THE VAUXHALL ENVOY
The 1960 “Envoy: The New British Car Designed and Built specially for “Canadians”
By July 1, 1967, I had recently turned 21 and Canada had turned 100. I had also just finished a two-year civil technology program at Red River Community College in Winnipeg and wanted to go on a road trip to the west coast before starting my new job with Manitoba Hydro. The project site was a remote hydro-electric power station located at Kelsey, some 650 kilometers north of Winnipeg. I had recently purchased a 1960 Vauxhall Envoy fully equipped with four doors, four cylinders, and 55 horsepower. So, off I went with my younger brother and the princely sum of $150 in my wallet that would get us to the west coast and back again to Manitoba. With the budget in mind the intent was to sleep in the car, but the car was so small it was impossible and the first night we ended up sleeping on the ground beside the car in a farmer’s field. The next morning, we stopped at a glassblowing shop near Medicine Hat and were very impressed by the ornate sculptures that the artisans were producing before our eyes. Later that day we found our way to downtown Calgary to marvel at the Husky Tower, which was under construction as a centennial project and was completed in 1968. That night we arrived in Banff and splurged $5 on a very nice room in a guest house on Tunnel Mountain. Getting over the Rockies with the Vauxhall was a little challenging, and sometimes I had to shift down to second gear to keep from stalling out in third gear. We did get to see the Pacific Ocean and spend a few days in the Vancouver area before turning around and going home to Manitoba on the American side of the border. Fifty years later I still have fond memories of the little black Vauxhall with the red Naugahyde interior that took me half way across Canada and back again without a hiccup or a flat tire. My brother and I still like to reminisce about the good time we had driving across western Canada with $150, no credit card, and not a worry in the world.
Henry N – Triovest