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Your Restoration Stories

John’s Story

Anyone who has ever restored a vehicle knows what an unpredictable process it can be. Once you begin disassembly, you never know what you’re going to find (or not find) under the hood, or what direction you’ll take to finish the project. John found this out firsthand when he and his son, Dwayne, restored a 1926 Ford Roadster pickup. As with any restoration, the project had its challenges and its unexpected twists, but the results made it all worthwhile.

The project began in Saskatoon, where John and Dwayne found the vehicle. John had always loved the look of trucks from the 1920s, noting how the body characteristics still reflected those of horse-drawn buggies. After bringing it back to Alberta, father and son began working on it together. “Dwayne has been interested in vehicles since childhood,” John says. “He was always in the garage helping me, holding tools for me, but this one was his first hands-on experience.”

While some original parts remained intact, there was sill a lot of work to be done. “You can’t see how bad things are until it’s disassembled,” says John. “There wasn’t a lot to it. It was more just pieces.” John was able to source some parts that fit into the vehicle, but others had to be modified to fit, such as the motor, which came from a 1966 Mustang 289. John refers to the project as “more of a hotrod than a restoration” due to the modifications.

George Moir served as a primary source for parts during the project. At the time, the business was still owned by George Moir himself, who got to know John over the course of the Roadster’s restoration. Right around this time George lost his shop assistant and needed to hire a new one. One day he spotted John in a line-up at Canadian Tire and remembered that John had a son, Dwayne, who seemed knowledgeable and enthusiastic about car restoration. He called John a few days later and asked if Dwayne might be interested in working for him. Dwayne accepted the offer, serving as the shop assistant for eight years, mentored by George. In 2006, George decided it was finally time to retire and sell the business. Dwayne and his wife Kennie decided to buy it and have been operating it ever since, maintaining the original George Moir reputation of quality service.

The pickup, now finished, is a source of pride for John. He takes it out for drives whenever he can, showing it off around town. “I get a lot of gratification when someone gives it a thumbs up or a smile,” he says.

On his decision to use some modified parts rather than keeping it original, John says “It depends on what your heart wants. You adapt it to serve what you want. And you figure it out as you go. When you run into problems, you make solutions.”

Despite running into some unexpected problems and having to improvise solutions, John isn’t planning on giving up his passion for restoration. He plans to begin work on his next project, a 1967 Volvo 123GT.