COHON TAKES TO CARS WITH A RELISH; MCDONALDS'
CHAIRMAN LOVES TO TINKER ON HIS 1967 IMPALA by Maryanna Lewyckyj
(The Toronto Sun, 9/20/96)
Burger honcho George Cohon knows how to liven up a
drive-through window lineup.
The senior chairman of McDonald's Restaurants of Canada has a
menu of cars to make most auto buffs salivate with envy.
His sentimental favorite is a 1967 Chevrolet Impala Super
Sport convertible, a gift bestowed upon him by the officers of
McDonald's in 1981.
"It reminds me of my youth," says Cohon, whose first car was
also an Impala.
Cohon keeps his vintage beauty in mint condition with lots of
elbow grease and some loving tinkering.
"I know every inch of that car," says Cohon.
Cohon has also been known to liven up the countryside, with
aquatic forays into Wasaga Beach, Lake Muskoka and the Trent
Canal with his amphibious amphicar.
"People go crazy when they see it," says Cohon of his offbeat
vehicle, which transforms Cohon into a type of Pied Piper of
"They run to get their cameras."
Though most autophiles would be in McHeaven with a Ferrari in
their garage, the taste of Italy in the Cohon garage is seldom
To surprise his wife on their 25th anniversary, Cohon bought
her a silver 1985 Ferrari Mondial cabriolet, forgetting his wife
doesn't drive standard.
"It doesn't get driven much," says Cohon.
FIRST CAR: 1958 Chev Impala Convertible.
WORST CAR: The old Dodge I jointly purchased (along with a
friend) for $50 while I was at university. The car was so bad we
ended up turning it into a convertible by cutting the top off
with an acetylene torch.
WORST DRIVING EXPERIENCE: When I was a university student, I
was travelling to a basketball game with a male friend and two
women when our car broke down a highway between Des Moines, Iowa
and Peoria, Illinois. We were in the middle of nowhere, in the
middle of winter, and had to walk through a bitterly cold wind to
get help. Everyone got frostbite.
CARS YOU CURRENTLY OWN: 1967 Chevrolet Impala Super Sport
convertible (favorite); 1961 Amphicar (amphibious vehicle); 1995
Lexus ES400 (company car).
DREAM CAR: A modern Amphicar.
FAVORITE FEATURES: Ragtop, good sound system.
WORDS THAT FIT YOU AND YOUR IMPALA: Fun, reliable,
hard-working, not getting but getting better.
DREAM CHAUFFEUR: "I like driving myself. I don't like being