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There is an unhappy fate that sometimes befalls old trucks and horses.


They sometimes outlive their usefulness and end up in the North 40 for all of the wrong reasons.


Such was the case for John and Rhonda Leslie’s 1953 Chevrolet grain truck.


The sad part was that the old workhorse had served its former farmer/owner very well and that man was Rhonda’s grandfather George Kureluk. The old Chevy was eventually retired and forgotten until Rhonda’s father discovered it and decided that it needed to be rescued from its retirement.


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The truck had sat long enough to be fenced in by a grove of trees, so the first order of business for the restoration was a chain saw to cut it out of its retirement prison. The restoration process was a long affair because the old truck needed a lot of work.


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Anybody who has ever cut a vehicle out of the bush can understand the time, effort and money required to restore an abandoned bush truck. For starters, the truck needed a heart transplant, so George gave it an engine from a 1953 GMC donor cousin.


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The restoration began 13 years ago and it took a great deal of time and patience to restore the old workhorse to its former glory. Farm trucks are worked hard during their lives and, when you throw in a post-retirement scenario where they rust in peace, you have a serious project on your hands.


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The truck was mostly bondo and rust when they began the lengthy restoration. However, it was well worth the effort for the Leslie family because the truck brings back fond memories of its former owner, Rhonda’s grandfather. It still has its PTO from its time with George Kureluk.


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Incidentally, the Leslies have also named the truck George in honor of its former owner. The current plan is to keep George in the family until it possibly retires to a truck museum in the future. One thing is very certain.


George will now have a very happy retirement.


Jim Sutherland

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