Gerry Hof smiled like a teenager again Tuesday, back behind the wheel of his family truck from childhood — the 1951 Mercury M1 that some of his best memories were made in.
“I actually took my date to grad in this truck, and I learned to drive in this truck,” said Gerry, a Cowichan Bay resident.
“Just knowing what it meant to him,” said Mary Hof, Gerry’s wife of 45 years.
The retired dairy farmer found the old three-speed truck in the woods behind his family farm. It was buried deep in debris, and damaged.
“It was a mess. I know it was a mess,” said Gerry.
“I saw the truck always laying there and then when he mentioned it to me I just thought there’s just no way you know, but then something in your heart strikes you. Right?” said Mary.
So the now-grandfather and professionals went to work. They salvaged what they could from the old truck, found used parts, and laboured for years on it, before completing the project the 73-year-old feared he might never, last month.
“It’s a good feeling yeah. It got to the point where I said to myself, where I said I gotta get it fixed now or I’ll be too old to drive it,” said Gerry.
His wife supported him spending every dollar that he needed to bring back the piece of his childhood.
“When he asked me to hop in, I knew it was all worth it,” said Mary.
“I wouldn’t sell this for a million dollars right now,” said Gerry.
The truck will not only offer a trip back in time, Hof hopes to teach his own grandchildren to drive in it one day to make new memories down the road.