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!