Anyone who reads this blog knows we seem to have great luck finding rare, old or interesting trucks, cars and vehicles. This trip, on the Heritage Day long weekend, was no exception. We found ourselves in the Hanna area in eastern Alberta doing some field research, and this work had us travelling down a number of old back roads in out of the way places. Coincidentally, it’s along these byways where we seem to stumble across our best discoveries.
All the trucks and such seen in this report were found on this one weekend.
Our first stop was Craigmyle Alberta where we manged to find a number of very interesting vehicles. They included a nice White Super Power (not sure the exact model) from perhaps the late 1940s or early 1950s, with a cool road warrior-esque grill guard. White trucks, in our experience anyway, do not seem to be terribly common in this part of Canada and it’s always a treat finding one.
Beside it was a 1968-1973 Chevrolet model C60 and a 1967-79 Ford F600 medium duty. The Ford, like the White has a massive grill guard. Both of these models were and are fairly common, often finding work as farm trucks. We see lots of them to this day.
Not far from it is was a wonderful find, a rare 1960s Hayes Clipper. This maker, based out of Vancouver BC, was best known for its tough and rugged logging trucks that could be found in the wilds of that province. They also made an over-the-road model, the Clipper, of which this is an early example. Finding any Hayes is a real treat, but seeing one on the plains of Alberta is even more exciting, as they were pretty rare outside BC. This manufacturer was active until the mid 1970s.
Bedside the Hayes is a Kenworth Hustler. These small cab-over trucks were often used for refuse work and the like. This one could be from the 1970s or 80s. There was a Peterbilt version too, which is nearly identical. Both were once fairly common, but I don’t recall seeing one for sometime now.
Also found in town, next to a substantial brick building was a 1941 Studebaker pickup, partially restored. It’s always nice when you find a a rare beast like this. I’m pretty sure the original engine, a thrifty underpowered affair, was swapped out for something…well, more exciting. I’d love to see what sort of paint job the owner has in mind and maybe we’ll return to find that out.
Beside a shed, we find a late 1960s era Alouette snowmobile – possibly a model 707, 868 or 869, many of which used this same hood. This maker was based out of Quebec (the holy land of snow machines). This make was in production from 1967-76, during the height of the great snowmobile boom. This is only the second snowmobile from this manufacturer we’ve seen first hand – we found another rotting away in an abandoned barn south of Calgary. These are so simple looking when compared to the sleek sleds of today.
Finding ourselves in Hanna now, for an overnight stop, we wander about town and finding even more cool vehicles. First is an oddly painted motorhome and down the road a similarly painted truck. They must be connected in some way.
Just down from that discovery, we find a late 1950s GMC pickup (model 9380), and next to it and right out of the TV series Mad Men, a 1963 Pontiac Strato Chief. I’m particularly fond of the latter, and find its lines quite pleasing. It looks like a nice project car.
Just down the road, we find another 1967-73 Chevrolet medium duty, this one a model C50 (the model range was C40-C60). These could be had with various gas engines or even diesels (rare). Quite common as grain trucks in the area, you can still see many of them at work. Like this one. GMC also made a similar truck, also quite common.
Once our work in Hanna was done the next day, we decided it would be nice to explore the area at our leisure. We headed down the old CNR Sheerness Subdivision (the Peavine line), long since abandoned, to see what sort of interesting things we could dig up. We found old farms and of course more vintage vehicles.
First off, and not old but still very interesting, we come across a real heavy hauler at a truck stop. It has a trailer with more wheels than I would care to count and must be capable of carrying nearly anything. Keeping it in motion (and stopping it too) are not one, but two attendant heavy duty Western Star trucks, one at each end. I wonder what they would to be carrying next?
Along this section of road, we saw a good number of old trucks, but seemingly all were on private land and too far away to be photographed. Oh well, we found some wonderful abandoned farms to explore anyway.
Later, one the way home, we found ourselves in the Duchess area, where we discovered a few more gems. First up was a n REO truck with a cable operated excavator. This truck is a 1950s model I believe, Every time we find an REO, I always state how rare they are in Canada, yet for some reason, we’ve found more than our share of them. Odd.
Sitting next to the REO is a massive Industrial Works crane. This is very cool find – I really like machinery like this! This steam powered crane, it’s boom sitting nearby, probably dates from the 1920s. The builders plate is visible, but not everything on it could be read, on account of the angle and distance. One has to wonder what is this behemoth is doing here and how in the world did they transport it?
In town nearby, we find more vintage vehicles. A 1953 Ford Customline is seen, but in front is a real treat, a 1961 DeSoto. Made by the Chrysler Corporation, this year was the last for that make and few were sold. This makes it a real rarity and one of perhaps one of a handful of DeSotos this author has seen.
Just down the road there are more trucks to discover. One is a Chevrolet model C60, a 1970s or 80s model. A common truck, you’ll see many of these still at work.
The other is a real nice find, a Fargo C700. For those who don’t know, this marque was simply a re-badged Dodge sold at Canadian Plymouth dealers. They were sold here and other countries, but not the US. The last year the name was used was 1972. The truck seen here would be a 1969-72 model.
We’ve seen lots of Fargo pickups, and even a few medium duty trucks, but never one form the larger C Series. It’s the biggest Fargo we’ve personally seen. What a rare treat!
We saw a few more trucks this weekend, but nothing worth photographing. They were either too far away to see or where on private land obscured by trees or buildings. It didn’t matter anyway as we found so much good stuff. It was a great weekend!
If you wish more information on these vehicles, by all means contact us!
Date: August, 2013.
Location: Hanna and Brooks, AB areas.