Joe and Carol Taylor with their 1969 F-350 Fire Rescue truck, transformed into an RV. Phil McLachlan/The Free Press

Canada Coasters cross the country for Canada’s 150th

In 1967 the first group of Canada Coasters crossed from the Pacific to the Atlantic in celebration of Canada’s centennial. This year, on Canada’s 150th birthday, the age-old tradition was brought back to life.

In late June, the Canada Coasters started at mile zero in Victoria, B.C., and began their journey west on their full coast-to-coast, cross Canada tour. During their voyage, the classic cars with trailers or vintage vans will cover more than 8,000 kilometres through 10 provinces and seven time zones. Over a month later, if vehicles hold up, they will arrive in St. John, Newfoundland.

On July 6, the coasters rolled through Fernie, two days after leaving Victoria. One of the vehicles included in the line of vehicles was a 1969 F-350 Fire Rescue truck, transformed into an RV.

Inside is everything one needs to survive; storage, power, stove, toilet, fireplace, and a slide-out to sleep. The dashboard is buried in a platter of unique magnets from different cities across North America.

Joe and Carol Taylor of Cannington, Ontario are the proud owners of this recreational rescue vehicle. Before leaving Victoria on the nationwide tour, the couple toured Vancouver Island, top to bottom.

This is the third time they have crossed Canada with the Canada Coasters. Their first time was in 2000 with a 1966 Pontiac.

Asked if there are challenges to a cross-country road trip, Joe said, “These mountains are a challenge.”

Traveling over the Kootenay Pass, they were forced to pull over three times to let the automatic transmission cool down. Many took the ferry to avoid the climb.

The coasters joined in the Canada Day celebrations on July 1 in Merritt, B.C. There, they also participated in an informal show and shine. They are set to reach Ontario by July 20, where they will be met by classic-car owners from Kenora. By mid-August, the tour will hit the Maritime provinces, and the drivers will dip their wheels in the Atlantic on Aug. 31.