Here’s another fantastic collection of vintage vehicles, comprised mostly of 1950s era cars of many makes and models, found deep in the beautiful Alberta Badlands. Shot full of holes, stripped of parts, twisted and crushed, rusted and rotting, these old Fords, Chevrolets, Pontiacs and Plymouths sit beside a crumbling old home and an abandoned railway line. It’s forgotten defined.
In this amazingly scenic setting, a blend of nature and metal intermingle. One can’t help but feel just a wee bit melancholy looking at these beaten relics from so long ago, once someone’s pride and joy, unceremoniously dumped here when the shine wore off, only to be forgotten. It’s a photographer’s playground.
Let’s start with the buildings seen first – of the the two one is a former dwelling and the second a simple shed. Both appears in a 1960 photo found by this author and at that time were in good shape and the house clearly lived in. Now they close to falling down. Time changes everything.
There was once an Alberta Pacific grain elevator right across the tracks and this same dwelling may have been accommodations for the operator. It’s not known when they these cars were brought in but we can safely assume it was after the elevator closed (and presumably the house abandoned at that same time) in the 1970s.
Did these vintage autos belong to a collector and were placed here in storage, or were they simply old and unwanted at the time and disposed of here? I can’t help but think the latter. It was common back then – any old chunk of unused land could and did become a vehicle dumping ground. Everybody did it and it was an easy and quick way to rid oneself of unwanted iron.
The cars here include….
A 1957 or 1958 Plymouth, the newest one here, built back when tail fins were in vogue. We love tail fins! Like all the cars in this group, it’s missing all the glass and many other parts as well. Its V8 engine is mostly intact. We believe this is a Savoy model (experts: chime in).
Right next to it is a 1956 Ford. It’s engine-less. Painted a lovely shade of blue, we have a great time photographing this one. The play of colour against the browns of the rust and soil and dead grasses, make for an interesting contrast.
A rather rare bird is a 1951 or 1952 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery. This is essentially a station wagon body with blanked out back windows, used by commercials firms or contractors to carry their wares or tools. It’s that era’s delivery van. I understand Pontiac in Canada made a very similar Sedan Delivery that was more Chevrolet than it’s own. Could this be one? Only the name plates differed (as I understand), but we could not find one on this vehicle. Its six cylinder engine, well most of it, is still in place.
A 1952 Pontiac rusts away nearby. Like all the cars here, it’s full of bullet holes and is missing lots of parts.
Keeping with the GM theme, is a 1952 Chevrolet found nearby. Nothing rare here.
The last (mostly) intact car we explored is a 1949 or 1950 Ford, the oldest one of the bunch.
We found one carcass so badly crushed that we couldn’t identify it. A couple of cars were stripped completely down to their frames and scattered about was a large mix of miscellaneous bits and pieces, doors, body panels and the like. I can’t help think a lot of these vehicles had more parts when dumped here than they do now. Clearly pickers and scavengers have been at work. That’s not surprising I guess since old car parts can be quite in demand and valuable.
At one time the highway used to passed right by where the cars sit today, just to the west of the old house in fact. Now the road’s a couple hundred metres further west. The old bridge abutment can still be seen on the south bank of the Rosebud River. Speaking of bridges, one that used to support the railway line that used to pass here, can be seen in the distance.
Part one of this series…
We explored some old railway bridges in the area…
Bridge Hunting – Rosebud River Valley.
More old cars and trucks…
Vintage Vehicles found on a wonderful long weekend.
If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date: April, 2015.
Location: Near Drumheller AB.
The land status of this site is not known (but we THINK it belongs to the CNR) and therefore care should be taken when visiting it.