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From snowplow to off road

Jessica Klinkenberg
Northern News Services
Wednesday, August 8, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - Keenan Miller bends over the front of his vehicle, sticks in the rod and starts it with a crank.

Miller's 1974 Land Rover (or a Lander as he referred to it) has the old-fashioned crank start.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

Keenan Miller stands next to his 1974 Land Rover, which was formerly an airport snowplow in Iqaluit, Nunavut. - Jessica Klinkenberg/NNSL photo

Once upon a time, the Land Rover was the plow at the Iqaluit airport.

Miller explained that about 15 years ago it was found at the dump in Iqaluit. An acquaintance of his brought it to Yellowknife, did some work on it, and then let it sit in his yard for 13 years.

Today Miller uses it as an off-roading vehicle.

"Dirt basically holds this one together," Jeffrey Corradetti joked at the cruise show on Wednesday night.

Cruise nights, or cruise shows, are an opportunity for car enthusiasts to show off their classic and modified cars, meet one another and do some social networking, Corradetti explained.

He founded the Blizzard Wizards, an off-roading club in Yellowknife. He also started the cruise nights outside of Mark's Work Wearhouse on Wednesday nights.

The nights so far feature most of the off-roading club's vehicles, but Corradetti is hoping to see it expand to more classic vehicles.

"There's a lot of car nuts, the world is just full of us," he said.

He said that the classic car nights would give an opportunity for both tourists and residents of Yellowknife with cars from bygone eras to share their love of the vehicles.

"I've always loved them. I've always wanted one since I was a kid," Miller said as he popped the hood of his Land Rover to show to the fellow enthusiasts.

The car still had the hooks on the front that would have been used to push the shovel around.

This is Miller's second Land Rover, and he said he's done more work on his former Iqaluit snowplow than he had to do on his other one.

"(I've replaced) almost everything," he said.

But the great part about the Land Rovers is that replacement parts are easy to get.

So the crank shaft, front-end gears, axles, spark plugs were all easy to replace.

"They're a novelty," he said when asked what the attraction was.