Mike Philion is selling his pickup truck, but he’s not sure he wants to.
Phillion’s 2002 Ford F150 XLT has been customized with an incredibly detailed mural that runs inside and outside the vehicle.
People that look at it are amazed at how thorough and detailed the work is.
The paint job on the vehicle alone was recently assessed at $30,000, said Philion.
“I put a dent in my tailgate one day in 2009 and it was the first dent I ever put in my truck and it really bothered me,” he said.
Philion asked his long time artist friend Al Proulx if he’d paint a mural on the tailgate to cover up the repair on the dent.
He wanted an elaborate nature scene with fish below the water and wildlife above.
Proulx couldn’t fit everything Philion wanted on just the tailgate so the images started to wrap around to the sides.
The type of work Proulx does has won awards at major car and truck shows and is usually quite expensive but Proulx considered it repayment for Philion taking his dad out fishing.
“So away we went. We got carried away; I laid out a design for him to paint Aubrey Falls and the power dam. I got extremely good deal . . . family pricing,” he said.
Philion has been fishing up at Aubrey Falls just east of Ranger Lake ever since he was he was a teenager.
“I took my kids there all the time and I love the place and I thought, perfect, that’s what I’ll use for the theme,” he said.
Philion called the vehicle 'Walleye'.
He took it to car shows for years, having a blast with the North Shore Cruisers, a car lovers group he’s a part of.
Philion shared a fun story from a time the group travelled down to Lewiston.
At the show, a police officer approached him and asked if he intended to drive the truck.
Philion, worried, replied: "Yes."
“Well I can’t allow you to drive it today sir. Your vehicle is an eyesore and you might cause an accident. Here in the United States we don’t allow that and we’re going to have to ask you to get it towed or trailered,“ said the officer.
Philion asked if the officer was serious, the officer replied he was.
Philion stood there in disbelief until he looked over to his North Shore Cruisers friends who were laughing to themselves from afar.
“They put the cop up to it!” he said.
So with all the good times Fillion’s had with the truck, why is he selling it?
In 2014, Philion was diagnosed with lung cancer.
“The doctors said they don’t want me out in the sun too much so that means I can’t do too many car shows. I thought I might as well sell it to someone who will enjoy it as much as I did,” he said.
Although the outlook has greatly improved for him in the last six months after the success of new drug trial, he’s still going ahead with the sale.
“I’m actually not advertising or pushing it much. I’m telling myself I want to sell it, but part of me really doesn’t want to. If anyone ever wanted a real nice show truck, my truck is it. You’ll never find another one like it,” he said.
While the truck is insured at around $60,000 in total, Philion is asking $25,000.