June's Truck of the Month: Way to Go
GUELPH, ON— “My wife says when I die, the funeral will be at 10:00, the auction at 2:00.”
Rick Way of Wayfreight was responding to a question about how his spouse Maggie abides his eccentric, fabulous and ever-growing collection of truck memorabilia.
And World-War II artifacts.
And John Wayne souvenirs.
To drop in on Rick Way is to see a grown boy’s passions on display, with the volume cranked to 11.
His Guelph,-ON office shelves are stocked with real mortar shells, artillery rifles, a piece of an airplane propeller and used army helmets, among other souvenirs. Each comes with a story.
The countless images of The Duke in his various manly incarnations speak for themselves.
Then there’s the garage.
It’s a dusty repository of trucking history with half-restored and fully finished antiques tucked in among the fleet’s active equipment in for fixing.
This is a man with a passion. And a profound respect for those who came before him.
One of Way’s restoration projects is a 1952 GM and the license plate reads “LEO WAY” in honor of his late father.
“My dad was gone by the time I did the trucks but he would have loved what we did. He drove truck, too, and I guess that’s how it got in the genes.”
Another vehicle in the stable is a 1953 Mack. The plate reads “CLEVE WAY” in memory of a truck-driving uncle.
The plate on our Truck of the Month refers to Rick’s son John, the person who did much of the restoration work. (Rick and Maggie have two other boys, Eric and Scott.)
The 1956 White 9000T is powered by a 386-cu.in flat-head 6-cyl. gas engine rated at 160 hp at 3,000 rpms. Maximum torque is 336 ft lbs at 1,400 rpms. It has a 5-speed transmission, air brakes and runs on 10.00 x 20 bias-ply tires.
“The hood emblem says ‘White Mustang Power,’” Way says, adding, “I always get a smile out of that, because it is not a powerful truck by today’s standards.”
The White has had more homes than a mischievous foster kid.
Way bought it from Wayne Margisson of Mississauga, in 2006.
Margisson actually owned the rig twice, buying it first in ‘74 from Trillium Sandblasting, then selling it to Harry Hunter in Florenceville, NB in the late ‘70s then buying it back again in 1994. Before Margisson, the truck was owned by Braun Equipment in Toronto. And while Way’s crew was restoring the truck, they unearthed yet another company log: A Georgetown outfit called Burns Transport. Turns out they used it to run reefers to Kalamazoo.
By the time Way got his hands on it, the truck was in sad shape, the engine seized and body rusted out.
“It was just awful. There were even some bullet holes in the back of the cab,” he says.
A less passionate man would have seen it as a pile of scrap.
But that’s not Rick’s way.