A rock star, Saskatchewan's premier and one fantastic customized truck came together for a good cause in Arizona Friday night, when the vehicle sold for $450,000, helping to raise funds for a children's hospital.
A Saskatoon company rebuilt and modified a 1956 F-100 Ford pickup truck, with a V8 engine from a 2012 Shelby Mustang muscle car, which was sold at the Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, Ariz.
Premier Brad Wall flew down for the event. Also involved were Kiss frontman Gene Simmons and his wife, Shannon Tweed, who was born in Newfoundland but went to school in Saskatoon.
Every dollar raised will go to help build a children's hospital in Saskatchewan, one of the few provinces in Canada that doesn't have a pediatric hospital.
It's the brainchild of Tom Foster, who's the president of Industrial Machines and Manufacturing, a customer manufacturing company in Saskatoon.
Foster explained that his daughter required special medical care in the first few weeks of her life and that the doctors and nurses he met in Saskatoon described how a children's hospital could provide better care.
"There were complications at birth and she had to spend some difficult first two weeks of her life at RUH, and at that time, the doctors and nurses we were dealing with were constantly saying a children's hospital would sure help," he said.
He came up with the idea, but a lot of other local companies pitched in, including Saskatchewan Ford dealers.
"It's very humbling," he said. "It just goes to show the strength of the community we have and the recognition of the need for the hospital."
Simmons says he'll do anything
Simmons, meanwhile, played an active role in the auction.
Prior to the sale, he made a bold offer if the bidding topped $1 million.
"I'm looking for a million dollars," he said. "If you want me to sign it, come over to your house, cook dinner for you, whatever you need, lap dance."
Wall, a vintage vehicle enthusiast, joked he hoped it didn't come to that.
"I think once it reaches that threshold — the lap dance threshold — I might move to the other side of the stage and cheer heartily from there," he said.
During the truck's time on the auction block, Simmons repeated his offer to bidders and even added a signed guitar and a promise for the bidder to be a special guest at one of his concerts.
The bidding started off at $25,000 and rapidly escalated and finally peaked at $450,000.