If you like old cars, trucks, farm machinery and equipment, Saskatchewan is the place for you. No matter where one travels within its borders, there is always an endless parade of vintage vehicles to be seen, each begging to be photographed and documented. It’s a literal playground for those who like these sorts of things. That group, naturally, includes us.
Connie and I visited the southwest corner of the province in May of this year. While we came for the grain elevators mainly, we also took time to snap photos of ghost towns and abandoned farms, and of course old vehicles. We shot so many of the latter that it’ll take several reports, at least, to show them all.
Let’s see what we found…
In the town of Eastend, we stumbled across a mid to late 1950s International Harvester S100 pickup. This make of truck seems particularly popular in Saskatchewan, not surprising given that company’s rural aligned roots. The truck has a Cuban front plate. Note the grain elevator seen in that picture. We came to shoot it and there is a link to it below.
Not far away we found a retired Eastend Fire Department pumper truck. The machinery is mounted on a 1957 Ford F600 medium duty chassis. Like most vehicles in this service, it probably has very low mileage, but I could not confirm given the glare off the windows.
Just outside town we found a field just chock full of stuff we like. Score!
Catching my attention right off was a dragline crane. Of all the old equipment genres we explore, heavy construction machinery is to me one of the most thrilling. This beastie was made by a company called Baldwin Lima Hamilton or B-L-H, and as these machines go, is a fairly small example – in some coal mines they can be so large that it’s quite hard to fathom. This style of crane is most useful digging large shallow pits or depressions (e.g. for canals, in strip mining, etc).
I could not cross reference the serial number seen with any records, so we’re not exactly sure how old this dragline is. We did however find similar looking cranes online that are from the early to late 1950s or early 1960s, so perhaps this one is also from around that time. Give or take. From the factory this machine could also be outfitted as a traditional lifting crane or could be equipped with a clam shell bucket. Both the Baldwin and Lima components of the B-L-H firm built locomotives at one time. The company was formed in 1951 and came about due to a merger of these two former rivals (and Hamilton, a machine and diesel engine maker).
There’s lots more to see here…
We find a 1949 Chevrolet Deluxe. We know it’s from then because of the grill, which was unique to that year. Next to it is a 1970s era Bel Air from that same maker.
Spread out across the property were a number of old tractors, most of them stripped of parts to some degree or another. These included some of such makers as Minneapolis Moline and JI Case. The former were never terribly popular in Canada, I understand, so finding it was a nice treat, even if it was only half a tractor.
Next up is a colourful 1960s era Ford pickup, a pretty common truck of the era.
Much more interesting is a nearby Vauxhall Victor F. Made in the UK this one could be from the late 1950s or early 1960s. Vauxhall was (and is) part of GM at the time these cars were sold at Pontiac/Buick dealers in Canada. Chevrolet had its own version, called the Envoy. These cars were notoriously unreliable and did not stand up to well to harsh Canadian conditions. I sorta like the blue colour.
The remains of an early 1950s International R series truck, also in a nice shade of blue, are found nearby along with cab of a 1960s vintage Dodge pickup. These, like lot of vehicles found here, were stripped and missing many parts.
A Massey-Harris combine keeps an old motor grader company. I could not ID the latter. I looked all over it and found no maker’s plate, and while I researched it online I could not find a single machine that matched the looks of this one. Although, some from the maker Champion had somewhat similar cabs, so maybe it’s from that company? Any experts care to chime in?
Some old farm machinery was found next to the only building left standing on the property (a couple sheds were also here, but were collapsed). Its exact purpose was not clear, although all the auto related junk found inside suggests it was a workshop or storage building of some sort. Open to the elements, it was of course full of bird poop.
On the building’s far side is a Chevrolet Bel Air, a 1954 model. It’s a nice looking car.
As probably many of you do, I often find myself wondering about the people that once owned these vehicles, the living souls connected to these now rusty old hunks of metal. What’s their story? Of course, we’ll probably never know, but we can’t help think about it anyway. Step back and imagine farmer Brown with his new wheels, his pride and joy, one of the now dilapidated cars, trucks or tractors seen here. It’s fun to do.
We had absolutely wonderful blue skies this day. Thanks Mother Nature! They were stunning and added so much to the photos.
To see more old vehicles, follow these links…
Mystery Machine – Green Machine – Strange homemade RV.
Old trucks and vehicles – August and September.
A rugged Pacific truck.
If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date: May, 2014.
Location: Eastend, SK.