By on July 1, 2012

There’s an annual Show and Shine every Canada day here on Saltspring island. The choir sings the forgotten verses to Oh Canada and the band plays the Victory March (the Monty Python theme tune) and the bagpipers skirl and you have a choice of dried-out cheeseburgers or falafel. Like all the best car-shows, it’s a weird, homogenous mix of stuff, and this ’36 GM truck caught my eye right away.

Then I listened to the owner talk about it, and knew I had to share.

He didn’t know whether this truck was born back east in Oshawa or Waterville, but the more likely birthplace was Regina, Saskatchewan. That’d make it a grain-hauler, helping get the wheat from the breadbasket of Canada to the CN railway, and from there to the ports and across the world. The plant would have built trucks up until WWII and then started beating those plowshares back into swords.

Build-time? Two weeks. Seems incredible, but when you’ve got a shed full of parts and are handy with a welder, it’s easy to put the “Can” in Canada.

Drop the hammer? Nah, we’re a nation of lumberjacks, after all.

The tap-handle shifter is a nice touch. When the winter Olympics were in my hometown, Germany House actually ran out of beer and had to have kegs air-freighted over – something that had never previously happened. We all felt a bit patriotic about that one.

Being Canada, these horns have never been used.

Cheap beer, cheap smokes and an 8-track with Stompin’ Tom Connors and Anne Murray on it. Can’t beat that.

This air-cleaner is clearly an homage to our national bee-keepers. Or something. It’s sitting atop a 327 truck motor that’s reportedly barely enough to spin the rear wheels.

A pickup-bed full of self-reliance. That long-range tank ought to come in handy for the long, straight prairie roads.

All-in-all, a curious mix of craftmanship and hack-job hastiness. I’d rather like to chauffeur the Queen around in it.

Oh yeah, or on this:

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7 Comments on “An All-Canadian Rat Rod (Beaver Rod?)...”


  • avatar
    Felix Hoenikker

    Great stuff,

    One thing about the horns – last year during Canada Day, I was in Montreal where I found myself getting honked at when I made right turns on red lights. Later, at the hotel , I found out that this is not Kosher in the big M. I was gragteful for the help as I stopped makeing right on reds afer the third honk.

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    Love it. Lived in Newfoundland for a while and have driven the width of Canada. You remind me how much I loved it there – in the summer.

  • avatar
    Silvy_nonsense

    I’ve been back from a quick trip to our friendly neighbor for less than a week and I’m already having Poutine and unusual flavors of potato chip withdrawal. Happy Canada Day!

  • avatar
    Ron B.

    http://images.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/07/RR5-366×550.jpg
    I guess the old 327 would run better if that open nipple on the manifold was closed off properly.

  • avatar
    John

    What you need for cruising on a Sudbury Saturday night.

  • avatar
    CanuckGreg

    Well I’ll be damned. I grew up in Regina (and lived there for almost 20 years) and had no idea there was once a GM factory there.

  • avatar
    noxioux

    Delicious. Rat rods are hands down the best.


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