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Douglas Coupland finds Terry Fox’s van


The story is that Terry’s brother Darrell asked Coupland “ who put together a book-length tribute, Terry, in 2005 “ to keep an eye out for the van, which most people had lost track of after Fox was forced to end his Marathon of Hope in 1980.

From the Toronto Star:

But Coupland said he never expected to find it, until recently, a painter at an art opening approached him and said he knew who owned the vehicle.

“It turned out he only knew the name of the street in Vancouver where the guy lived,” said Coupland. The author contacted Darrell and the two drove to the East Vancouver neighbourhood. They both saw the van right away.

“Darrell had some time alone with it before I got too near. For obvious reasons,” said Coupland. “And then, what amazed both him and me, was that after 25 years of touring with a band, the van had not a scratch on it and the owner hadn’t tampered with any of the original fittings.”

The owner, Bill Johnston, even kept the original orange shag carpeting, which Coupland believes deserves its own biohazard warning.

Johnston, a musician with a heavy metal group called Removal, has known the story behind the van ever since his dad bought it in the early 1980s.

His dad used to drive the van to the Terry Fox run each year in London until organizers stopped calling.