In the final installment in this series we look at broad range of old cars and trucks, dating from the 1920s and up, found on our spring 2014 Saskatchewan trip. The province is that good, a real treasure chest of fun and excitement for those who search out vintage vehicles and in every town passed one is sure to find something of interest on four wheels. Note, we only scratched the surface here, and for every vehicle seen, we had to pass others by due to time constraints.
Here’s what we found…
1) This is an early 1970s Snow Cruiser snowmobile, a model 2000 I think. Made by the Outboard Marine Corporation (OMC) the same firm that once made Evinrude and Johnson boat motors. The late 1960s and early 1970s were a boom period for the snowmobile industry and Snow Cruiser was just one dozens and dozens of brands available at the time (today there are four). This brand was made from 1965 to 1976. OMC also made Evinrude branded sleds. I doubt this one is going anywhere soon. Found in the town of Eastend.
2) This motorhome was actually spotted in Alberta, in the town of Empress, but given that the community nearly straddles the Alberta/Saskatchewan border, we’ll include it here. Who made this beast is unknown at this point. We could not find any clues on the motorhome itself, and we literally climbed all over it, nor could we find the maker online although we came across a few examples from various manufacturers that were sort of close in appearance and layout. We’ve come up empty (rare for us). We can say with reasonable certainty however, based on its design, that it’s from the late 1970s or perhaps early 1980s at the latest. Research continues on IDing this mystery machine and if our readers known more, we’d love to hear from you.
3) The next seven photos were all taken in the teeny-tiny community of Scotsguard, a mere dot on the vast Saskatchewan prairies. They have a display of sorts set up, mostly composed of cars from the 1920s. Included in that is a late example of a Ford Model T or Tin Lizzie as it was affectionately called, this one dating from the mid-1920s or thereabouts (that model was produced from the 1908-1927). The Model T was hands down the most popular car of the era.
4) A row of unidentified vintage car bodies, chassis and miscellaneous parts.
5) Up next is a late 1920s Dodge. Note the suicide doors, which were common way back when.
6) A row mostly made up of 1920s era Chevrolets. This make dates from the early 1910s and has always been immensely popular. We made no attempt to ID the exact model of each – many of these cars are missing crucial parts making this task difficult if not near impossible (for me anyway).
7) Getting swallowed up by bushes is a 1946-48 Plymouth. This brand ceased to be in 2001, but in the past, based on the sheer number of them we find out in the wild, was at one time quite popular.
8) Here’s a rare one, at least here in Canada, an Austin A40 Somerset, a 1952-54 model. Made in the UK, cars from over there never seemed to fare well in the tough conditions encountered in Canada and as a result were not terribly common. Strangely, this same trip we found another of this model car, in the same colour, in the ghost town of Neidpath not terribly far away.
9) Barely recognizable, if it were not for the hood ornament, is a rarity, a Durant. This make was only in existence from 1921-1931 and the car seen here, a Star model, is likely a mid-20s example.
10) In the near ghost town of Robsart, a cool place by the way and soon to be the subject of its own report, we find a late 1960s or early 1970s boat, a Chrysler Newport. It’s inside a shed where it appears it’s been sitting for some time.
11) In that same town we come across a 1954 Pontiac. This make was shut down in 2010 due to lagging sales but at one time, again based on how many we stumble upon, they were clearly popular.
12) From left to right – a 1966 Chevrolet Caprice, a 1955 Buick Special and a 1976 Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser wagon.
13) A closer look at the Oldsmobile. It’s a massive land barge that could easily seat twenty or thirty people – well okay maybe six – or nine if equipped with one of those funky backwards facing folding seats that pop out of the floor. I remember those: cruising with the back window down and our feet draped over the tailgate. Every family with kids, it seemed, in the 1970s, had an Olds wagon. This style of car was popular before the advent of the mini-van. The Oldsmobile brand closed down in the 2000s.
14) A 1953 Chevrolet. Notice the rust patina, but no real serious corrosion.
15) A post World War Two Ford Pickup, a popular farm truck, way off in a field.
16) That ’55 Buick again. The pinwheel is a shout out to Chris Attrell, a fellow ghost-towner who lives in this part of Saskatchewan. He’ll know what it means.
17) Still in Robsart, we find a late 1950s International A Series truck outfitted with a grain box. This brand was very popular in rural Saskatchewan which makes sense since that firm’s roots were in agriculture. International, International Harvester or simply IH, had a factory in Ontario which made trucks for the Canadian market (not all models though).
18) Across “town” we seen another of this make, this one a 1949-52 L Series, also with a grain box. You might hear some people refer to International Trucks as “Corn Binders” or simply “Binders”. That was a nickname the firm had for many years.
19) Beside it is this a mid-1960s era Chevrolet medium duty, yet another old grain truck. Based on the license plate this one ran until fairly recently.
20) A 1960s/70s Ford medium duty bare chassis found in the town of Gull Lake.
21) A very common farm truck from the late 1940s and early 1950s, a Chevrolet “Advance Design”. GMC made a near duplicate copy. This one was found in a community called Tompkins.
22) Now in Piapot (next 7 pics), we see a 1960s Chevrolet truck. We find lots and lots of these. Hardly rare but still worth a look.
23) A late 40s/early 50s Ford, uber common, but still interesting to us. Like all the old cars and vehicles seen here, we wonder about who owned them, what became of then, and so on. If they, as the old saying goes, could only talk, what stories they’d tell.
24) Yikes, what happened to that van? I guess it must have been in an accident since the front has been ripped open like a can of sardines. I shudder to think what may have happened to the occupants. In behind is another old Ford pickup.
25) We told you they are common – another GM Advance Design truck (what an awkward name), also sometimes called a Thriftmaster or Loadmaster.
26) In the same group, a school bus on a late 1950s era GMC chassis.
27) Another GMC “Task Force” truck. It and the Chevrolet counterpart were often called “Apaches” (although that was actually a sub-model). Sometimes GMC branded examples were called “Blue Chip”. This one is also from the late 1950s.
28) The bus once belonged to the Kinsmen Club of Rosetown (well north of here).
29) Now in the community of Golden Prairie, we spot another “Task Force”, this one a Chevrolet badged example.
30) Down the street we find one final Task Force, this one an Apache sub-model made out as some sort of tow truck. Interestingly, this one came from a garage in Piapot. Recall we visited that same town earlier. These old trucks sometimes get around.
31) A look at Golden Prairie’s last remaining grain elevator with the Apache in front. That structure in back is a fairly modern wood “prairie sentinel” that was built in 1981. It’s still in use too and sits at the end of a short CPR branch line.
32) Forgive us if we include a modern truck. This is a 2008-today International Lonestar, a very unique looking big rig. It was found in the parking lot of our motel in Maple Creek on the last day of our visit.
Look out Saskatchewan, I’m sure we’ll be returning soon. We’re not done with you and I know you have lots of old and interesting cars and trucks waiting just for us to discover.
If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date: May, 2014.
Location: SW Saskatchewan.
Most of the places seen in this report are publicly accessible. Others require permission to enter.