Story and photos by Chris & Connie.
All the photos seen below come from our June 2015 foray into west-central Saskatchewan. Odds and ends from that trip, these old vehicles, some going back to the 40s and 50s, some decades newer, were found in an area west of Saskatoon and halfway to the Alberta border. Makers represented include Ford. a number of GM divisions, Internationals (always a common make in this province), Kenworth, along with rare and strange ones like REO, Hudson and Belarus.
Before we discuss what we found, here’s the spiel. If you have an old vehicle, truck, bus, interesting car, earth moving machinery – whatever – that you think we’d be interested in, drop us a line. We’ll come and photograph it and we’ll write about it and show it off here on BIGDoer.com and our partner’s websites.
1) First up is a Belarus 701. They were made as farming tractors and also prime mover units that could be adapted to various functions. This one is a tanker used to service new oil pump installations, the large tires providing flotation in soft soils found in the area. The model was produced in the former Soviet Union, and later Belarus after it gamed independence, during the years 1975-2000. We see the occasional one here in Canada.
2 and 3) This is a Ford One Ton Express from the early 1940s, a real brute, but pretty rough and beaten up. We don’t see too many of this style and most Ford trucks we cross paths with from that same era are the smaller half ton or three quarter ton models. This is one of the oldest vehicles seen in this report.
4) An International KB-2 from the late 1940s. This make was quite popular in Saskatchewan in the old days, and we see lots of this model, and others from later years, in our travels. It’s missing a lot of parts.
5) A Bucyrus-Erie drag line. This, we believe, is a 2x(B) series model from the 1960s (experts, feel free to correct us). The firm was known for making giant earth moving machinery and this was one of their smaller offerings. It’s surrounded by a series of water filled pits which we can assume it excavated. We wonder, what where they digging for here?
6) A farmer who’s proud to be a Co-op member. That company, a customer owned collective, supplied rural types with machinery, equipment, fuel and even food. It was a supermarket for farmers. This is the first sign of this type we’ve ever seen.
7) This is an International K series built just after World War Two. This model was offered in many sizes, from pickup trucks to heavy haulers. We think it’s a K6 or K7, or about mid-way within the line. Again, this make was common in the province and we see a lots of this model. The reason is simple: International had a huge network of tractor dealers spread across Saskatchewan that also did a sideline selling trucks. We’re crazy about that colour!
8) Built just before the war is this International D Series. You’ll notice it looks similar to the K beside it and they even share the same cab. This one, like its field mate, is set up to haul grain. Some International trucks were made in Canada, but one needs to check the serial number plate to confirm that.
9) The most common old truck out there, at least based on our experience, is the GM made Advance Design, offered by divisions GMC and Chevrolet. This model was in production from 1947-1955. Someone’s got creative with the paint.
10) This is an early 1950s Pontiac. That make was once incredibly popular, we see old cars from them all the time, but died out in the 2000s. This is a nice looking one and seems pretty intact.
11 and 12) Here’s a rare beast, a 1953 or perhaps 1954 Hudson Super Jet. Hudson later became part of American Motors (and later still Chrysler). This was their economy line which was not that well received. This is the first of this model we’ve seen. It looks quite intact and almost ready to hit the road. A modern high through-put grain elevator can be seen in back.
13) One of the most popular cars ever made worldwide, and via the “Punch Buggy” or “Slug Bug” game, the cause of countless sore arms and shoulders, is this Volkswagen Beetle. In production from the 1930s well into the 2000s, millions and millions of them were made. This author learned to drive in one. This is a late 1960s or early 1970s example.
14) This REO made truck is incomplete and dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s. That firm, in various incarnations, made medium duty, but mostly larger scale trucks into the 1970s. They are a rare find indeed, and are worth noting even if like this one, they’re less than complete.
15 and 16) Kenworth is a popular make and it seems they always have been. The one seen here however is a bit less common. It’s a C500, a model produced in the 1970s and 1980s and designed for rugged conditions. This example, until recently, worked at a farm.
17 and 18) This is a former transit bus made into a motorhome. It’s a GM model New Look and this example was made in the early 1960s, at the GM locomotive plant in Ontario and once worked for Edmonton Transit. This series, nick-named “Fishbowls” was into the 1980s and perhaps even a bit beyond, the most common transit bus in the country. The last ones were made in the 1980s.
19) An early 1970s Kenworth LW model. This series was often used in the construction and oil and gas industries.
20) An old hard drive form the 1970s, with a capacity of 10mb (yes mb), seen in a pile of old metal. It’s from an IBM mainframe style computer and probably weighs more and has more horse power than many of the cars seen in this report. The gas can adds scale.
21) A 1960s/early 1970s era Dodge Medium Duty with a big GMC seen behind.
22) A GMC 9500. This model was produced in the late 1960s and well into the 1970s and was the largest truck the company had at the time. It’s a real serious looking machine – all business. It appears complete.
23) We love funky motorhomes! This example appears homemade (the best type) and is built atop a 1970s era Ford chassis. It’s one homely home on wheels. It looks like the conversion was never completed.
If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date: June, 2015.
Location: Various, central and western Saskatchewan.
Article references: Belarus, Ford, International, GM, Hudson/American Motors, VW, REO/White Motors, Kenworth/Paccar, GMDD/General Motors Locomotive records, archives and papers.
A BIG thanks: Ken Parney, Bill Hooper, Frank Newport.
All these vehicles are on private property and were visited with permission or shot from public roads.