Even though this is a race truck, it is still the family hauler. That doesn't just mean Liz and Wyatt. It means loading up the truck with supplies and hauling them around town. Remember, this is a work truck with, umm, racing tendencies. GMC never thought that their 1500 series pickup would be racing around beating Porsches and Corvettes. Notice how the bed is cut to allow easy access for both fuel and the fuel pump system. The jack and spare tire are tie-strapped into place. The battery box, just barely visible in the bottom right corner, is securely mounted, and the cooler is bolted into place. Mark thought about everything.

This truck has gone through more life cycles than Disney ever thought when they penned the song “Circle of Life”. It has been a farm truck, a teenager's cruising truck, a drag truck, a land speed record candidate truck, an autocross truck, a family hauler, and most importantly, at this time, a Targa Truck. Entering the Targa came about when one of Mark’s friends tagged him on Facebook, drawing his attention to the Targa organizers stating that a truck had never competed in Targa Newfoundland. That innocent Facebook post was the spark that ignited a passionate rush to prepare the truck for the 2014 Targa Newfoundland – which at the point of this igniting email was less than a year away. There were huge surprises throughout this incredible journey – most surprising of all was that Targa Newfoundland welcomed the 1971 Long Box into the competition. It was also the start of multitudes of people telling Mark that what he was thinking of doing was not possible. On some levels Mark may have agreed with them, but in his heart he knew it could happen and always responded that he was doing it anyway! After the Targa ended and Mark was back home in Toronto, he got a call from a woman named Mary, enquiring about the race and the truck. It turned out that Mark’s dad had purchased it from her husband, Glenn, and she wanted to know if that 45 year old truck he had been racing in Newfoundland used to belong to her family. Of course it was!


In the 90's the 1972 GMC 1500 Long Box was a hot rod. Glistening black. It is hard to believe that this was a farm truck and almost on it's last legs when Mark's dad picked it up as a father-son project!

What you need to know is that until August of 2014, the Targa Truck was the family vehicle. When his son was born just over two and a half years ago, Mark drove his wife to the hospital in this truck. He contemplated life as he wondered if he would be delivering his son in the truck, as they sat in a rush hour traffic jam for over an hour while they were ‘rushing’ to the hospital. They did make it, thankfully, and his amazing little guy will have all kinds of stories to tell when he is older about his rides in his dad’s truck. I am pretty sure that in ten to fifteen years they will be working on the truck together and pondering what next challenge they should jointly tackle. I am pretty confident in saying this, because as Mark and I were chatting about this journey and his truck he did not stop moving. Both his mind and his body were in overdrive as he tossed me ideas about the truck and life. He slowed down when I had him sit down in the driver's seat for pictures, but otherwise he was pacing beside the truck, popping the hood and showing me pieces that he was telling me about, and describing in animated detail the many experiences he and Miles had during this incredible Targa journey. Let alone the experiences garnered over a quarter century of ownership. There is no question that he has many more adventures that he would like to tackle. This truck is not a garage queen – it has more than 160 000 miles (not kilometres) on the odometer since Mark put it on the road.


Wyatt, Mark's son, has grown up with the truck. For that matter, his wife Liz has not known Mark to drive anything else. This GMC has been with the family throughout all of their major life events. And yes, it was at their wedding too! The gearshift lever was modified to allow shifting 'around' the baby seat. Of course, the truck had to be modified to house the baby seat also!
Here's the long bed getting prepped for a day's outing on an AutoCross course.
In the morning Mark and the truck may be out doing an autocross competition – in which Mark describes that showing up with the long bed is like showing up at a gun fight with a spoon – and in the afternoon it may be a family outing.

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