Sunday, October 25, 2015

Ken Coghlan's Cadillac....the Body Shop.....and Kam Motors #34, all from our home towns of Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario.

No...this isn't a misprint. The brochure page below says the 1960 Cadillac Sixty Two Sedan...who knows why...who cares! This is what Ken Coghlan's Cadillac would have looked like in 1960 or at least before the damage that you will see in the following photos.
In Ken's own words: "In 1967, I was driving the Caddy on Phyllis St., crossing Empress Ave., and was hit by a dump truck.  The truck pushed me into a telephone pole on the corner in front of the store that used to be there and actually broke the telephone pole.  You can see where the pole went behind the driver's side tire.  I went out the door and two ladies in the store helped me, but I don't remember too much from that moment.  I do remember however, looking at the car and thinking that it had some damage."
Click on all the photos once or twice for enlargements.

Seeing these photos that Ken sent me, I could hardly believe that he walked away from the accident.  Thanks to Ken for sending these for us to post......Don't go away....There is MORE!  The next picture is a now shot of where Ken's accident occurred on the corner of Empress Ave. and Phyllis St.  Ken is a former resident of Port Arthur.

The next step with accidents such as this, is where to have it repaired.  Ken didn't tell me if and where the Caddy was repaired, but if it was, it probably would have been one of the two next body shops.  The first black and white is Port Arthur Motors used car lot and Body Repair shop(this building still exists today), and the next one is my father, John Cano's alma mater Kam Motors which was on Leith Street in Fort William.  Let's consider that it was actually repaired at Kam Motors.......well, for a better storyline anyway....thanks for being patient.

  Yes, now here is my dad managing the Kam Motors Body Shop in 1967 in his typical Homburg Hat...and look at that....There is a brand new 1967 Oldsmobile Tornado behind him with some damage somewhere.   The bumper sticker below was issued in 1965 commemorating Kam's 50th Anniversary.

On the right is about a 1950 ad on a brochure showing how Kam Motors looked at the time and advertising Chevrolet, Oldsmobile and of course Cadillac.  
Below is a post card Kam would mail out back in 1939 showing how they could make your car NEW again.

A now picture - "DIAMOND TAXI"

The following pictures were all taken when my father was managing the body shop at Kam Motors for Hubert Badanai Sr. back in the early 1950's.

John Cano and Joe Canzi

In this picture - all we know are John Cano, Mike Tront, Dan Ozero(with goggles), Peter Petrick, and Joe Canzi.  I remember hanging around Kam after school at 10 to 13 years old in the mid to late '50's and all these guys were so good to me....I still remember most of them....and all are now gone to the big body shop in the sky....                

Well...what do you think came next.....a body shop was supposed to repair cars, not wreck them...

 I remember when Kam Motors body and paint shop were working on their first stock car....I was 10 years old.  The 1938 Chevy Coupe almost looked as nice as the one in this picture when they started modifying it.  It was late summer 1954 and no one had any idea yet that there would be a Chevrolet with a V8 on the horizon in 1955.

..........and this is what they did to it!  My father did all the body work, Canary(Onorio) Trevisan painted it, Archie Fowler did the mechanical work, and Bill Chepil drove it on and off for about 4 summers total....and oh yes, they wrecked a few of these before it was all over.  Don't forget to click on each pic to enlarge them.

The Main Drivers of the #34, 1938 Chevrolet were Bill Chepil and Canary Trevisan.  The following picture was taken at Russ Wanzuks museum only a few years before these two icons of the paint and body world of the day Mr. Mascarin and Mr. Canary(Onorio) Trevisan passed on.

The final addition to this post is this great write-up(from Barry Kettering's personal scrap book) that was in the Fort William Times Journal in 1957.  It also mentions Sammy Myronuk filling in for Canary because he was in the hospital and Sam also ended up in the hospital after this race day.  Sammy went on to race more races with his own cars, but sadly the lack lustre 1938 Chevy Coupe's days came to an end...It seems there was more bad luck than good luck, and the V8 Fords and V8 Chevrolets were leaving the old 6 cylinder Chevrolets behind in the dust.
Many thanks to Ken Coghlan for the Caddy photos, also to Archie Fowler for some of the #34 photos, to Rene Kettering for allowing me to copy Barry's scrapbook a few years ago.
I dedicate this post to my father John Cano for the great car years together and for all he taught me....I miss him very much.  Please return for more HR&J photos and stories of our city during the Hot Rod and Jalopy generation.

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