode solo from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi and did a big loop up in the mountains. That was pretty far out and definitely changed me and gave me a taste for adventure. Since then I have ridden to Southern California on a Harley – staying in places like Slab City and Joshua Tree. I like to see stuff and experience it; not just be a tourist.
Your 1968 Ford F-100 truck is rad. How did you find it?
I was cruising through some online classifieds in B.C. when I saw it and I just loved it. It looks like California, if California were a truck. I'm not a truck guy really, I've never owned one, but this one was too good looking to turn down. So I called the guy and he was so straight up about the condition and maintenance that I just went for it.
Did you have any previous experience with vintage cars?
My mom owned a 1978 Volkswagen Super Beetle and I used to "borrow" it when they went out of town when I was in high school. I loved that car so much. It was the first car I ever rode in. I still remember the smell of it when you sat inside.
Be real with us: what repairs were needed before hitting the road?
Surprisingly, nothing major. I took it to a place in the town of Osoyoos, B.C. where it was located and I had a local custom shop look it over. They did some electrical work to get the lights working, inspected the frame and panels for rust and replaced the ignition with an electronic ignition; I didn't want to mess around with the old points system. They fully rebuilt the carburetor and then I got four new tires. So I did put some money into it over the winter.
I heard you brought a friend along. Who's Don and how did you rope him into this?
Don is my creative partner and once I got some sponsorships behind me, he wanted to jump in and shoot the whole thing to take it from being just a written story to being video as well. Don and I worked on a bunch of the advertising I did for Bunz Trading Zone and other brands as well. He’s the perfect guy for a trip like this because if he says he's going to do it, he's going to do it--and not complain about it. He's also great with a camera.
That's awesome that you got sponsors on board. What was it like working with them?
I work in marketing with a sales background, so I did what I always do: I made a list of people who might be interested in this story – brands that would benefit from the exposure and could see the value proposition and then I did my research and started calling them. Funny, I thought that Ford would be really into this story so I tossed up a website and built an ad on it for the trip titled "Fords Always Find Their Way Home." It looked like a print ad from the '60s, I really liked it. What I didn't realize is that Ford's agency, GTB, isn't really into stories about super durable trucks that are 50-years-old; they would rather talk about the new Ford trucks. Luckily, I found two great sponsors in Ford Truck Enthusiast Form and LMC Truck who is an after market parts supplier. You would be surprised what you can do if you just think about it and then act on it.
Tell us how you found out about the backstory of the truck being from Ontario?
So I bought the truck, started getting it worked on and was like, "Okay cool, I'll grab it in the spring when the snow melts." Then I found the Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forum and started reading all the posts about literally every aspect of this old truck. At that point, I found out you could learn a lot about the truck from the VIN number. So I researched it and found out all the details including where it was manufactured. Keep in mind, I hadn't up to this point seen the truck in real life, so I was eager to learn more about it. Once I saw that it was assembled at the Oakville plant exactly 50 years previously, I knew I had a special story on my hands. It wasn't too many phone calls later that people started to get interested.
What was the planned route for the road trip and did you stick to it?
There was literally no planned route. I wanted to stay in Canada and I knew I wanted to do it in 10 days, but other than that, there was no plan. Planning kind of kills the fun of a trip like this. You have a start point, and then an endpoint; it's better to feel your way along and stop where it feels good to stop. The simple fact is that you can't stop everywhere – the country is just too huge – so you have to rely on your gut to make the most of the trip. So far its worked out with some hilarious and fun results.
What was your favourite moment on the road trip?
My favourite moment of the trip was probably when I met up with this guy named Perry who is really into Ford trucks and posts often on the forum. We met in Calgary at his place and he didn't hesitate to crawl under the truck with me and inspect the chassis, frame and body. He was pretty blown away by the condition of the truck and at that point, a lot of my fears around whether I bought something that was too old to be a daily driver faded away. He was so kind to me, we met up a few more times the following days. He gave me a wealth of knowledge about small repairs, maintenance and just truck culture. I think he has probably driven across the country at least a few dozen times.
Another favourite time was coming out of Golden, B.C. descending the mountains and seeing the plains spread out in front of me, it was surreal. Just watching it all flatten out and having the mountains behind us. I think my ears popped a few times! The mountains are no joke and it was just a relief to get through them without incident.
Any other upcoming adventures for you and the car?
Her working days are over, it is going to be road trips and running out to the lake, but that’s about it. Nothing planned. I like to make knee-jerk, last minute, Friday decisions to go to Detroit so I will probably take her down there.
What's your best advice for someone who wants to do a similar road trip in a vintage car?
If you want to do it, do it. Just realize what you are doing. If you don't prepare yourself and the car then you are setting yourself up for trouble potentially. Get it looked at, learn about the car yourself and carry a set of tools. Rubber goes bad over the years, so any hoses you think you might need to replace, carry them with you. If you're not into getting your hands dirty at least on some level, don't do it. Or, you know, if you aren't mechanically inclined.
Finally, the truck is home sweet home.
Follow along with David + Don on Instagram here.
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