Bighorns find life in Manitoba

EDDYSTONE, Man. – Dodge hasn’t made a heavy truck since 1975, but five Bighorns are still carrying farm goods in Eddystone, Man. And they look as good as new.

“The truck used to run for the Calgary and Edmonton Sun,” says Thor Erlendson, referring to the Dodge Bighorn XDNTI-950 custom truck that he restored for active service at Stoney’s Trucking. “I completed the restoration in October 1999 with the help of my father (Steini).”

It was a familiar project for the senior Erlendson, who already uses four other Bighorns to haul hay, lumber and cattle from their home on Hwy. 68 in north-central Manitoba.

“They’re a very good truck,” Thor says. “They’re a real collectors’ item. Only 261 were ever made between 1973 and 1976. And no one has ever seen one. Only 75 Bighorns are known to exist.”

The Bighorn was the last heavy truck that Dodge ever made, and the serial number indicates that Thor’s model is one of the last ones to roll off the assembly line.

The Dodge fan spent a year restoring the model purchased from Art Reid of Spirit River, Alta. n

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