There is nothing more exciting than poking around an old metal collection. It’s doesn’t matter the size of it, or what’s inside, it’s always a magic experience. All those ancient cars, trucks and machinery or whatever to photograph, these rusted monuments of days past, formerly someone’s pride and joy or something useful, now relegated to the back forty and forgotten about.
Throw in a bit of danger, what with all those sharp metal bits sticking out and more perils underfoot, hidden in the grass. How terribly uninviting, yet it’s our natural environment and we enter fearlessly to document and record. If we don’t, who will?
So come tag along as we take in Mike’s Collection, spread out over many acres on his farm. There’s lots of stuff to see. Prepare to be harassed mercilessly by mosquitoes (Muskol has zero effect) and keep an eye open for snakes. They’re harmless but can startle. Let’s begin…
1) The colour of the day is baby blue and the make of the day is Ford as you’ll soon see. Lots from that firm scattered about the property. Mike’s got a thing for them – a sickness perhaps? This here one is from 1953. Beside it, an old pickup, similar colour.
2) This 1951 is complete and drivable and pretty tight overall and is a good candidate to be restored. Oppsie, it’s leaking some oil. Lots of chrome on these old cars, a feature of the era we’re particularly fond of. It seemed each maker tried to out-chrome the other.
3) Not going anywhere soon, this old Mercury pickup and a 1949/1950 era Ford are on display on the grounds. Mercury was a division of Ford, in case you didn’t already know. These trucks were Canada only and so are overall pretty rare.
4) The skies were something amazing this day, a storm rumbling and threatening but failing to deliver much more than the occasional sprinkle. This is a 1959 model on display in front of a workshop. Notice the lights are lit. Shell Service Station sign is a real nice touch.
5) A 1952 Ford Pickup. That grill means business!
6) A nice 1953 Meteor. The license plate on front tells us it was lasted registered in 1971, so close to twenty years on the road. Not bad. It’s got some wet feet – lots of rain just prior to our visit. The water was a mosquito factory. Why didn’t Noah swat those two when he had the chance? Meteors were sold at Mercury dealers, Canada only, and were a low cost offering, but seen as their own make during the 1940s and 1950s. They were one of the top sellers of the era, beat only by Chevrolet, Pontiac and Ford itself.
7) In a forgotten corner of the yard, down by a slough, this beaten up hunk of metal.
8) This 1958 has some nice colours. We found an example of this exact car in this same paint online, all done up, and it looked amazing. Too bad the crushed roof.
9) Same car, different angle. Ford didn’t embrace tail fins as did others car companies of the era – only some small ones on this here beastie. At the time, most American Cars had huge garish ones. And there’s our good friend Rob Pohl shooting with an old school film camera. Now there’s something to admire. We hang out a lot even if our styles differ a great deal. We do it for the fun.
10) This Ford is a 1949 or 1950. The grill, mostly gone, is still obvious in outline and was one of the more pronounced of the era, of any make. No confusing it with any other.
11) This Mercury Truck, a rebadged Ford differentiating only in trim, was only sold in Canada as we mentioned a few paragraphs above. You don’t see many about. This one is a 1948-1950 model. The “commercial” plate on front shows it was still hard at work into the 1970s.
12) These two Ford Pickups date from the 1940s. That’s quite the brush guard!
13) This is a Ford Medium Duty, which was produced from the late 1960s to the late 1970s. We still see some from time to time hard at work on smaller farms.
14) Some interlopers, non-Fords, a 1947-1955 era GMC grain truck, perhaps the most common pickup from the era, and beside, a mid-1950s Fargo. The latter was a Dodge with different trim, sold at Plymouth dealers.
5) An International KB from the late 1940s outfitted as a grain truck. There’s that colour again! International Harvester was a popular brand on the prairies. They made pickups into the 1970s.
16) A giant land-yacht, about as big as a car can get, this Lincoln from the 1970s. Back then, the price of gas mattered little….and these things sucked fuel at incredible rates. Published gas mileage was about 21L/100km or about 13mpg (Imperial) highway. Dear Lord, the space shuttle does better! Baby blue! Similar coloured Mercury to the right. Lincoln was and is Ford’s “Prestige” make.
17) Another distinctive grilled 1949/1950 Ford. Bright orange van is a camper conversion. You used to see these bulgy-topped things all the time.
18) A Meteor Rideau from 1954, the first year this model was offered and the firm’s most upscale offering of the era. The Rideau was a river close to the Oakville Ontario assembly plant. Produced in smaller numbers, you don’t see many of this sub-model.
19) Bold grills with lots of chrome was a big thing in the 1950s and together with the the iconic tail fins of the era (mostly ignored by Ford) defined the period. Here, the front of a Mercury.
20) That fighter jet hood ornament, a futuristic touch, on a 1953 Ford. And chrome! Big, BIG chrome! Mid-1960s Ford Truck in back once belonged to an Esso oil dealer.
21) Ford was the first large scale manufacturer to offer V8 engines – in the 1930s – it was not untill the 1950s did the rest of Detroit catch up. This old truck, a 1954 model, is so powered, that fact proudly displayed on the grill. I got a V8 and everyone knows it! Some bragging rights there I guess.
22) A 1959 Ford, with rocket-exhaust tail lights. Nice colours on this one.
23) Mercury Truck front end. And in back some metal from the ’70s, which seems out of place. Outside the occasional one, most vehicles here are from the 1950s.
24) A GMC? Here, in the centre of the Ford/Mercury Universe? One of these things is not like the other!
25) This work truck is as old as your author (we’re both ’65s). It was new and shiny once and so was yours truly. Now, we’re both a bit beat up and weathered. There’s that colour again! Plate on front shows it was still on the road in the 1990s.
26) One Ford, one Mercury.
27) Baby blue again. With the dark gloomy skies the colours really popped.
28) A GM Medium Duty from the 1960s being swallowed up by trees and brush. Nature is taking over. It always does given time.
29) The Fargo brand was sold in Canada from the 1940s to the early 1970s.
30) Mercury Trucks were made from 1946-1968. This is an early example and is from 1946 or 1947. Bright colours on this one!
31) Some fine old Massey Ferguson combines. Again, the colours sure stand out!
32) A friendly feline mesmerized by something…a bird, mouse, who knows?
33) The colour of the day!
34) The Fargo “World” or “Globe” emblem. This brand was sold everywhere but the US. As such they’re a real head-turner down in the States, “Hey, nice Dodge!” “Nope, it’s a Fargo!” “A what?”, paired with a quizzical look. That’s the usual exchange.
35) Backside of a 1964 Ford Galaxie 500. Rocket-exhaust tail lights seem to be a running theme with Fords of the era.
36) Lastly, we have some company. The property was crawling with these little snakes. Also stepped on a few.
Inside BIGDoer.com: It’s widely believed that the Team gets a free pass anywhere they go. Wave our magic wands, here’s the keys, knock yourself out and lock up when you’re done. While it does happen, mostly we have to work our behinds off getting into the places seen on this here website. In fact being a society makes it all the worse. We’re seen as bothersome I guess. So next time you think we have it easy, remember, we have to hustle twice as hard. We take so much undeserved heat from fellow explorers for this too. Trust me, it ain’t easy doing what we do.
If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!
Date: June, 2017.
Location: Viking, AB.
Article references and thanks: Mike Lawes.
Mike’s Collection is on private property. BIGDoer.com was here with permission.