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Global BC Anchor Chris Gailus with his vintage Ford Bronco. (Simon Hayter/Simon Hayter for The Globe and Mail)
Global BC Anchor Chris Gailus with his vintage Ford Bronco. (Simon Hayter/Simon Hayter for The Globe and Mail)

My Car

An old Ford Bronco is newsman's anchor Add to ...

Chris Gailus

Profession: Global BC anchor and Global National contributor

Age: 44

Hometown: Calgary

Notable achievements

  • Graduated from the Broadcast Journalism Program at Mount Royal University in Calgary in 1989
  • Launched his career in Lethbridge, Alta., as a reporter and later won a CanPro Award as anchor of the “Best Small Market Newscast”
  • In 2000, moved to the United States to be the anchor at the ABC affiliate in Dallas, where he covered major stories such as the crash of the space shuttle Columbia, 9/11 and the deployment of U.S. troops from Fort Hood. In 2003, anchored Good Day New York at WNYW
  • Played an anchorman in the movie, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer


Upcoming

More related to this story

  • Anchor, News Hour & Weekend News Hour, Global BC
  • Supports the BC Children’s Hospital, Canuck Place Children's Hospice and organizations that support research and treatment of diabetes and arthritis
  • Variety Show of Hearts Telethon, raising money for children’s charities, airs Feb. 11-12

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Chris Gailus is an Emmy award-winning anchor with more than 20 years of broadcast journalism experience.

After hosting Fox News’ Good Day New York, one of the most-watched morning shows in New York, Gailus returned to Canada to join Global News in 2006. Today, he’s an anchor for Global BC and a Global National contributor. He isn’t afraid to dig deep into a story and occasionally has used his ride – a vintage 1976 Ford Bronco – to cover stories.

Why did you buy an old Bronco?

When I was a lot younger, I loved the shape of them and their simple, rugged utilitarianism. It wasn’t until I got my first job out of college that I actually had the money to buy one.

My first Bronco was a 1972 Bronco that I purchased in Lethbridge when I got my first job in television. I took a cash loan out on my credit card to buy it – it was the dumbest financial decision I ever made! But I loved the truck.

I had it lovingly restored. But I could not afford to put gas in it. It had the big 308 V-8. So I ended up selling it at a bit of a loss hoping some day I might have another one. In 2000, we moved to Dallas. I was at a party at my buddy’s house and one of his buddies – we pulled up at the same time – had a beautiful old 1974 Bronco.

I was like, ‘Oh my God! I’ve forgotten how much I love those trucks!’ I said, ‘I love your truck. Can I see it?’ He said, ‘Better yet, we’ll go for a drive.’ So we bummed around the neighbourhood in his old truck and I said, ‘I gotta find one.’

I scoured the newspapers and I ended up finding the one I own now, in Granbury, Tex. It had 60,000 miles on the odometer when I bought it in 2001. I’ve owned it 10 years now.

Are you mechanically inclined?

I am. I am a hands-on guy. I had the engine and transmission rebuilt. I didn’t rebuild the engine and transmission because I don’t have the tools or the room to do that. That’s better left for the professionals.

I’ve had some cosmetic things done to it. I’ve replaced the roofline, the floorboards and the carpet. I did all that work myself. I can tune it up and change the oil.

We have a son who is almost five months old now. When I replaced the carpet, I didn’t put the seat belt back in the back so there’s no way to anchor in the car seat. My wife is more than a little leery about strapping a car seat in the back of the old Bronco.

What does an old Bronco say about you?

It appeals to a part of my personality that likes simply elegant design. There’s a utilitarianism to it.

I love the security of 4WD if you’re in trouble or if there’s a big snowstorm. I like the idea I could take this car off-road. I’ve never gone that far off the trail.

I haven’t done it since we got back here in Vancouver, with the exception of Stanley Park. There was a huge windstorm and we were in there doing a story on all the damage. There was some access roads normally the public wouldn’t be able to go on, but we needed to shoot in certain areas.

Our shooter showed up in a brand-new Nissan Pathfinder and I show up in my old Bronco. The crusty old guy looking after Stanley Park says you guys better hop into the Bronco because that Pathfinder isn’t going to make it. That says everything you need to know about the truck. There were some steep grades, tight turns and the truck handled them no problem.

What do you listen to on the road?

Right now it’s got an old cassette from Texas of Joe Ely – its good Texas blues.

It just takes me back to my time in Texas. I enjoyed living there. I had a great experience at the ABC affiliate in Dallas and it set me up for the job in New York City and this gig in Vancouver.

I have nothing but good memories whenever I’m in that truck. It reminds of that and where I came from and where I’m at now.

Are vintage cars a good investment?

I think so. Some makes and models are.

I wouldn’t say the 1976 Ford Bronco is particularly going to make me rich. It’s a ton of fun to drive, it’s a ton of fun to own. If I choose to sell it, which I can’t imagine, I’ll probably still get $10,000 for it.

The Bronco might not be a good investment, but I love the idea of investing in classic cars and I love guys who preserve them.

What was your first car?

My first car was a Ford Maverick.

I’ve owned dozens of vehicles, everything from a few Jeep CJ7s, a couple of Broncos, a Datsun 1600, a Volkswagen Rabbit.

My daily driver is an Infiniti G35. Now, we have a Toyota RAV4 to haul the kid around in. We owned a Prius prior to that.

What was your favourite car?

In terms of performance, level of luxury and practicality, the four-door Infiniti G35 sedan has been the best car I’ve ever owned.

But I also had a blast after college, ripping around in my old Volkswagen Rabbit. That thing was a riot to drive. A little short-shifting four-speed torque-y little engine – that was a blast to drive, too. Oddly enough, we had a Volkswagen Jetta – the 1999 to 2000 with the new body design. It was a lemon – it broke. It was gutless. It was no fun to drive.

If I could bring you the keys to any car what would it be?

Right now, the Fisker Karma.

I really want to embrace the idea of electric vehicles for my commute. It seems ridiculous that I’m burning through so much fossil fuel driving 15 kilometres to work and back everyday, five days a week.

If I could remove that amount of consumption in an electric vehicle that inspired me – the look and performance of the Karma inspires me.

The interview has been edited and condensed.

pgentile@globeandmail.com

Follow on Twitter: @PetrinaGentile

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