Before anything: I really enjoy old trucks but I am by no means an expert or even remotely good at identifying them. With that said, even though I got some help from those in the know I am certain I’ve made some mistakes in this post. If you see where I boo-booed and IDed a truck wrong, dated it wrong or whatever, by all means let me know and I’ll correct the post ASAP.
The Crowsnest Pass seems synonymous with old trucks and no matter where our adventures takes us in the area, we mange to find some nice examples. And this visit, over the new year, was no exception.
The first place we stop is that old junk yard on the west side of Blairmore, a place we’ve been to before. It’s so large a property that we were able to spot some new trucks (new old trucks that is) that we did not catch before.
Included in this was a large rugged Kenworth heavy duty. What a tough looking truck.
Not far away were two old Internationals. There was an R series (not sure of exact model) and right next to it a Loadstar. The latter was quite
common in the 1960s and 70s and in fact one company I worked for had one just like the one pictured, and it was even the same colour. Popular as farm trucks, it also seemed a lot of school buses and fire trucks used this chassis. This model of truck was produced from 1962 to 1979 and could be had with a gas or diesel engine.
An old cab from a cab over truck could be seen, named “Shelley”. This is the best angle I could get and I am not sure what make it is. Any help would be appreciated.
Next we see a couple Dodge Powerwagons which were an early 4×4 model. The green one is a model W300M (it could be a Fargo too) which has a real dated sort of military look about it. The other appears to be a W300, which was more like the standard Dodge trucks of the era. As I understand it, these two models were produced concurrently for many years, which seems odd since even though they looked different, they were essentially designed to serve the same purpose. Maybe some experts tell us why they did this? The Powerwagon name was retired in 1980 only to be reborn in in 2005. I doubt those modern examples are anywhere near as tough as the old seen here Powerwagons were.
One truck maker that seems to show up a lot on in this yard is Diamond T. While this was never an overly popular truck in Canada, you’d never know it by looking here and the yard is full of them. And it’s here were I falter in IDing – this maker is just too obscure and I don’t know enough about them. Experts are welcome to chime in however (hint hint).
Two trucks I am also unsure about are the pair facing away with the identical cabs (the picture where only the cabs can be seen). I think they are Fords, but am not certain. Others have suggested Studebaker too but to be honest I am not convinced as they don’t seem to match any pictures I’ve found online. Next to them is a cab from another (you guessed it) Diamond T – this one looks like an International cab and was actually sourced from them.
As mentioned we’ve been to this yard before and please refer to our first report called old trucks of the Crowsnest Pass to see what it looked like when we payed it a visit a year ago. In that series, you can see more Diamond Ts, REOs and other interesting bits. This yard sits right below Crowsnest Mountain.
Moving away from this yard we travel around aimlessly and spot some other interesting trucks. First we see a bunch of old MCI ex Greyhound buses. Not trucks I guess, but close enough. They sit in a field their future unknown – motor home conversion perhaps?
Seen near the buses is a White GMC. This maker was a marriage of the two companies mentioned, the merger taking place in 1987. Later the name of this company was changed to Volvo, reflecting the owner of the combined operation. Volvo later purchased Mack Trucks too, although this brand has retained its name and identity. This example appears to be an early 1990s model.
A common truck seen in the area and across the west is the ubiquitous Chevrolet/GMC C Series medium duty from the 1970s and 80s. Extremely popular, one can still come across many of these today. This day we found three, one dump truck and two flat decks. They also seemed to be quite popular with farmers being used as grain trucks.
Of course we find some of the usual suspects, an old International K Series pickup for example and an old Chevrolet “Advance Design” one ton which seems to be quite a common around here. The latter sits in front of the Frank Alberta Masonic Hall.
The last truck we see, technically just outside the Crowsnest Pass in Cowley Alberta, is a Fargo medium duty. This brand was only seen in Canada and some other countries, but not the US and were simply re-badged Dodge trucks sold at Plymouth dealerships. This one is ugly and bit beaten up but it otherwise complete looking. With large tool boxes and a man-bucket, it appears like it’s ready to work, although it’s doubtful that call will ever come.
Some of the trucks here can be seen under the ominous Turtle Mountain, the source of the famous Frank Slide that nearly wiped out its namesake town.
The yard, that place with all the Diamond Ts, is a place I’d like to visit again. I will try to gain access to it, inside the grounds that is, and will report back here if I am successful. All pictures up until now have been on public property, but I’d sure like to go into the place. This yard is also home to all manner of earth moving equipment, salvaged machinery and…well…junk and I’d like to document that stuff up close too.
Thanks to the crew at Hanks Truck Forums for their help in making this post.
If you wish more information on this, by all means contact us!
Date: December, 2012.
Location: Coleman, Alberta.