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Hagerty Employee

This '63 GMC half-ton was an Ontario farm girl's ticket to hot-rod heaven | Hagerty Media

In 1963, Marilyn Asselestine strolled into the Chevrolet dealer in Kingston, Ontario looking for a pickup. She needed a truck to help her family haul things around their farm and to provide basic transportation; but the vehicle also offered her a level of independence that was unusual for a young woman in the early '60s.
Pit Crew

A great story about how the bug can get you while you're young and keep you that way your entire life.
These vehicles aren't just machinery, they etch their way into your livelihood and become part of you. They provide freedom and the ability to participate in the jobs market.

Thank-you for this.
New Driver

Wow, I never thought she would let Cannonball 1 go, but I guess we're not getting any younger. I miss strolling into Marilyn's speed shop from Sydenham Rd all the way back to the days being on Bath Rd here in Kingston. An awesome women with a passion for the car and truck world, hope to see Cannonball at the local meets and I'm glad the truck is being left alone as Marilyn built it, cheers......Billy

"...the front wheels came right off the ground." Really? In a pickup truck? On street tires? The author obviously failed to mention the six tons of pine needles that must have been wedged between the rear bumper and the tailgate in order for that event to have happened... Cool truck, though!

I have to agree with TonyT. I have owned numerous 1/2 tons with various HP configurations & unless HEAVILY modified (which this truck isn't.... in the right departments) I find it VERY hard to believe it can lift the front wheels! However, that aside, beautiful truck & awesome story!
Pit Crew

Interesting story about lifting the front wheels of a pickup. On our way to the Tulsa 'Nats in '76 the lady who was riding with me - and who had never driven driven a standard before, decided she should take some time at the wheel. We were heading across Kansas in the 57 Gopher (Fargo Custom Express) 251 or 264 Cu inch (25 inch head) Flattie. We got into a small one-horse town with a stoplight. The light turned green and she did the 2 step, off the clutch-almost stalled, back on the clutch, a little more gas, back off the clutch and "what do I do??" - I said "floor it!!" - and she did. The front bumper must have been on it's way up from it's last dive when she hit it and let out the clutch, because the H78 15 Goodyears let out a howl of pain and we got a view from a completely foreign angle as the front axle unloaded. My friend in his coupe ahead of us said it "got air". It wasn't a particularly fast or powerful truck, but TORQUE!!! (something like 220 ft lbs at 1600 rpm - it was a "stump puller".)

And gave it "a little gas". I probably misremember a few tall tales from my teenage youth decades ago too....But a good article nonetheless and I appreciate the quantity of good photos.

I think theworld would have deserved a Picture of the Lady Hotrodder !!
New Driver

You are right , she has earned  every bit ....Got her pictures finally adding soon

Intermediate Driver

Great story Corey..... the content and the photos...." Live ON Cannonball " it's part of our Hot Rod history in Canada.

The wheels didn't come off the ground. Maybe the seat bolts were loose and the seat fell backwards LOL.
New Driver

I remember Marilyns Speed shop in Kingston when it was on Sydenham Road.A small house set back from the road with a V8 engine on a stand in front of the picture window.I thought thats the kind of place i want to live in.Great story , thanks guys.
New Driver

The younger generations need to see how customs were unique. Parts from other models (Corvair lights) incorporated into the build. Friends added special touches (woodwork). Now we develop a build plan and order the parts we want. Custom paint showing it’s age? When was the last time you saw flake like that. Brings back memories and a tear to my eye. Drive it! Enjoy the history. Great story. Thank you for preserving it as is.