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Nova Scotian bodyshop resurrects classic car for dying dad

A 1965 Chevrolet pickup just like the one cancer-stricken Yvan Brien is refurbishing for his son.

By CRM Staff

Elmsbridge, Nova Scotia — January 23, 2018 — A terminally ill man from the Northwest Territories is collaborating with Nova Scotian bodyshop Curtis Customs to rebuild his dream car  –  a 1965 Chevrolet pickup he intends to will to his son.

Last autumn, Yvan Brien, himself a recently retired repair shop owner,  collapsed on vacation in Mexico, showing all the symptoms of a stroke  –  slurred words, a sudden headache and confusion. But Brien had not had a stroke — it was, in fact, a brain tumour. After being rushed out of the country for surgery in Arizona, doctors removed the mass, but told Brien that he was terminally ill. 

With mortality preparing to him off-stage, Brien decided to invest in one final big gift for his son Matthew,  a red 1965 Chevrolet pickup. While the car itself was not terribly expensive, the vehicle would require an extensive rebuild. Fortunately, being an industry man himself, Brein knew just who to turn to  –  Curtis Customs in Elmsbridge, Nova Scotia.

After the truck’s arrival from Yellowknife, it was taken apart piece-by-piece and a work schedule was created. In an interview with the CBC, owner Curtis MacLean explained that the team had a daunting task ahead of them, with similar vehicular ressurections typically requiring up to a year’s worth of work  –  though, in order to let Brien see the end result  –  the team is looking to finish the job within a month.

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