Ford F-100 Across Canada, Part 1: Country Music Made Me Do It
The love of a ’68 F-100 & Waylon Jennings leads two friends on a cross-country adventure. Here, FTE forum member David Morton shares the story that sparked the trip.
Impulse is a real thing, and it is persuasive. Late one night, I was cruising the online classified sites when it hit me. I saw a two-tone seafoam blue-over-white F-100 with 50 years of patina on it. It was probably the best-looking truck I have ever seen. It was equal parts beautiful and attainable. I didn’t hesitate. I called the owner the next day and bought it: A 1968 Ford F-100 with a bulletproof straight 6 and a four-speed manual transmission. Perfect, I was the owner of a sweet truck I could work on myself.
There was just one little problem. The truck was on the west coast of Canada, about 2,500 miles away.
I bought the truck sight unseen, and I still wouldn’t be able to see it for another five months. While I am a car guy–whatever that means–this was going be my first truck, and I was pretty excited.
Back in my room in Toronto, I did some research on the Vehicle Identification Number. I found that the truck had been assembled in Oakville, Ontario. “Wild,” I thought. “We’re driving her home!” Well, kind of. British Columbia will always be her home. It’s where she spent her life as a farm hand, hauling and towing on an orchard just a few miles from the U.S. border. She was headed for a completely different life now.
The owner was a man named Uli. He wanted to find the truck a good home because he knew it still had a ton of life left in it. It was old, but the mechanic said it is pretty clean, which I don’t doubt because it lives in B.C., the land of rust-free metal. It also has a notoriously bulletproof engine, used for over 30 years in these trucks.
I know impulse had a big part of what drove me to buy this truck. But the truth is there is something else that pushed me to buy this gem: country music. Ever since I was a kid, my dad would play tons of outlaw country music: Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck, George Jones, and the like. They all would be on the stereo Friday night as we drove to our cottage, or on a Saturday morning, when it was used as an alarm clock to let us know it was time for chores.
Thinking about my truck, a lyric from “Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys” by Jennings was burned in my mind. “Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be cowboys. Don’t let ’em pick guitars or drive them old trucks; let ’em be doctors and lawyers and such.” Well, I’m sure as hell not a doctor, and now I own a 50-year-old pickup truck. I think I made the right choices in life.
As we head out across this unbelievably big and beautiful country, I just know it is full of trucks. Feel free to listen to our truck-driving playlist as you follow me and my buddy Don Giroux on our adventures as we drive clean across Canada. And, of course, we’ll be keeping you posted right here on Ford Truck Enthusiasts.