Pioneer Acres in Irricana is an gold mine for those who love mechanical things, In spite of having a huge collections of trucks, machinery and bits related to farming and settlement of the area, this museum flies under the radar and does not seem to be well known. It should be and I highly recommend you visit it!
There so many trucks at this site, one could spend an entire day just on them. In a prior report we showed some of the unrestored trucks around the extensive grounds. On this pass, we’ll be showing some of the restored ones. Technically one or two are unrestored but complete and running, so we’ll include them here anyway. There will be a part two of this report.
In the first part we see some basic farm trucks intermixed with some tractor displays. Of interest here is the GMC “Snubnose” 9800 COE. An odd looking duck, it’s almost like a Pug – ugly as can be, yet cute at the same time. This model was produced from the late 1940s into the 1950s. The Dodge seen is a late 1930s/early 1940s model.
A particularly nice late 1970s era Kenworth conventional was seen in the yard. It’s clear the owner took great pride in this unit even before bringing it the museum. A picture inside shows it at work many years back and it was as spotless then as it is now.
Then we go into one of the many showcase buildings where we see a huge mix of Macks – this place loves their Macks. There are the heavy duty no-nonsense models popular in the construction industry – the earlier AC Bulldogs in particular. Many of these had chain drive and solid rubber tires, both of which seems so odd today. All these Macks have a real rugged vibe even when dressed up in the bold paint schemes seen here.
Looking almost tiny and frail in comparison is the AB model. A lighter duty truck, the museum has a good number of them, many unrestored.
Also seen are some late 1930s and early 1940s Mack F Series trucks (one an FJ, the other I think an FN), all fairly rare too. While more advanced than the AC model, they still have little in the way of creature comforts or even safety features. The trucks back then were tough and simple, as were their drivers.
We also found a rare Mack model AP dump from 1932. With no cab! How safe is that? Only a couple hundred of this model were built. It’s huge!
Not far away was an early truck from this maker, a 1912 model (Mack started making trucks around 1907). This one has right hand drive.
The yellow Willy’s pickup is particularly stunning and a rare truck. Later known for their popular “Jeep” models, prior to that they produced regular car and trucks. This is an early 1940s model and has rather radical styling for the era (IMO). Later on the Willy’s company changed it’s name simply to Jeep, reflecting how important that model was to the company.
And there is a very old FWD. Built by the Four Wheel Drive Auto company, this maker was known for their…well…four wheel drive vehicles. Open cabbed with the driver exposed to the elements, this truck is all business and no fluff. Later the FWD company was known for its snowplow and extreme duty trucks. Now they make fire trucks under the name Seagrave.
Then there’s an REO Speed Wagon. A rare truck, here in Canada anyway…oddly we run into a lot of them in collectors yards and museums. Yes the band of the same name got it from this line of trucks. The founder of this company, Ransom E Olds, also stared the Oldsmobile car company, although the two organizations were only connected by his name and were not otherwise associated. This maker offered some of the most beautifully styled trucks.
Connie and I wonder just how unsafe many of these trucks were for their operators. Working with minimal cabs, or no cabs at all – how could that ever pass today? The large orange Mack AP dump truck is a prime example of this. The dump box is the only thing protecting the driver. I guess people were a different and tougher breed back then but at the same time I bet a lot would have benefited from safer equipment.
Many of the trucks were amazingly restored and had wonderful paint jobs. The pictures do not due them justice. Enjoy!
To see more trucks at the museum, check out the links below…
Unrestored trucks Pioneer Acres Museum Irricana.
Restored trucks Pioneer Acres Museum Irricana– part 2.
To some of their tractors and road machinery, go here…
Old farm tractors Pioneer Acres Museum Irricana.
Old road and construction machinery Pioneer Acres Museum Irricana.
If you wish more information on this place, by all means contact us!
Date of adventure: July 2012.
Location: Irricana Alberta.
Reference: To visit the Pioneer Acres Museum website, click here.