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