Willy Williamson

Willy Williamson

Travel/Homes/Autos Editor

Paul “Willy” Williamson joined the Free Press editorial team in 2007, turning his back on a career as a corrections officer. His motor has been running non-stop ever since.

Throughout the past seven years, his popular Willy’s Garage column has brought readers on the road with him to car shows, motorcycle rallies and an assortment of automotive adventures that have spanned clear across North America.

Willy has also reviewed a shiny fleet of new vehicles on our behalf and in 2012 was runner-up for the Automobile Journalist Association of Canada’s annual journalist of the year award.

Although he is best known for his automotive antics, Willy is also a dedicated member of the Free Press production team and assists in the weekly layout of the Autos and Homes sections.

Willy’s journey into the exciting world of journalism was helped greatly by longtime family friend and now retired Winnipeg Sun editor in chief Bill Davidson. Back in 1999 at a family wedding, Davidson quipped, “Willy, you’re quasi-intelligent. Can you write?” He was hired later that night.

Willy’s first stint as a writer/photographer with the Sun was as his alter ego Big Blue Willy, a rabid Winnipeg Blue Bomber fan with a blue face and a gold hard hat. For two seasons, he covered the Bombers from a fan’s perspective and has the scars to prove it.

In 2001, Willy’s Garage was born and to date, more than 500 articles with topics ranging from demolition derbies to winter driving adventures in Alaska have been methodically typed out one finger at a time.

Willy has also hosted his own TV series on MTS TV and is a longtime musician who fronts the aptly named local band The Gearheads.

Throughout the summer months Willy is the host of Sunday Night Cruise at the Grant Park Pony Corral. He is also a proud member of the Fabulous 50’s Ford Club of Manitoba, the Manitoba Street Rod Association and the Riff Raff Car Club.

Cars, trucks, motorcycles and music may occupy most of his time, but Willy is also an avid picker. His auction prowess and unique ability to transform junk into art was showcased nationally on the TV series, Buy it, Fix It, Sell It.

Recent articles of Willy Williamson

Henry Malanik was Manitoba's last hanging, 70 years ago today

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Henry Malanik was Manitoba's last hanging, 70 years ago today

Willy Williamson 8 minute read Friday, Jun. 17, 2022

His lawyer argued he was so drunk he had no memory of the events that took place on that fateful night.

But the facts remain. On the evening of Saturday, July 15, 1950, Henry Malanik, 48, shot and killed Winnipeg police Det.-Sgt. James Edwin (Ted) Sims, 42, in a home at 19 Argyle St. in Point Douglas.

Malanik was tried, convicted and ultimately hanged 70 years ago — on June 17, 1952 — giving him the dubious distinction of being the last person executed in Manitoba.

There is no way to romanticize the awful events of that horrific night. Somewhere in the police archives there is surely a faded file filled with black-and-white crime scene photos that paint a sombre and bloody portrait of the murder and mayhem Malanik committed.

Friday, Jun. 17, 2022

Corrctions Museum of Manitoba
The gallows

Forester a perfect Winnipeg pothole pounder

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Forester a perfect Winnipeg pothole pounder

Willy Williamson 5 minute read Friday, Apr. 8, 2022

One of the proudest moments in my career as an automobile journalist occurred a couple of years back when my stepfather bought a Subaru.

My mom, Isabelle, and stepdad Jim Ketcheson (Ketch) had been buying bad cars up to that point at an alarming rate.

In fairness, the Dodge Caliber they had before pulling the trigger on their new Subaru Crosstrek wasn’t the worst vehicle they’d ever owned.

Not even close.

Friday, Apr. 8, 2022

Can the Civic tackle winter?

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Can the Civic tackle winter?

Willy Williamson 4 minute read Friday, Mar. 18, 2022

When Kelly Taylor told me we’d be testing a 2022 Honda Civic, truth is I was actually excited to get behind the wheel of a small car again. The chance to save gas money for a week and maybe even have some fun after a long winter was indeed welcome.

Then I looked at the forecast.

I picked up the Civic on the Monday evening before the big blizzard, the spiffy Aegean Blue Metallic paint was a nice contrast to the snow that was starting to blow. I was also pleasantly surprised to see a manual gear shift, normally I joke that shifting gears is only fun when wearing a helmet and riding a motorcycle, but in a Civic it’s a breeze to flick through the gears and with a fresh set of winter tires the drive back to our home just east of Birds Hill Park, despite the emerging storm, was both enjoyable and uneventful.

By the next morning the shiny Civic was pretty much buried in the snow.

Friday, Mar. 18, 2022

Gymnast Nadia Comaneci now proud owner of rare Canuck truck

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Gymnast Nadia Comaneci now proud owner of rare Canuck truck

Willy Williamson  4 minute read Thursday, Jul. 29, 2021

On July 18, 1976, when 14-year-old Romanian athlete Nadia Comaneci was making history at the Montreal Olympics as the first gymnast to ever score a perfect 10, she surely had no idea General Motors of Canada was building her a special truck.

OK, maybe they didn’t exactly build the truck just for her, but all these years later Winnipeg car buff Norbert Collette reached out to Nadia’s husband, fellow Olympic gold medalist Bart Conner, and suggested perhaps in celebration of the 45th anniversary of her spectacular achievements Nadia would appreciate the gift of a stunning 1976 GMC Sierra Grande Olympic Edition — one of only 630 of these special commemorative trucks ever built.

Nadia defected from Romania in 1989, a few weeks before the Romanian Revolution, and married Conner in 1996. The couple lives in Norman, Okla., and have a 15-year-old son, Dylan. Together they operate Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy and are also involved in the Special Olympics.

“This is really a sweet and sentimental story,” says Conner, “one day out of the blue I get this email on our website from Norbert and he wrote me a bit about the story of the truck and how his father-in-law had bought it new, and how they’d decided to sell it and he thought maybe Nadia and I would be interested and I immediatly thought wow, this is a really genuinely nice man, so I responded and said I was interested in hearing more and within a day or so we were on the phone and I quickly realized we needed to have that truck.”

Thursday, Jul. 29, 2021

Winnipeg adventurer hikes Mantario Trail in the snow

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Winnipeg adventurer hikes Mantario Trail in the snow

Willy Williamson  5 minute read Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

If there’s a silver lining in these challenging times it’s the fact cold weather outdoor activities including skating, ice fishing, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking have all made a triumphant return.

While most of us are content with enjoying the outdoors close to home with a toasty fire nearby, Jocelyn McLean, 33, a veteran cold weather warrior, headed deep into the woods and hiked the rugged Mantario Trail, camping out for two nights, through freezing rain — alone in December.

Like most superhero types, she’s humble about her accomplishments. “The coldest night it dropped to -9C, which doesn’t seem like much now,” says McLean, who works at Wilderness Supply here in Winnipeg and seasonally as a tour guide in Churchill.

A lifelong interest in the great outdoors blossomed into a full-scale obsession about a decade ago, and McLean’s map is now dotted with backcountry hiking trips that have taken her to the Grand Canyon, New Zealand and the forests of Patagonia — a sparsely populated region at the southern end of South America.

Friday, Feb. 12, 2021

JOCELYN MCLEAN PHOTO

Shriners raffling off custom ’67 Chevelle SS

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Shriners raffling off custom ’67 Chevelle SS

Willy Williamson 2 minute read Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020

In what has become an annual tradition, Winnipeg’s Khartum Shriners are once again raffling off a collector vehicle to raise funds for the organization’s day-to-day operations and in support of its hospital system.

This year’s raffle car is a stunning Marina Blue 1967 Chevrolet Chevelle SS. The car has been beautifully restored and customized and is ready to drive and enjoy. Under the hood it features a 502 cubic-inch Chevrolet crate motor linked to an automatic transmission. Other highlights include a custom dual exhaust system and a lowered suspension.

“We started raffling off newer cars a few years back, then we had a hot rod one year and it was really popular so we’ve stayed with the older restored vehicles the past couple of years and the response has been great,” says Al Hadley, Winnipeg Khartum Shriners potentate and CEO.

Although the Shriners typically display the car at local car shows and cruise nights, due to the coronavirus pandemic those events have all been cancelled, but Hadley says ticket sales have still been strong. “We have already sold enough tickets to cover the cost of the car,” he said, “and if we sell all the tickets we will be somewhere in the neighbourhood of $90,000 profit, so it’s a very good raffle for us.”

Saturday, Aug. 1, 2020

Interior highlights include vinyl bucket seats, a centre console and custom gauges.

Pandemic breaks pool supply chains, leaving drought of affordable options

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Pandemic breaks pool supply chains, leaving drought of affordable options

Willy Williamson 4 minute read Friday, Jun. 12, 2020

Hoping to beat the heat by taking a dip in a new above-ground swimming pool?

Don't hold your breath. You can add it to the ever-growing list of things to wait for this summer.

Thanks to uncertainty regarding access to public pools, cancelled vacations, shuttered summer camps, a broken supply chain and many Manitobans just generally spending more time at home than usual because of the coronavirus pandemic, the popular and affordable backyard pools typically found at big-box stores are difficult to find.

Photographer Krista Oar and her millwright husband Andrew live south of Steinbach. They reckon they've checked every store in Winnipeg and southern Manitoba in search of a new pool to replace the worn-out one in their 10-acre backyard.

Friday, Jun. 12, 2020

Supplied
The Revelation oval above ground pool available from Krevco Lifestyles.

Local company answers call to produce hand sanitizer

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Local company answers call to produce hand sanitizer

Willy Williamson 3 minute read Monday, Jun. 8, 2020

Shortly after the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic on March 11, officials from Health Canada began contacting facilities they have licensed to produce health products in hopes some of those companies could also produce hand sanitizer and other personal protection equipment.

Innotech Nutrition Solutions, a Winnipeg based company that has been in business since 2001 and carries a site licence through Health Canada’s natural and non-prescription health products directorate, was among the first local companies to answer the call for help.

According to Innotech’s chief executive officer, Wayne Friesen, thanks to already having many of the systems in place required to make hand sanitizer, they were able to quickly begin production of this much needed commodity.

“Health Canada reached out to us a couple of months ago to make hand sanitizer,” says Friesen, “so in response we began making a really value-added premium hand sanitizer that has been very well received.”

Monday, Jun. 8, 2020

RUTH BONNEVILLE / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
Wayne Friesen, CEO of Innotech Nutrition, in his plant with his advanced hand sanitizer.

Locally developed product touted as superior to plexiglass in fight against COVID-19

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Locally developed product touted as superior to plexiglass in fight against COVID-19

Willy Williamson 5 minute read Saturday, Jun. 6, 2020

A relatively new Winnipeg company, which experienced tremendous growth right out of the gate, has had its business soar to even greater heights as a result of COVID-19.

RockGlass Window Security System, which is branded online as Unbreakablewindows.com, has developed a clear product that is installed over existing windows and is difficult to differentiate from standard glass — but is 200 times stronger.

Company owner and president Colleen Munro says business has been booming since they began selling the product in September 2019.

The clear security advantages RockGlass delivers over traditional glass resulted in a steady demand for the product from customers who had grown tired of continually replacing broken windows.

Saturday, Jun. 6, 2020

Photos by Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press
Colleen Munro, president of RockGlass Window Security System, stands behind a clear barrier designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 at a retail operation.

Local auto repair shops are doing their best to provide a safe environment while keeping vehicles in top shape

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Local auto repair shops are doing their best to provide a safe environment while keeping vehicles in top shape

Willy Williamson 5 minute read Thursday, May. 21, 2020

Although the coronavirus has profoundly affected many local businesses, it has had a relatively light impact on a pair of local auto repair facilities.

Dave Litwin, who owns Litwin Auto Body at 2075 Plessis Rd., reports his shop hasn’t been dramatically affected by the pandemic. “March was a really good month, actually one of our best,” says Litwin, who hasn’t had to lay off any of his five employees. “Right now we are busy enough, but we are going week to week.”

Litwin also says the companies supplying parts and shop supplies have been excellent and there has been no discernible change in service.

A measure taken by MPI in which auto body shops can bill the insurer to clean and sanitize vehicles has also been an added bonus. Litwin’s shop gets a flat rate of $50 per vehicle for this service. The car is wiped down by an employee in protective gear as soon as it comes into the shop to protect the employees working on it, and is sanitized again upon completion of the work before returning the vehicle to the customer.

Thursday, May. 21, 2020

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press
Ryan Cook (from left), Dave Geres and Rod Klassen at Auto Check Service Centre. Some elements of the business, such as auto sales and safety inspections, have tapered off, but they’re still doing enough repairs to keep the doors open.

Cooped up: Backyard chickens making a comeback

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Cooped up: Backyard chickens making a comeback

Willy Williamson 7 minute read Friday, May. 1, 2020

While experts have assured us there won’t be an egg shortage in Canada anytime soon, one interesting trend caused by the coronavirus pandemic is an increased interest in people raising chickens in their backyards.

According to a recent story in USA Today, Americans are buying chickens to produce eggs at a time when supermarkets in that country, particularly in the northeast, are experiencing a shortage of eggs.

Here in Manitoba in the early days of the pandemic there was a brief shortage of eggs at grocery stores, but the supply quickly met the increased demand and it appears as though it was only a temporary blip — but that still hasn’t stopped local folks from flocking to hatcheries in search of chicks.

Perhaps it’s a result of all the home baking that’s become a popular pandemic pastime, or simply the realization that our food chain can indeed become broken in a crisis, but the increased interest in backyard farming will surely rekindle the debate about whether or not chickens should be permitted within Winnipeg city limits.

Friday, May. 1, 2020

A good egg: Trevor Kirczenow with one of the family's chickens. (Ken MacDonald)

Auto detail shop poised to fight pandemic

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Auto detail shop poised to fight pandemic

Willy Williamson 4 minute read Saturday, Apr. 18, 2020

Since COVID-19 has taught us to continually wash our hands, and many of us have already cleaned every corner of our homes, it's a sure bet a few of us have also turned our efforts to sanitizing our vehicles.

Your usual Saturday morning ritual of washing your car on the driveway with the garden hose and vacuuming the interior and wiping down hard surfaces with car cleaning products is likely all you'll need to keep your vehicle shiny and safe — but if you know or suspect your vehicle has come into contact with coronavirus, or just want to increase your peace of mind, it may be time to call in a professional.

The majority of auto detail shops, which fall under the same essential services category as automobile repair shops, have remained open during the pandemic.

Tom Segal, 45, the owner of Blue Ocean Auto Detailing in Headingley, has seen it all in the more than 25 years he's been cleaning cars, including dirty diapers, rotten food crammed between seats and rodent infestations, but this is his first pandemic.

Saturday, Apr. 18, 2020

MIKE DEAL / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS
"It has been challenging," says Tom Segal, "about 40 per cent of our business is customers who get their personal vehicles detailed and almost all of that business has dried up."

Is testing vehicles gone for good?

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Is testing vehicles gone for good?

Willy Williamson 5 minute read Friday, Apr. 3, 2020

As I was driving to Jim Pattison Subaru South to drop off the 2020 Subaru Outback we’d been testing it occurred to me it might be a good while before we will be evaluating any new vehicles from Subaru — or any other auto manufacturer for that matter.

Due to the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, most automakers across Canada have suspended the practice of loaning automobile journalists vehicles for evaluation. This of course is a neccesary move required to keep the virus at bay.

Like you, I’m far more concerned about the health and well-being of my friends, family and everyone else including myself during this trying time than I am about my job and my ability to test drive cars.

The pandemic is obviously monumentally more important than the Subaru Outback and how it handles Winnipeg’s pothole covered streets on a sloppy spring afternoon. But, questions about new vehicles from Subaru and all the other brands we test is bound to come up again from our readers at some point in the future — and when these questions return will we be able to answer them?

Friday, Apr. 3, 2020

Winter Mega Run promises big fun

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Winter Mega Run promises big fun

Willy Williamson 3 minute read Friday, Feb. 28, 2020

While fairweather fans remain in a holding pattern in anticipation of summer, hundreds of local off-road enthusiasts have been burning the midnight oil in their heated garages in anticipation of the 11th annual Winter Mega Run.

The event, which takes place on Crown land near Seddons Corner, about 15 kilometres east of Beausejour, attracts a wide variety of off-road enthusiasts and their machines for a day of fun in the sun and snow.

In past years we’ve spotted lifted trucks, SUVs, ATVs, snowmobiles, motorcycles fitted with studded tires and even a few highly-modified cars trudging through the terrain.

According to Steve Rempel, the main organizer of the event, it started out as a casual gathering of off-road enthusiasts looking to beat the winter blues, and has since morphed into a full-scale winter festival. This year you can expect additional portable toilets, more bonfires to warm up around, two food vendors and music at both the south pit and Crowsnest areas.

Friday, Feb. 28, 2020

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press
Hundreds of off-road enthusiasts will converge on an area of Crown land near Seddon’s Corner tomorrow for the 11th annual Winter Mega Run.

Whole lotta’ Hyundai

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Whole lotta’ Hyundai

Willy Williamson 6 minute read Friday, Jan. 31, 2020

Way back in the summer of 1988 I was a sales rep at Bridgeway Hyundai on Nairn Avenue — located on the same lot where Focus Hyundai currently stands. Although only 21, in my young mind I was already an automobile expert and had memorized every feature and option of the entire Hyundai lineup. That was easy though, as there was only three vehicles to choose from, the Pony, Excel and Stellar. The posh Sonata wouldn’t hit the showroom until the fall of ‘88.

The truth is those early Hyundai models, although cheap to buy, were not the greatest vehicles. They were certainly a notch or two above Lada from Russia, or Skoda from Czech Republic, but they paled in comparison to the offerings of the day from Japanese and North American brands.

A few years later as a rookie corrections officer at the Winnipeg Remand Centre, I would sometimes fill in for the storeskeeper, and one sunny morning I opened the rear loading dock door and a lady delivering supplies recognized me as a former car salesman and tore a strip off me over the Hyundai Excel I’d sold her. She lamented the Excel, which had been purchased to use as a courier car, had spent more time in the shop than on the road — and even though it was only a few years old it was practically worthless. I was all kinds of sorry and it was one of those moments I’ve never forgotten. It disapointed me that I’d sold her a lemon, and this incident laid the foundation for a couple of decades of disdain for Hyundai.

2020 feels like a good year to finally get over my contempt for the South Korean automaker and go on the record as a fan of the brand. In the past decade I’ve had the opportunity to test most Hyundai models, and especially in the past couple of years I’ve been particularly impressed with the vehicles they are putting out and can firmly attest to the great combination of the practicality, value and style Hyundai cars and SUVs offer.

Friday, Jan. 31, 2020

The Hyundai Kona was designed with fun in mind.

Get your motor running

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Get your motor running

Willy Williamson 4 minute read Friday, Jan. 17, 2020

Motorcycles are a huge part of my life, and over the years I’ve owned six different Harley-Davidsons models. My rolling resume includes a 1997 Sportster, 2001 Super Glide, 2010 Wide Glide, 2012 Road King and my current ride, a 2017 Street Glide Special.

All my Harleys were purchased at Harley-Davidson Winnipeg. David and Sheryl Gray, the dealership owners, and their capable crew of enthusiastic staff, always treat me like family. I’m never in a hurry at the shop, there’s so many cool bikes in the showroom and the majority of my wardrobe was also bought there. All my Harleys have been reliable and also held their value much better than the many cars and trucks I’ve owned.

If you’ve been dreaming about owning a Harley-Davidson, but have no idea where to start, here’s a quick lowdown on all the Harley models. If you want to see these beautiful bikes in person stop by Harley-Davidson Winnipeg for a visit, but take my word for it, you’re gonna want to set aside a couple of hours to see it all.

 

Friday, Jan. 17, 2020

The Harley-Davidson Street 750 is a lightweight cruiser that is a perfect entry-level bike.

Memories from the highway to heaven

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Memories from the highway to heaven

Willy Williamson 5 minute read Friday, Jan. 10, 2020

My dad, Dave Williamson, battled colon cancer hard for a few years before it finally got him in 2005 at only 62.

A few months before he passed, when it was apparent the countless surgeries and treatments hadn’t worked and he was on borrowed time, we took a road trip to Pembina Hills to see his buddy, Bill Harrison, who owns Vavavoom Garage — at that time Bill had several hundred vintage cars in his field of dreams.

Uncle Bill’s place is near Carman so it was a perfect day trip.

My dad was the manager of Brunswick Steel and his work truck was a crisp white 2004 Chevrolet Silverado.

Friday, Jan. 10, 2020

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press
It has been almost 15 years since Willy’s father, Dave Williamson, lost his battle with colon cancer.

Second opinion: Best Jeep pickup ever

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Second opinion: Best Jeep pickup ever

Willy Williamson 5 minute read Friday, Jan. 3, 2020

Whoa. Maybe pump the brakes a bit there, Mr. Louka. The Gladiator is the new baby in the Jeep lineup, and you don’t just go running around all willy-nilly calling a baby goofy-looking.

Those of us in the Jeep family are quite sensitive about our chosen brand, and the last thing you want to do is get on the bad side of a group so devoted to one another and our vehicles that we actually wave when we spot each other in traffic.

Do you really want to go there?

OK, truth is you’re probably safe. I’m not currently a Jeep owner — at least not yet, anyway — but this extended test drive has me absolutely loving the new Gladiator.

Friday, Jan. 3, 2020

We know it’s getting serious when Willy starts taking selfies with the 2020 Jeep Gladiator. (Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press)

Corvette, Cybertruck created automotive buzz in 2019

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Corvette, Cybertruck created automotive buzz in 2019

Willy Williamson 5 minute read Friday, Dec. 27, 2019

It was looking as if the new mid-engine Chevrolet Corvette was the runaway winner for top automobile story of 2019, then last month, Elon Musk debuted the Tesla Cybertruck and had an engineer throw steel balls at its apparently unbreakable glass during the reveal. The windows on the truck not only cracked, the Cybertruck almost broke the internet.

If you’re a regular reader, you know my feelings about the new Cybertruck: I can sum it up with one word — dumb.

But, there’s absolutely no denying it has us talking.

Even folks who don’t pay an oil drop of attention to the auto world were piping in about the Cybertruck. According to Musk, more than 250,000 fans have placed a US$100 deposit on what I’ve called a cross between a DeLorean and a Dustbuster — so clearly I haven’t got a hot clue what is hot these days.

Friday, Dec. 27, 2019

Tesla
More than 250,000 pre-orders are on the books for Tesla’s space-age Cybertruck.

Dreaming of a Jeep Christmas

Willy Williamson 8 minute read Preview

Dreaming of a Jeep Christmas

Willy Williamson 8 minute read Friday, Dec. 20, 2019

As a lifelong spoiled brat, there’s been so many amazing gifts under the Christmas tree with my name on them, it’s almost embarrassing.

The greatest gift anyone ever gave me was so huge it didn’t even fit down the chimney.

For Christmas of 1994, my stepfather, Jim Ketcheson, gave me his prized 1988 Jeep Comanche pickup.

Ketch, as we call him, had just bought a new Jeep Cherokee and rather than accept the paltry trade-in money the dealer offered, he consulted with my mother, Belle, and they decided to gift me the Comanche.

Friday, Dec. 20, 2019

FCA
Willy is test driving the 2020 Jeep Gladiator truck and his review will run next week. This week, he’s enjoying the drive.

Maybe Musk knew what he was doing all along?

Willy Williamson  5 minute read Preview

Maybe Musk knew what he was doing all along?

Willy Williamson  5 minute read Friday, Dec. 6, 2019

In case you missed it — last week, I used this space to throw shade on Elon Musk and have a few laughs at the expense of his new Tesla Cybertruck.

It turns out the joke was on me.

According to Musk, since the debut on Nov. 21, more than 250,000 people have forked over a US$100 deposit in hopes of one day owning what is fast becoming the most polarizing vehicle ever designed.

There is no in-between with the Cybertruck, you’re either among the growing crowd who love it enough to put down a deposit — or you’re among the rest of us, who are shaking our collective heads and simply putting it down.

Friday, Dec. 6, 2019

Tesla
The Tesla Cybertruck is an angular, stainless steel, all-electric pickup truck that has quickly become polarizing.

Have Musk and the folks at Tesla lost their minds?

Willy Williamson 4 minute read Preview

Have Musk and the folks at Tesla lost their minds?

Willy Williamson 4 minute read Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019

Before I start throwing punches at Elon Musk about the new Tesla Cybertruck, let me make something perfectly clear.

I’m no cartrarian.

If you aren’t sure what a cartrarian actually is, that’s fair, because I made the word up.

It’s a play on contrarian, which is a person who opposes or rejects popular opinion.

Thursday, Nov. 28, 2019

Tesla CEO Elon Musk used some pyro to introduce the Cybertruck last week. (Ringo H.W. Chiu / The Associated Press files)

Those jerks on the road? Pay them no attention

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Those jerks on the road? Pay them no attention

Willy Williamson 4 minute read Friday, Nov. 1, 2019

The snow was flying Tuesday afternoon while I made my commute from Cooks Creek to the Free Press building in the Inkster industrial park.

Normally, it’s a fairly sedate trip — a nice combination of highway and city driving.

Thanks to the snow on the road, however, things were moving much slower than usual.

This didn’t bother me one bit.

Friday, Nov. 1, 2019

The snow was flying Tuesday afternoon while I made my commute from Cooks Creek to the Free Press building in the Inkster industrial park.

Normally, it’s a fairly sedate trip — a nice combination of highway and city driving.

Thanks to the snow on the road, however, things were moving much slower than usual.

This didn’t bother me one bit.

Decked-out Ram is a truck guy’s dream come true

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Decked-out Ram is a truck guy’s dream come true

Willy Williamson 5 minute read Friday, Oct. 25, 2019

Not gonna lie, as much as my job testing vehicles is a dream gig, it can get a bit tiresome when the press fleet constantly delivers family sedans and mid-size SUVs.

Sure, it’s fun to evaluate the latest and greatest family haulers and share my findings with you, but the truth is I’m a truck guy.

That’s why my excitement mounted with the news the all-new 2020 Ram 3500 Limited was coming to town. As an added bonus on the week of my test drive, I was on holidays and celebrating my 52nd birthday.

The week prior, I’d been in sunny Ottawa riding Harley-Davidsons with my big brother, Allen, and bragging to him about the $100,000-plus Ram that would be waiting for me when I got home.

Friday, Oct. 25, 2019

Willy Williamson / Winnipeg Free Press
The 2020 Ram 3500 Limited held up well during Winnipeg’s recent snowstorm.