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A man and his truck: The tale of Stanley Boyle and Ol' Jimmy

05/28/2015 12:47 EDT | Updated 05/28/2016 05:59 EDT
When 70-year-old Stanley Boyle pulls into the parking lot after his lunch break at a lobster plant on the Gaspé coast, it's nearly impossible not to notice his truck.

"If you could go to school to be half as smart as that man," says Mitch Girard, one of the fisherman watching him drive in, "You would be set for life."

"He's a genius," says the plant's foreman, Yvan Quirion. "He can fix anything."

The rusty red and white 1972 GMC Jimmy, complete with large, round, protruding headlights, a spare tire on the roof rack and a skinny steering wheel has been Boyle's beloved vehicle of choice since he was 30 years old. He bought it at the dealership in 1975.

"She's kinda a part of me I guess," Boyle says. "I've got a few other [trucks], but this is the one I drive."

Jimmy fashion

Boyle wears a black ballcap with a picture of the truck embroidered on it that his sister made for him. His son silk-screens the same picture onto T-shirts for him.

Boyle has working man's hands, stained with grease and fingers as thick as cigars. He says he's changed the engine and transmission on the truck too many times to count in the 40 years he has owned it. He estimates he has clocked close to a million kilometres on "Ol' Jimmy."

He unpins a curled photograph from the visor of the truck.

"In 1990 I decided to fix it up and paint it," he says holding the photo. "It looked good there in 1990."

Boyle says he uses the truck for everything from hauling wood to clearing snow.

Inspection passed

In 2011 he was pulled over by police and forced to have the truck inspected.

"All the guys here was laughing, said it wasn't coming back," Boyle says. "But I came back with it because I passed. I had a couple little repairs to make onto it, but no major things."

When asked when he thinks the truck will be sent to the scrap yard, he says he's not sure who will outlive who.

"One of us will have to go first, I suppose, me or Ol' Jimmy," he says with a laugh. "And I figure it's gonna be me!"

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