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Long-time Ford Customer Turns 100, Buys Taurus
Ford of Canada Helps Celebrate his Loyalty

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By: Gary Hoffman | Ford Communications Network

Wilfrid Creighton was honored recently for his loyalty to the company.
DEARBORN, Mich., May 28, 2004 -- Most centennial observances arrive like a train barreling into a station, with noise, steam and tumult rising ever higher as the magic date nears. But that wasn’t the case when Wilfrid Creighton made the kind of news that comes along once a century.
A few weeks ago, Creighton walked into Steele Ford Lincoln in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and bought a brand-new Ford, just as he has done every couple years or so for decades. This time, it was a 2004 Ford Taurus.

It wasn’t until the dapper gentleman showed his driver’s license, as required by Canadian law, that the staff realized he was 100 years old and he had just celebrated a birthday on May 5.

"He just pulled into the dealership in his 1998 Mercury Mystique and walked into the dealership as pretty as you please," said Gary Purcell, the salesperson who sold Creighton the new Taurus. The centenarian ended up trading in his Mercury.

Creighton bought dozens of Fords in his lifetime, first driving a Ford Model A in 1928 and buying 1935 Ford from his father in 1936. His first new car came from a Bentley and Archibald Ford, Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia, in 1937.

“I got good deals, too, and for a period of time I traded every year,� he recently told columnist Richard Russell of the Halifax Chronicle Herald. Recognizing the magnitude of the event, the dealership and the Ford regional office for Atlantic Canada rolled into action. The fact that both Creighton and Ford of Canada are both celebrating their 100th year in 2004 only heightened the interest.

Within a few days, the Ford Atlantic Regional office gave him the company’s centennial publication, The Ford Century, and arranged for Creighton to receive a congratulatory letter from Chairman Bill Ford, thanking him for his loyalty.

When Creighton took delivery of the Taurus, Steve Smith, Ford regional manager for Atlantic Canada and the entire staff were on hand. The Halifax Herald-Chronicle also wrote a story about the centenarian and his purchase.

“When we learned that Mr. Creighton had purchased a new Taurus, we all wanted to be there,� says Peter Bowditch, regional operations manager for Atlantic Canada.

Creighton had been something of a VIP in his day, serving as a deputy minister of Nova Scotia’s Lands and Forests Department and operating lumber businesses. His loyalty to Ford Motor Company dates back to his father’s friendship with an early Ford dealer in Halifax. The only other vehicle he had was a government-owned Pontiac that he drove during World War II. He eventually bought it, but later he traded it for a Ford after the war.

These days Creighton drives only in daylight hours and considers himself a good driver; he recently passed a driving test.

If there is a secret to Creighton’s longevity, he says, it may be that he has snow-shoed in the Nova Scotia woods for hours on end, and still does.


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