CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — We all have projects, but imagine working on the same one for four years, a local teen has and he’s finally getting to show it off.
Fixing up a beat-up old truck has been the center of 17-year-old Gavin Weakland’s whole world and he wanted to finish it before taking the next big steps in his life.
“Whenever I was 13 we kept driving past this truck and I was always telling my dad that I was always going to buy that truck,” Penn Cambria High School Student Gavin Weakland said.
“So one day I stopped in to see what they were doing with it and they said you wanna buy it and I said well my sons interested,” Gavin’s dad, Gary Weakland said.
Gavin’s mom Tammy said he’s always been a great repairman.
“He is always outside doing something, building something, even when he was little the things he would build out of legos, I’ve never seen kids do that,” Tammy Weakland said.
And later, he went from working with legos to lawnmowers.
“Just fixing things up, I started with older metal lawnmowers, like the 60s and 70s and 80s lawnmowers cub cadets, I started up fixing those I’d buy them cheap and fix them up and sell them,” Gavin said.
And after working at a body shop, he followed his passion even more buying tools and parts for his 1986 dodge truck.
“My husband and I feel it’s really important for our kids to earn what they have so they will have more respect for it,” Tammy said.
And after working on his dream truck for four years, the last two at Admiral Peary VoTech, setbacks with covid, and lots of determination, the car is transformed.
“Pretty crazy being able to see it now and compared to what it was before, I’ve been told before it kind of looked like an older man’s truck and now it looks like it would fit a 17-year-old,” Gavin said.
Gavin met his goal, to get the truck done this summer, his last summer before he leaves for basic training for the army.
“I remember in middle school, it was around the same time he got the truck, the principal there, he asked Gavin one day, he said what are you going to do with your life? and he said I’m going to go in the service and he got up and walked around the desk and shook Gavin’s hand and I think that had a big effect on him that he got the respect,” Tammy said.
Even better, Gavin will be able to follow his passions in the army.
“If you get on there you can look at all the job sites and everything they have they actually have a body work type field in the army so that’s what I think I’m going to try and go for,” Gavin said.
And his family is planning to back him up the whole way.
“I’m really proud of him and I think it’s important nowadays that kids find their passion and follow it,” Tammy said.
Gavin is planning to bring his truck home Tuesday to enjoy the whole summer.
While this is the first truck he’s finished, he tells me it won’t be the last.