Time for the eagerly awaited second instalment in the series where we explore the many vintage vehicles that make up the Crowsnest Collection in Southwest Alberta. There’s an incredibly interesting mix here, trucks mostly, dating back as far as the 1930s, and as recent as the 1980s. Of varied makes and models, most of are uncommon or even rather rare (well, in our small corner of the world anyway). Some are still hard at work and belong to the earth-moving firm that owns the property here, others are part their vintage collection.
There’s lots of metal to see. And lots of fun!
Before we begin, just a reminder, this site is private property, and with lots of machinery and trucks moving about and metal everywhere, a dangerous place, and as such visitors are discouraged. Each description will be brief, to keep the size of this post under control. Since these owners don’t always know everything about what they have, for example the exact year a vehicle is from or its lineage, and since at best we can only fake it, we’ll speak in generalities in regards to some things. Anyway, we don’t want to appear too stuffy. See an error? You know what to do.
Shut up and let’s get on with it…
1) The interior of a 1950s era ex-Canadian Pacific Railway boxcar. For much of its life it hauled grain from the vast Canadian Plains to export terminals. Retired a couple decades back, this this one, and others on the property, there are many, were moved here shortly after to be used as storage sheds. It’s not odd for old rail cars to be recycled like this.
2) A late 1970s Kenworth W900 series. This was for decades that truck maker’s most popular model and is still in production today, albeit a bit different looking. We see them, even ones as old as this, on the road all the time. This example once worked for the company.
3) A 1960s Dodge Pickup. Trucks with crew cabs (4 doors) are certainly common today, but not so when this one was built. Dodge was the first to make them a factory option. This one formerly belonged to the US Air Force (location unknown). It’s been stripped of many parts.
4) Remains of a mid-1930s Diamond T. This make, as you’ll see, is well represented in this yard. Never terribly common in Canada, they sure are here. Love those fenders! In behind is a Dodge W500 Power Wagon, a massive 4×4. It’s from the 1960s or early 1970s.
5) The Diamond T logo stamped into a frame cross-member. Little touches like this remind us the company was one class act. What attention to detail. Of course, I’d be willing to bet, it made them expensive.
6) A gorgeous 1940s REO Speedwagon. What a work of art. This one is essentially a premium-sized pickup (meaning bigger than typical and more heavy duty – interestingly Diamond T also exploited this same market). REOs were also not often seen in Canada. The firm was founded by the same Olds of GM Oldsmobile fame. In the 1960s REO and Diamond T would join becoming Diamond REO. That firm closed in the 1970s.
7) A mid to late 1930s Diamond T. The firm sure made some handsome trucks. One of those boxcars spoken of earlier can be seen in back.
8) What the? A bunch of figurines glued to the dash of a car. Who knows…
9) A 1960s Dodge Power Wagon four b’ four. They made two styles, this one with a brutish get-down- to-business military-esque look and one based on the conventional Dodge Pickup. The former, to many hard core aficionados, is the only true Power Wagon. Notice the old Gulf Oil logo. That firm was one of the biggest petroleum company for decades before being sold off in the 1980s.
10) The grill from an REO. What an inspired design in metal!
11) A 1950 Diamond T model 222. This was the firms last pickup sized truck. Again classy, love that door name plate. This one appears to have worked for an earth-moving firm in Sedgewick Alberta. What a hard phone number to remember!
12) The same Diamond T. Stunning lines!
13) A row of working trucks including a Kenworth C500, and two LW Series, heavy duty beasts all. These would date from the 1970s/1980s.
14) This old REO came from Saskatchewan and was licensed up until the early 1970s. I can see why these trucks are so collectible. They’re gorgeous!
15) The headlight from a 1930s Diamond T. Love how the rust and paint blend together in an interesting mix of colour.
16) The model 222 Diamond T as seen from the back window of another old truck. Orange! This model was only offered for a couple years before Diamond T abandoned the sub-3ton market.
17) A Fargo Power Wagon. That marque was sold at Plymouth Dealers (Canada only) and was otherwise simply a re-badged Dodge. Still, they’re pretty rare…and eye-opening to Mopar types from the US, many who have neither heard of nor ever seen one. This “military” style Power Wagon was in production, with little change, from the 1940s to the 1970s. Notice the winch.
18) Looking between two of those boxcars.
19) A newer boxcar (early 2000s), like the other older ones here, re-purposed as a storage shed. It shows signs of having been in a train wreck at some point. Ouch! Must have picked it up for a song.
20) A 1970s/1980s Kenworth C500 out for test drive after being worked on. It was going to be sold. Lots of earth-moving machinery in back. That’s what pays the bills here.
21) Vintage “Gas Boy” gas pumps, ex-Texaco. These, it’s believed, are from the 1960s or thereabouts. Notice the small (relatively speaking) single cylinder engine in back.
22) Another view of a Diamond T already seen. We had wonderful blue skies this day. We’re so lucky!
23) An old house on the property, lived in until not that long ago, but now used for storage.
24) One of the old boxcars. Using the six digit number seen, we know it’s from the early 1950s and retired in the late 1980s or early 1990s. For much of its service life it hauled grain. Now it’s full of miscellaneous machinery parts.
25) A Caterpillar track. Mostly we shot this because we liked the colour. Goodness, we’re easy to please.
26) The iconic Mack Bulldog the symbol of the company since the 1920s, Many Mack Trucks have one of these as a hood ornament. The make is regarded as rugged and tough, much like that breed of pooch, so it all makes sense.
27) A Mack DM from the 1970s/1980s. This model used an all metal hood (most trucks are fibreglass here) and geared to vocational customers, like earth-moving companies. This one appears to still be used or was so at least until recently.
The third and final post in the Crowsnest Collection will follow shortly. We promise you won’t be disappointed. Thanks for reading!
We came back…
Crowsnest Collection – Reprise
If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date: June, 2016.
Location: Crowsnest Pass, AB.
Article references and thanks: Ed D., Hanks Trucks Forums, REO, Diamond T and Diamond REO Enthusiasts, Nakina.net, KenworthTruckClub.com, AllPar.com.
The Crowsnest Collection is private property with no public access. BIGDoer.com visited with permission.