The Family Ford: Kaleb Bugay keeps the legacy of his family-owned ’59 Ford F100 alive |

The Family Ford: Kaleb Bugay keeps the legacy of his family-owned ’59 Ford F100 alive

David Pressgrove / Craig Press
Kaleb Bugay stands in front of his family's 1959 Ford F100 that he and his grandfather restored in memory of his great grandfather, who passed in 2005. Bugay will have the truck on display Saturday at the Bear River Young Life Car Show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Yampa Avenue.
David Pressgrove / Craig Press

Kaleb Bugay has several vivid memories of spending time as a toddler in his great grandfather’s shop.

“I remember getting a bag of Funyuns and sharing them with him,” he said. “And he was always working on someone else’s car with his white Ford truck sitting in the corner.”

When Bugay’s great grandfather, Charlie Bugay, passed away in 2005 and the ’59 Ford F100 was passed down. Kaleb said his grandfather, Dennis, started to work to restore the truck to its original look.

“My great grandpa had put a hole in the side of it for his fishing poles and he always had a camper top on it,” he said. “The paint was original and peeling and rusting.”

As a teenager Kaleb would join his grandpa for a couple hours at a time of restoring the truck. Family and friends put in work to restore the engine and other issues and they had the paint professionally redone.

When the truck was restored close to its original glory, Kaleb entered it into it’s first Bear River Young Life Car Show in 2016. He plans to enter it again in this Saturday’s show in downtown Craig.

“I think my great grandpa would be sad if when we inherited it we just let it sit on the side of a barn or in a garage,” he said. “Having it out and restored is one of the last things we can do to honor his memory.”

Charlie lived in Hayden and Kaleb said at least a couple of times each local car show someone from the town will say, “I used to see a truck like that driving around Hayden.” Kaleb will ask them for some other details and typically it turns out they were talking about the same truck.

“I’ve really enjoyed getting to hear stories about my great grandpa and his life with the truck in Hayden,” Kaleb said. “It might not win any awards, but there is more joy to it than just a trophy because it connects me to my family and brings back memories for others.”

The BRYL Car Show starts on Friday night with pre-registration for vehicle owners at Yampa Valley Bank from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Following registration owners can participate in a poker drive throughout town and anybody else can see them cruising on Victory Way. On Saturday registration starts at 8 a.m. on the 500 block of Yampa Ave. and the show runs from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.  

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