Hand made in Queensborough

What a great vehicle! Don Huff (right), the proud owner, and Jos Pronk (left), the guy who made it, at the Madoc Fair Show and Shine. It’s a proudly Made In Queensborough collaboration.

Queensborough is a quiet enough place that when someone drives past your house, chances are you look to see who it is. So when I heard a car passing last Saturday morning as Raymond and I were getting ready to go to the Madoc Fair, it was natural that I would glance out the window.

“Don Huff just drove by in some kind of cool-looking vintage jeep,” I told Raymond. Little did we know just how cool that vintage vehicle was.

How cool? Well, as we found out a little later that day, it’s a vehicle built around an old (from the 1960s, I believe, but please, anyone who’s reading this who’s connected to the “car-hand-made-in-Queensborough” project, correct me if I’m wrong) Toyota Land Cruiser base. But the spectacular thing about it is that it has all been hand made in Queensborough by Jos Pronk, who owns and runs Pronk Canada Inc., situated in what was once Bobbie [Sager] Ramsay’s general store.

Early in our Queensborough adventure we had heard about how skilled and talented Jos is. The short version of what we were told: “He can make anything.” Here’s the slightly longer version, his company’s official blurb: “Art design, repair of equipment, AutoCAD, manufacturing of new equipment & attachements, making of obsolete parts, specialty welding in stainless & aluminum, machining & fabricating of complete machinery, manufacturing & designing of artistic iron work, fencing, railings & gates.” I think you will agree that that is pretty impressive.

Don – who, like us, divides his time between work in the city and down time in Queensborough – acquired the old Land Cruiser some years ago and wanted to do something interesting with it. Fortunately for his project, he was just down the street from Jos Pronk.

It took Jos four years. Four years! Every part, every section, was hand-machined, and there was an extraordinary amount of design work involved as well. And last Saturday morning when I saw Don drive by, he had just taken possession of the finished product. A momentous day for both Don and Jos!

Last Sunday morning, the vehicle was on display at the Madoc Fair’s Show and Shine event, when owners of vintage vehicles put them on display for auto and design aficionados to admire. Of course Raymond and I – who had already enjoyed a gloriously slow-moving Saturday watching the horse pull (the drawing match) at the fair – had to be back for that. I mean, how often do you get to see a beautiful vehicle hand made in Queensborough? And hang out with the owner and the man who made it? And most fun of all, get to watch the people who love cars oohing and aahing (and asking a lot of questions) about a one-of-a-kind vehicle the likes of which they have never seen before?

That is one cool car. Hand made in Queensborough!

6 thoughts on “Hand made in Queensborough

  1. the beautiful stainless steel spire atop the steeple at Hazzards Church as well as the gates at the entrance to the cemetery are examples of Jos Pronk’s fine work. What a great addition to the talent pool of our area!

  2. Denis visited Jos’ shop some time ago, with the local CMG vintage motorcycling fraternity, at the invitation of Queensborough friends George and Judith Best (Judith who loaned me the wonderful Elzevir book for so long) and Denis was knocked out. Incredible skill, and in the village too!

  3. It has been a LONG four years of waking up in th middle of the night with your husband telling you he has figured out how or I know what to do to make it work many times over. I won’t say I am sad to see Don’s vintage jeep disapper from our premises, but I must say I am happy Don & his family will now be able to enjoy a long awaited project. I am also so very proud of my husbands great skill, talent & enjoyment he had with the making of the truck. There is really nothing that surprises me in what Jos can come up with. The Madoc fair was a very joyful weekend knowing Don would finally be able to enjoy & show off his toy as I like to call it. Thank you Katherine for such a lovely & interesting read. And yes only in Queensborough.

    • Mary Kay, you conjure a great picture: the husband devoted to his project, mulling it over at all hours of the day and night, and coming up with an AHA! moment in the middle of the night that he just has to share with his peacefully sleeping wife. I totally hear you when you say you for one are glad the Land Cruiser project is finally done, but also when you say how proud you are of Jos and his work, as well you should be. Truly an amazing project. I wonder what will be next!

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