The Maders have been immersed in rich Maritime history for the majority of their lives; Wendy grew up in a small town outside UNESCO World Heritage Site, Lunenburg, N.S., and Dennis worked as a carpenter at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic for 25 plus years.
Their love of history extends to cars, too. It all started back in 2010, when the couple stumbled upon an iconic Ford-Model T in need of restoration; the perfect retirement challenge for Dennis.
“When Dennis approached me with the idea of buying the old Model-T, I knew he had his work cut out for him,” said Wendy. “I’m so glad I agreed to it, because I can’t imagine our lives without it.”
Dennis was adamant on restoring the vehicle to safe driving conditions as he and Wendy were keen on taking their family out for cruises in “Tin Lizzie.” A complete tear down was in order—it was then that they established the vehicle was Canadian, and was built at the Walkerville, Ontario plant in 1919.
After two years, and countless hours spent tinkering, the vintage classic was driveable. With some convincing from their son, the Maders entered their first car show in 2013 and won, even making the local paper! Since then, they’ve participated in numerous car shows and parades around the province and have won multiple awards, but because Model-T can only travel short distances, they needed a truck to tow their piece of history around. With a Ford Fusion and a Ford Model-T in their garage already, it’s no surprise the family settled on a Ford F-150.
The couple and their Model-T are very well-known around town, and they often give rides throughout Lunenburg to friends, family and tourists alike. They’ve even been known to get their picture taken by tourists who spot them cruising through the South Shore.
“As years go by, things tend to disappear and you can’t get them back,” said Dennis. “We’re very proud to have saved a little bit of Canadian history.”