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Antique roadshow

Old autos travel from NY to NWT

Terry Halifax
Northern News Services

Inuvik (Aug 09/02) - A bit of automobile history rolled into Inuvik last week, when Arthur Mills Jr., his son John and his son Sean, and John's father-in-law Jim Ahearn from Andover, Ny. arrived in two 1948 Fords and a 1939 Ford trucks.

The three generations of Mills' and Ahearn left New York two weeks ago with the intention to make Inuvik and back in a month.

The eldest said he always wanted to make the end of the road.

"I've been in Dawson City a few times and I never had time to come up and see that Dempster Highway," Arthur said.

He had originally planned to travel here with a friend in a 1931 Model A, but the friend couldn't make it so the four decided to make the trip in the other Fords.

The trucks are all relatively new acquisitions for the family, but they were slowly rebuilding them prior to the trip.

"We had the motors rebuilt, but a week before we left we had to put all new wiring, lights and king pins before we started out," he said.

He said one truck required a roadside tune-up but the rigs ran pretty well for the 5,500 mile trip.

"We had to change a couple fuel filters and we had a hole in the radiator on one of them in Prince George," Arthur said. "We had a torch and stuff, so we fixed it right there."

The old rigs are still sporting the original paint and Arthur makes no apology for that.

"The first thing is to make them dependable," he said. "The paint will be the next job."