Aug 232012
REO Speedwagon

The Crowsnest Pass is full of old and interesting things and vintage vehicles are no exception. There are lots to be found! Most seen in this report are from a huge yard near the railway tracks in Blairmore and the rest were discovered just by strolling around that same town. What’s amazing is the sheer variety of rarities seen in this report. Sure there are lots of common models as well, but others are ones you’re not likely to come across very often, if at all.

The yard mentioned is amazing with a huge collection of uncommon models, including a good number of REOs and Diamond Ts. Trucks from these manufactures are not often found in Canada, as least in our experience. Looking at the quantity in this yard however, one would think they are very common.

Of particular interest are the REO Speedwagons. No, not because of the connection with the band, but because they are such a beautiful design with really nice lines. These trucks were produced from the 1910s into the early 1950s and I believe the ones seen here date from the late 1940s/early 1950s.

↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ Scroll down for photos or to comment ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

I am afraid I have been not been able to identify the Diamond T models as not much information seems to be available on this maker. I welcome input from our readers.

Interestingly, the Diamond T and REO companies merged in the 1960s, becoming Diamond REO. Yes, like the other band (who actually spelled it Diamond Rio). That leaves two musical groups who borrowed their name from this truck maker. At that time of their merger, both were subsidiaries of White Motors, a large conglomerate that in addition to trucks (White, Autocar, Diamond T, REO), built farm machinery. Diamond REO built its last truck in the mid 1970s (a second company using the name carried on for a time after). The REO company was founded by Ransom E Olds of Oldsmobile fame but the two companies were not connected, except by founder.

Also of interest, to a train buff like me anyway, are the boxcars. There are several vintage ones in the back that appear to be from the 1940s or 1950s. When retired from rail service these were often sold to businesses or farmers to be used as sturdy storage sheds. The CPR’s Crowsnest mainline runs right behind the yard so getting them here would have been super easy.

Also seen in this yard is a WDX or WM300 Dodge or Fargo Power Wagon. It was too far away to see which make it was. This is the “military stye” version of that truck that differed from the more commonly seen civilian counterpart in many ways. The two looked nothing alike and only shared the name. This example could be from anywhere from the 1940s-1970s and these tough beasts were built over a long period with little change in appearance. Nearby and facing away is another Power Wagon, this one being confirmed as a Dodge. The tailgate is clearly seen.

To it’s left is another Dodge or Fargo, a medium duty or judging from it’s high clearance, perhaps a W500 Power Wagon. Not far away, but hard to see is a 1960s era Dodge (of Fargo) Crew Cab, made long long before this configuration of truck was common.

Keeping all these vintage trucks company were various heavy duty Kenworths and the like. They are also older models (relatively speaking), dating from the 1970s and 1980s, but these ones seem to be still at work.

The yard was closed the day we took the pictures, but I’d like to return when they are open and go inside to research all that we’ve seen.

In another yard not far away, several Kenworths of various types are seen, dating from the 1970s-1990s, pretty common trucks really. Sharing the space is one rarity though, a Hayes HD. These were made in Vancouver BC up until the mid 1970s and were known for being incredibly rugged and tough. Most were used as logging tractors. In the past I mistakenly stated this truck was a Pacific, an understandable error since I am no expert and anyway this second truck maker built similar looking designs that were targeted at the same market. Both makers are from the west coast too, Pacifics being built in North Vancouver BC (until about 1991).

At another spot in town were some early to mid 1940s International K series medium duty trucks. One appears complete and is for sake, the other is perhaps a parts vehicle for the first. Interestingly, we saw a third K Series in a movie that same night. Also at this location is a mid 1970s Dodge 600 medium duty.

Elsewhere in town we saw a 1960s era GMC one ton and a late 1940s/early 1950s Chevrolet pickup. These commonly seen models seem a little hum-drum considering the gems we explored earlier.

Towering above us the whole time is Turtle Mountain, famous for the Frank Slide which is hidden from view from this angle. We’ve been up to the summit.

To see some other trucks we’ve come across in our adventures, click any of these links…
Vintage vehicles found on a wonderful long weekend.
A treasure trove of old trucks.
Big and orange Dodge Bighorn.

If you wish more information, by all means contact us!

Date: December, 2011.
Location: Blairmore, Crowsnest Pass AB.

REO Speedwagon band

REO Speedwagon, the band.

REO Speedwagon truck

REO Speedwagon, the truck.

Diamond T truck

A late thirties Diamond T.

Dodge/Fargo Power Wagon

A “military style” Dodge or Fargo Power Wagon.

REO Speedwagon

Another nice REO Speedwagon.

Diamond Ts and REOs

A Diamond T in front, with two REO Speedwagons behind.

Kenworth heavy duty trucks

These HD Kenworths appear to be working trucks.

REOs and boxcars

The old boxcars are likely used for storage. Many were sold for this purpose when retired by the railway.

Old CPR boxcar

A closer look at one of the boxcars.

1930s Diamond T trucks

Diamond Ts in the back by the container. Note the old Dodge/Fargo crew cab.

Late 70s/early 80s Kenworth truck

A nice late 1970s/early 1980s Kenworth.

Two Kenworth trucks

Two more Kenworths from different eras.

Hayes HD truck

A Hayes HD, made in Vancouver BC.

1940s International K series

A early to mid 1940s International K series.

International K

Another International K, this one seen in a movie we watched that night.

1940s International K Series

Perhaps a parts truck for the red one.

1970s Dodge 600 truck

A mid 1970s Dodge 600 medium duty.

Old truck line up

The line up…

Turtle Mountain

Turtle Mountain, which we’ve climbed.

Old GMC one ton

A baby blue GMC one ton.

Old Chevrolet pickup

And lastly, a 1940s/50s era Chevrolet pickup.


Join the discussion...

14 Comments on "Old trucks of the Crowsnest"

newest oldest
Subscribe only
Bill Gunn
Bill Gunn

I use to have an old K model (45 Years ago) that I rebuilt the engine in. Used it for farm work and to drive to school. The engine threw a rod and broke the skirt below the water jacket, the old gentleman that did the machine work told me “don’t do anything to it, it will seal itself” It did. Thanks for the pictures, love those old trucks, they had a lot more personality and were easier to work on than today’s.

Jim Kline
Jim Kline

Wandering through the photos brings back memories of days past.Some of the trucks not seen or mentioned are , Beiderman ,Corbett and Federal. They are probably in the yard somwhere. The one thing I remember about the L-190 International was the 450 Red diamond engine of the early 1950s. When you turned the key to start the engine it sounded like it was laughing at you. The International K-8 was a stout truck to do pulling duty. I will keep looking at your posts.
Respectfully, Cannonball Jim

65 Kenworth
65 Kenworth

Any chance you can show me where that Hayes is at? I’ll be traveling through the pass later this year and would like to make an offer on the truck. Can you help?


Great site you have. I too am interested in some of the REO trucks. Is there a way to get in contact with someone who owns the trucks? Perhaps point me in the right direction? Appreciate the help. Kent (Michigan)


I know these posts are from 2013 but do you know if any of the trucks are for sale?


Hey great post, do you have the name, phone number, or location or the owner to these? I am interested in buying one