Featured Member of the Week: Boots54

IMG_2381_1hdadjbbThis weeks featured member is Brian Boutin.  Brian is the owner of an amazing ’54 Chevy 3100.  This is just a bit of Brian and his 54’s story. “I Reside in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada – home of the largest weekly show and shine in North America (if not the world). There are no prizes and it is organized by volunteers, we get between 350 and 650 classic cars every Thursday night at a local parking lot. I am 54 years old and have been happily married to Barb (she might have a different opinion, lol) for 27 years, we have 2 grown sons and own our own oil & gas emergency response consulting company”.

How did you first learn about Cool Rides Online?

A gear head buddy of mine sent a link through Facebook.

What Cool Rides do you currently own?

At the present time I am only allowed to own 1 cool ride, the 54 Chev but I think my wife would look good in a baby bird…we will see.

Now tell us a little about your favorite “Cool Ride”; what makes it special?

A childhood friend of mine collects classic cars, mostly Mopars and he picked up 7 vehicles in 2007 at Barrett Jackson, one of which is the first Hemi Satellite ever built which my buddy insisted I had to see.

I walked into the shop and the first vehicle I saw was the 54 Chev pickup and I instantly loved the truck (the car was ok too). It took me 7 years to convince my wife that we needed a new hobby and to convince my very good friend to sell it to me at a buddy price. At the time I was considering building a 1960 pickup but the time and money required was a drawback and the quality of the build is outstanding considering the truck was built in 1995. The firewall is clean, all the paint matches right down to the fan blades, the scallops were designed and painted by Don Audel who also did the pinstripe free hand. At the end of the day I could not afford to build a truck to this level and the upside was that I got to drive it immediately but I sure respect the guys that design and build their own rides.

I am one of the few guys that allows children to sit in their ride and get pictures taken by their parents. There are 4 rules:

  1.  1) They can’t step on the running board, parents may have to assist.
  2.  2) No food or drink
  3.  3) They can only touch the steering wheel when they are inside
  4.  4) Smile for the camera

The gratification I get from the happy faces is far more rewarding than any trophy or award, I have probably had over 500 kids sit in that truck and have never had an issue other than some of the younger kids don’t want to get out of the truck.

I volunteered my time and the truck with a local non-profit group and entered the local parade this year, C.A.R.E (Central Alberta Refugee Effort) which helps new immigrants to our great Country get settled in. The only downside was they named the truck “Cupcake” in 20 different languages after decorating which was entertaining to say the least. After hearing all of these peoples stories of their lives before Canada, it really hit home how lucky I was to be living in a country that provides me the opportunity to own and drive my cool ride.

What’s next for your Cool Ride?  Planning additional work for it or maybe a special trip/cruise?

Tonneau cover custom built so that we no longer have to pack everything into hotel rooms when we are cruisin. My goal is to cruise across Canada and the USA for 6 weeks, work keeps getting in the way of my fun so we will see how that goes.

What was the most difficult modification you’ve completed on any of your Cool Rides?

Rear disc brakes on the 1972 rear diff, still modifying and adjusting to get them to work properly.

What’s your favorite memory involving your Cool Ride?

20140706_120911_resizedBarb and I drove the truck down to Spokane last summer with 11 members from our car club (Sylvan Lake Customs & Classics), it was a car show every time we stopped for fuel! We all went to the Good Guys show in Spokane, Washington and it took 2 days just to look at all the rides …. very cool! Jack Rountree built the truck and had not seen it for 14 years, he invited all of us over to his home in Spokane for a barbeque and another impromptu show and shine on his block. He was overjoyed to see the truck and it is more or less exactly as he built it (he hates the wheels) in 1995. It was a great evening and the hospitality was incredible! Barb and I then spent a week by ourselves in Lewiston, Idaho where we attended Hot August Nights (the truck won the People’s Choice Award at this show in 1995). The organizers went over the top and again the hospitality was incredible, they had arranged for a article in the local newspaper and when we arrived in town a picture of the truck and story was on the front page, we received a ton of attention everywhere we went after that. They arranged for it to be parked at the show beside last year’s winner, a very  cool Mustang. After 14 days and 2 thousand miles, the truck performed very well and I learned a lot about driving her, she does not like temperatures over 85 degrees F but does love the nice curvy highways (Barb…not so much).

Close second best memory: The look on my wife’s face when I painted the garage floor purple.

What is your dream car to own if money was not an issue?

1971 454 Chevelle SS just like the one I owned when I was 20.

Taking care of collector vehicles is not easy.  Do you have any special tips on how to take care of your Cool Rides in and out of storage?

Due to the weather in Canada, Purple Haze stays in a heated shop for 6 months of the year.  I always ensure that the truck occupies the top spot of the lift so I don’t have to worry about any oil drips or rodents.

Is there anything else you’d like the Cool Rides Online members to know about you?

I used to be involved in Hot Rods pretty heavily until the kids came along, it is so nice to be back into the hobby and meet all the fellow gear heads online and in person. This is a group of people that are tighter than most people think and it does not matter brand you drive, it only matters that you love what you drive.

What do you think of Brian’s ride? Leave your comments below and join the conversation in our forums!