MAY 30, 2011 (JUNE 2011) A SELF-PROFESSED NON-CAR GUY COMES OUT OF THE GARAGE

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One of the unusual features of the old vehicle world is that many people believe very strongly that they are not car guys.

 

They claim that a car is simply a method to get from Point A to Point B in the most efficient possible manner.

 

For non-car guys, there is no emotional attachment to the vehicle beyond a sense of contempt if the vehicle does not keep its end of the Point A to Point B bargain.

 

However, it turns out that many of these “non-car guys” are actually closet car guys, and it is our job to make them come out of the garage and admit it.

 

Doug Stapleton is a self-proclaimed non-car guy who pays little or no attention to the collector vehicle world.For Doug, there is no value to old vehicles and certainly no sane reason to own one.

 

Then he spotted an old 1955 Divco milk truck with some very familiar decals on its panels.

 

It was an original milk truck from his hometown of Moose Jaw Saskatchewan Canada, and it was rusting in peace (one province over) in Alberta Canada.

 

Suddenly this alleged “non-car guy was interested in the milk truck for some very sentimental reasons.

 

It turns out that Doug had a strong connection to the truck because his father was a long time employee of the dairy company that originally purchased the Divco. Doug’s dad was a horse and wagon milkman prior to the company’s purchase of the eight Divco milk trucks in 1954 and ’55.

 

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The trucks phased out the horses in an era when home delivery for dairy products was a fundamental part of urban life. The Divcos were purchased to get the milk and butter to Moose Jaw customers more efficiently than the horses.

 

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The dairy industry played a big role in Doug’s family. His parents met while both were employed at Palm Dairies and his father spent his entire adult life in the dairy industry. Milk ran through Doug’s veins from birth and the old Divco reminded him of his childhood when these unique milk trucks ruled the streets of his hometown.

 

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Doug spent his kid summers as a swamper for his dad’s large out- of- town milk run, although not in a Divco. The Divcos were not exactly highway speed machines.

 

But the sight of a forlorn and forgotten Palm Dairies milk truck from his hometown of Moose Jaw was more than Doug could stand, and suddenly a car guy was born.

 

Doug is definitely not a handy guy when it comes to automotive repair, but he bought the old truck with a plan to save it from a crusher- or possibly some crazoid with a plan to drop a big block in it and tear out its heart and soul.

 

He repatriated the truck back in 1993 to a cousin’s farm in Saskatchewan and formulated a game plan to donate it to a museum. For Doug, it was a way to honor his father and remind a new generation of a bygone era when milk delivery was part of a slower-paced and less complicated world.

 

The Divco now has a promising future because Doug and his family have donated the old workhorse to the Sukanen Ship museum in his hometown of Moose Jaw. The little milk truck that has spent so many decades in the frigid Canadian winters will finally come in from the cold.

 

And it owes its very existence to a “non-car guy” who has finally come out of the garage as a car guy.

 

Jim Sutherland

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More stories from self-confessed car guys athttps://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/

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