Richmond hot rodder to be recognized for his passion
Dave Boyce has had an affinity for fixing up classic cars since he worked on a 1932 Chevrolet coupe when he was just 13
• Vancouver Sun
• 21 Sep 2012
• ALYN EDWARDS
Dave Boyce got his first car at the age of 13. His neighbour in Richmond said he could have the 1932 Chevrolet coupe if he could make it run. Boyce worked all summer rebuilding the engine and finally got it going.
When his excavating contractor father caught Boyce driving the car, he dug a hole and buried the car when his son was at school. Undeterred, young Boyce got a job at the local service station at Number 5 Road and Westminster Highway and bought a 1939 Pontiac convertible.
His first hot rod was a 1931 Ford Model A coupe acquired in 1952. He chopped the top and channelled the body over the frame. He repowered the car with a hopped- up Ford V- 8 flathead engine and hit the road. He has been driving a hot rod as his daily transportation ever since — and that is 60 years.
Boyce has owned 19 hot rods including that first Ford Model A coupe. Years after selling the car, he found a similar car dumped in a field near Bellingham, Wash. He bought it and went to work restoring it into a hot rod just like the one he had owned years before.
After he completed the car, he went to register it in British Columbia. The clerk thought he was playing a joke. The serial number showed that the car was still registered to Dave Boyce and had been his original car all along.
The hot rod he has driven more than half- a- million kilometres over the past 42 years is a 1926 Ford Model T coupe.
“I found the car for sale in Aldergrove. It had a good body but it was mounted on a Dodge chassis,” Boyce recalls.
He bought the car and completely rebuilt it with a modified Ford Model A frame and modern Chevrolet V- 8 power.
He and Anne, his wife of 54 years, have driven the Model T hot rod towing a vintage trailer to California three times and Las Vegas four times, with other trips to Florida and Texas. They now tow the hot rod behind their motor home for destination cruising.
Boyce started Boyce Towing from his two- acre property in 1968 with a tow truck built from the parts of several trucks. His shop was always filled with hot rods owned by other people who he was helping and he would fix his fleet of 16 trucks in the driveway.
He recalls being called to pick up a car for an elderly lady. It was a 1966 Rambler and it had hardly been driven.
“The car was just like the day it came out of the showroom so I gave it to my sister and she drove it for 10 years,” he says.
Among the derelict cars he towed in over the years was a highly customized 1956 Chevrolet two door. It had been left to rot in a Richmond backyard. So Boyce impounded it in his yard where it remained for years.
He was attending a swap meet on one of his snowbird trips to Arizona when he started talking to a local man who said he had given his customized Chevy to his son who eventually abandoned it in Vancouver.
When Dave told him about the custom car stored in his yard, the man arranged to fly up to Vancouver, rediscovered the car he had purchased new and had radically customized, and took it home to restore. Boyce gave him the car without any charges.
Not to be left out of hot rodding, Anne got her licence later on in her life and her only car has been her pink 1927 Ford Model T roadster pickup. The modified “Pink Lady” hot rod is powered by a Chevrolet V- 6 engine and she drives it year round – rain or shine.
Boyce is still buying cars, including a 1932 Chevrolet coupe that is just like his first car that was given to him 60 years before.
And a 1935 Ford coupe that he plans to build into a replica of the stock car he raced at Burnaby’s Digney Speedway in the mid 1950s.
“At one time, Dave had 22 hot rod bodies and a yard full of parts,” longtime friend Doug Harder says. “He would give away parts to guys building hot rods and help everyone.”
Harder has nominated his friend to receive the Sandy Lovelace Award at Saturday afternoon’s induction ceremony being held by the Greater Vancouver Motorsport Pioneers Society. The annual award is given to the person or persons who have made an outstanding contribution to the preservation of the history of motorsport in British Columbia.
All interested members of the public are invited to the afternoon of history and memories held from noon to 4 p. m. at Shannon Hall, Cloverdale Fairgrounds.
A $ 15 admittance charge pays for light snacks and a program detailing the society’s activities and the 15 inductees that will be honoured along with Dave Boyce.