We were at a small town car show when we spotted this unusual guest at the event.
The big old truck was a 1950 Mercury M-155 3-ton and it drew a lot of attention from curious onlookers, including us.
Past history has taught us that old farm trucks restored back to their original glory often have a link with one family and we were right again this time.
The Merc’s current owner is Brett Penosky and he is the grandson of the truck’s original owner. In fact Brett rode shotgun with his grandfather when he was a kid and had many happy memories of time with his granddad in the Mercury.
The M-155 worked hard on the family farm and so did Brett as he grew up on the large family farming operation. Brett was like almost every other farm kid because he learned how to drive in the truck, a skill they need to learn early because of necessity.
Harvest time and moving livestock are part of the program on many farms and this Mercury 3-ton worked hard on both fronts. Brett told us the truck could hold 200 bushels of grain and we knew he learned that statistic the hard way on the farm.
They added a box hoist to the truck in ’58 and it probably made Brett’s chores a little easier with the truck.He also recalled hauling livestock “one bull at a time” in his words with his granddad in the truck as the family built one of the biggest Black Angus operations in Alberta over the years. The cattle herd was started by Brett’s family in 1942 and dispersed in 2007 when Brett scaled back on the family farm operation.
The Mercury 3-ton was eventually retired from active duty and stored for 27 years until Brett began a full frame-off restoration on the truck. The truck was his 3rd restoration and followed two antique manure spreaders that were brought back to their original glory by Brett.
For those unfamiliar with this piece of farm equipment, a manure spreader does exactly what it sounds like it does on a farm. They were far less likely to be restored than a truck, but they are an important part of the farm operation. Brett mentioned the truck project was completed in one year and he did an amazing job in a short period of time.
We got the impression that Brett is the kind of guy who likes to get things done and he said he worked steady on the truck for three solid months. His idea of “working steady” meant incredibly long hours and patience; two traits you need to stay in the agriculture business.
The truck will do 50 mph on the road, but Brett is never in a big hurry when he is behind the wheel of his Mercury because of all the fond memories.
We hope there is also no big hurry for Brett’s last ride in the truck because he told us; “When I die, I want a ride to the cemetery in the truck”.
Now that’s a bond.