Old trucks are like a magnet drawing me in and in our travels we come across a great number of them. In this pass we see a couple old GMCs and a real gem, an ancient Fargo. All of these appear to be old farm trucks, not surprising given our location here on the prairies. Two were found in small town Alberta and one in our home base of Calgary.
The first truck we see is a Fargo, dating from the period 1939-1947. I am afraid I can’t narrow it down more. I am an avid truck photographer but my IDing skills are pretty basic. If someone reading this knows the exact year it could be from, as always I invite input.
A Fargo was essentially a re-badged Dodge truck that could be purchased at Plymouth dealers. Outside of emblems and hood ornaments and other minor details, most everything was interchange between the two lines, even tail gates, although each was stamped with it’s respective brand name. Seen in Canada, where they seemed to be quite popular (based on how many we come across), and other select countries, they were not found in the US. This makes them relatively rare overall, even in spite of selling fairly well in our country.
By the time production of this model wound down in 1947, it was a rather dated looking design (IMO), especially the headlights which sit above the fenders old school style instead of being incorporated into them as was the trend at the time.
The Fargo brand dates back to the late 1920s although I believe it came on the scene a bit later in Canada. Produced up until 1972 (in Canada), afterwards Plymouth dealers took to selling Dodge trucks.
You will note this trucks has only a single windshield wiper – the other is not missing, it was never put in – and this was not all that uncommon when it was new. What farmer wanted to spend money on something so frivolous as a second windshield wiper? It looks like the signal lights were added later too, and again old trucks did not always come from the factory with such “luxury” options. When peering inside I saw the speedometer went to 80mph – wishful thinking I’d say! In all likelihood, given the rough roads of the day and the hard working nature of the truck, it was doubtful if it ever went even remotely close to that speed.
This beauty was seen in Champion Alberta in February 2013. It appears mostly complete, although the interior is rough, perhaps partially the result of a missing side window. There are some dents on the fender and roof and other minor ding, but overall it appears solid and it would make a really nice restoration project.
The second truck is the ubiquitous GMC half ton from 1948-1954 (again my IDing skills are not good enough to date to the exact year – help anyone?). This model, along with its Chevy counterpart was called the “Advanced Design” and is likely the most common half ton to be seen on the prairies. Many of course were old farm trucks and most of the ones we see today around here likely have that lineage.
This example, seen in Carmangay Alberta in February 2013, is obviously under restoration and is drivable. At least somewhat as in the time it took us to walk around town, it had been moved. It looks like the makings of a nice a nice project.
The third truck, a GMC seen in Calgary in January 2013, dates form the period 1941-1947. This one too looks solid, complete and restorable. There appeared to be faint remnants of a sign painted in the doors but it was impossible to make out. Like the Fargo mentioned in this report, this truck has only a single windshield wiper. I guess the passenger didn’t need to see anyway.
Interestingly, GMC trucks from that era in Canada were often called Maple Leaf (1930s-1950s?). Oddly I have also seen where Chevrolet’s were so labelled and this author has no solid data on why some were branded one way one way and others another, and I’d be happy to hear from our readers if they known more about this.
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Old trucks of the Crowsnest.
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