We’ll call this motley grouping of vehicles the Badland’s Collection for no reason other then they were found in the scenic Badlands of Alberta, in the Red Deer River Valley near the town of Drumheller. We were on foot wandering about the area, looking for adventure and fun and any curiosities we could find, when we spotted them down below. Naturally, we had to investigate.
There is not a huge number of vehicles here, but there are still a few gems in the mix. Of particular interest is a number of 50s and 60s Dodge and/or Fargo Trucks, a 1940s Dodge car and a 1959 Pontiac. Also scattered about is all manner of junk, not just cars parts, but this and that, old appliances, home furnishings, farm machinery and parts, steel bits and pieces and much, much more. Some might call it garbage, we call it a playground.
The first car we’ll look at is Pontiac. It’s a 1959, we know that much, but which model beyond that, we’re not sure. Three models from that year shared this sheet metal but the car has been sort of stripped and any identifying pieces are missing. So, it could be either a Strato Chief, Laurentian, or Parisienne.
If you’re an expert on these things, be sure to drop us a line. We’d love to know.
This car has Pontiac’s unique take on the tail fin, which was popular with car maker in the 1950s. This is the only non-Chrysler vehicle here, by the way.
Close by is mid to late 70s Plymouth Gran Fury, a big old boat of car. The latter part of that decade was not a high point in car design in this author’s opinion. Still, it’s not bad looking, if not a little plain.
The oldest vehicle here is a 1940s (I believe specifically, a 46) Dodge four door sedan. It has suicide doors! This car has what’s known as a “Fluid Drive” driveline, it says so right on the bumper. This was a fluid coupling inserted behind a manual transmission or sometimes a semi-automatic and allowed a degree of slippage to take place when under power. This was handy in a number of ways. For example, when starting from a dead stop the engine would not stall, even if the clutch application was done rather sloppily.
A 1958-1960 era Dodge pickup is up next. It’s also possible it’s a Fargo too, which was simply a re-badged Dodge truck, sold by Plymouth dealers. The two makes are almost identical and with only the badge and some trim differences to help distinguish one from the other, telling them apart minus these bits, which are missing, is a challenge. Again, we’d love to hear from the ‘perts!
The biggest vehicle here is a Dodge LCF (Low Cab Forward) tractor. Yes, that firm made big trucks at one time, a market they left in the mid-1970s. This model is from 1960-66 – we can tell because of the dual headlights – later examples has singles. I’m quite amazed at how compact it is and end to end it’s not much longer then a typical car of the era.
Maintaining this truck was rather easy. The hood opened up like a big set of jaws, but also, unseen, the two fenders could swing out, very clever, allowing close-in access to the drive train. You’ll notice this big truck uses the same cab, slightly modified, as the 50s era Dodge/Fargo pickups seen elsewhere in this yard.
Keeping it company is a mid-50s Dodge or Fargo grain truck. Again, all the trim and badges were missing so we couldn’t positively identify it.
We also saw a fairly new-ish (1980s or early 90s) Dodge Power Ram, but it was overshadowed by the other vehicles here.
One non-car thing that caught our eye, mainly due to its bright orange (meaning retro) colour, was this strange upside down table. You’re thinking billiards, as I did at first, but now think it’s some sort of food display case or something like that. Not that it really matters.
You’ll notice the stunning scenery all around us. We love the badlands for that reason alone. The blue skies sure didn’t hurt either.
This area is unique in many ways and for one has it’s own micro-climate and is much drier and warmer than the plains that surround it. Cactus, sage and other dry-land plants can be seen growing in the area. Rattlesnakes can also be occasionally found – we’ve seen one. Yikes!
If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date: September, 2014.
Location: Red Deer River Valley, AB.
While there was no signage, it should assumed this is private property