Mar 282017
1953 Buick

Give us an old scrap yard to explore and we’re happy campers. Dirty, full of dangers, it’s hardly a place one would think fun, but to aficionados of the decrepit and all things damned, Team BIGDoer, it’s a giant amusement park. All the cast-away things found there, they’re not shiny and new, but ancient, worn out, forgotten and in pieces and absolutely full of character. It’s the last stop for these old cars and anything made metal, once useful, of value, now unwanted and plain old worthless junk. It’s where they go to die, later to be recycled.

This is the Stettler County Collection, a huge yard, so big it took two separate articles to cover it all (scroll down for link to the first). This place is different than many yards we’ve visited and is not as chaotic – in fact, in places there’s a strange order – nor is it congested as some. It’s well spread out. All manner of metal can be found here and among them all is the stuff we come for, old cars, trucks and farm machinery and other cast offs that speak of the human experience. Bent I-beams and shredded aluminum won’t cut it here.

Stettler County Collection – Part 2: more old cars, more old trucks, more old metal. Researched, written and photographed by Chris Doering and Connie Biggart (

Let’s dive in…

1) A 1958-1960 era Edsel. The car was poorly received by the general public, the costs of bringing it to market, hundreds of millions of dollars, almost crippling the Ford Motor Company. Only some hundred and twenty thousand were made with less than ten thousand being produced at Ford’s Canadian Plant. This makes them pretty rare. Not sure if I like the “puckered” lip grill. For that alone, I can see why it was a slow seller. UGLY! Edsel was a division of Ford, much like Mercury and Lincoln and not just a model within the firm.

2) A 1953 Buick (Super?). Quite the aggressive grill! Portholes on the fenders were sure fire Buick spotting feature. We don’t see many old cars from this make.

3) Straight of out the 1990s, an Arctic Cat Tigershark personal water craft. There’s not many lakes here on the vast plains of Alberta, and few deep enough or suitable enough to use such craft, so it seems a bit out of place. This make is less common than others (Sea-doo, Yamaha).

4) Out front, a 1970s Ford Maverick. This model was pretty blah, a cheap, simple car, uninspiring in every way (the V8 ones could be spirited), the target market, budget minded car buyers (so us if we lived then). They were produced in huge numbers. In back, an old trailer formerly belonging to the Calgary Stampede Ranch. You gotta wonder how it got up here.

Ford Motor Company Edsel

1) The Edsel was a disaster for the Ford Motor Company.

5) This International is from the mid-1960s. This make was once quite common on the Canadian Prairies – we still see lots of them. The company quit producing pickups in the 1970s.

Scroll down for more photos and to comment.

6) The interior of an old camping trailer found on the property. In addition to lots of vintage cars, trucks and tractors, there was a good number old RVs kicking around. This one was the best of them!

7) A White 3000. The model was made from the 1940s into the 1960s with minimal change, so dating one to a specific year is difficult and beyond our abilities. Plus we’re lazy. This was the first of this model Team BIGDoer has seen in person. Given their pleasing lines, these are highly sought after by collectors. Quite a stylish truck. The “S” seen on the windshield and those of other old vehicles seen, means save, so don’t scrap. Not sure what the long term plans are.

8) An early 1950s Plymouth. A high percentage of vehicles the yard seem to be from this era.

9) This International Pickup is from the, ding, ding, ding, yes, you guessed it, the early 1950s. It looks complete (most in the yard weren’t), almost like you could drive it away. Where’s the jumper cables? This is an L series.

10) Two International Medium Duty Trucks. Out behind it’s a 1960s/1970s era Loadstar. Love the baby blue! This model was once a popular farm truck and we see them all the time, most in retirement, but every now and then the occasional one still hard at work and being driven. In the foreground, a Cargostar. These were made from the 1960s-1980s, although the grill tells us this is an earlier one, say pre-1973-ish. These were made in pretty good numbers too.

11) The interior of a 1967 Dodge Polara. That’s the type of dash I remember as a kid.

12) A 1970s era Dodge Van. You’re thinking Red Green here, aren’t you? These were once common and could be outfitted as a mini-bus of sorts to haul people around, to carry stuff needing protection from the weather, done up as a tradesman’s mobile shop, or outfitted as a “Boogie Van”. Dodge made LOTS of them and from time to time, we still see the odd one out on the road today. The old house seen is one of a couple on the property. Sorted metal in front.

13) An old grain truck dumped into a marshy area and well sunk into the mud. Got wet getting this close!

14) Horrible at IDing 1920s cars. We think this one is a 1930 Plymouth – please chime in if we’re wrong. That firm, an arm of the Chrysler Corporation, made cars from 1928-2001. If we’re right about what make it is, it’s the oldest Plymouth we’ve ever seen.

15) Crazy ’bout a Mercury. This is a 1949-1951 model which is quite popular with the hot-rodding fraternity. Look online and see. Notice the suicide doors. And that aggressive grill. I can see why they’re so sought after. Nice lines, with tons of attitude.

1953 Buick

2) A 1953 Buick that means business.

16) A strange homemade piece of farm machinery. Some kind of sprayer perhaps? Hard to make out what the intentions were of the fellow who built it. The bottom half of the beast is made from a chopped down GMC Kurb-side Van (1950s/1960s era?), the top the cab off another piece of farm equipment. Add some angle iron and tubing and viola, a vehicle fitting of a Mad Max Movie. Got to love cheap-ass farmers! Necessity IS the mother of invention!

17) Someone had some time on their hands!

18) A 1946-1948 Ford. Looks complete and in fairly good shape. Not a stand out, design wise, but not bad looking either.

19) A 1951 Chevrolet. Like the Ford above, another every-man’s car. There were a number of ’51 Chevys in the yard.

20) A 1940s/1950s era Case Tractor, a Model D, we think. Every tractor firm had their own company colours, and for Case it was (at the time) this orange shade. Note the hand crank start. Case still makes farm machinery to this day.

21) This Cockshutt Tractor appears to be a 1950s era Model 20. This firm was the only large scale tractor maker that was Canadian owned. Their distinctive round nose grill made them a real stand out. The last true Cockshutts were in the early 1960s. We still see a lot of these tractors out in the wild, most like this one, disused and thrown out back.

22) Also from the Cockshutt firm, a poop spreader. I think this model was called “The Politician”.

23) We got a thing for tail fins! The bigger, the more pronounced or exaggerated, the better. These belong to a 1958 Dodge. Not Cadillac big, but still impressive in size.

24) A ’61 Plymouth Belevdere. To see more of it, check out instalment one (link below). It’s a blue beauty!

25) This Plymouth is from 1950. The licence plate seen in front is from ’52.

26) A 1967 Dodge Polara, a giant land barge built at a time when size alone was all that mattered, things like fuel economy be damned. One of Dodge’s “premier” cars, the model was in production from 1960—1974 over four generations.

27) The trees have the upper hand here. Seen being gobbled up, a vintage ’50’s era school bus.

28) A second generation (1965-1969) Chevrolet Corvair. This was the only mass produced car in North America to have an air-cooled engine. It was in the trunk and I guess the model could be seen as GM’s take on the VW Beetle, which was hugely popular at the time. The General wanted a piece of that pie. The first generation Corvair (1960-1964) had a bad reputation for poor handling and other safety issues. The car made Ralph Nader famous. Google it.

29) Seems a lot of cars in the yard are from the early 1950s. This Chrysler is no exception, and is a ’51. Nice!

Arctic Cat Tigershark

3) This scrap yard had pretty much one of everything.

30) Up close and personal with a 1980s era Belarus Tractor from the then Soviet Union. Seems odd to find something made in a hardcore socialist country here in equally radical capitalist-minded Alberta. A Russian sympathizer…eh comrade? This one is about as big as they get. Check out part to see more of this beast (scroll down for link).

31) What were they thinking?

32) A unique angle – the Case tractor seen earlier.

33) Watching Rob Pohl, who joined us this trip, setting up his crazy view camera. It takes these giant sheets of film and each photo requires a long and drawn out set up procedure. Doing it old school really slooooooows things down. Film is making a comeback. Rob’s never stopped. We sometimes shoot our 35mm, but not nearly often enough. There’s that Corvair we looked at earlier and yours truly, with my trademark “adventure” yellow jacket, doing my best to be a distraction.

34) “Honey, I washed the truck!” “Memo to self…don’t forget to set the parking brake.” “Ice fishing gone wrong.” We’re here all week folks. No matter how it happened, it’s a head turner. Seen on the drive home, a 1970s/1980s era Chevrolet or GMC pickup in the middle of a pond.

35) Also seen on the trip back to Calgary, just as the last light faded, this old car in retirement, the highway home, seen in back, and our adventure near its end. Always hate this part. It’s when we realize the fun, for the day, is done. Well, until next time.

Another one in the can. Damn this was fun. If you have a scrap yard, own some vintage cars, or machinery, unrestored, fixed up fine or anything in between, you think we should see and document, please send us a message or call. We’d love to hear from you. Have camera, will travel.

The first instalment…
Stettler County Collection – Part 1.

More metal…
Under Wraps.
Industrial Works Dragline.
Badland’s Collection II.

If you wish more information on what you’ve seen here, by all means contact us!

Date: October, 2016.
Location: Stettler County, AB.
Article references and thanks: Henry and Mac, the other fellow at the yard, Robert Pohl who was hanging with us this adventures, all, a big thanks.
This yard is private property. visited with permission.

Ford Maverick

4) A ’70s Ford Maverick and a trailer once connected to the Calgary Stampede.

1960s International Pickup

5) This International is from the mid-1960s.

Scrap Yard Camping Trailer

6) There was a number of old camping trailers and RVs here.

White 3000 Truck

7) A highly collectible White 3000 – “S” means save.

Early 1950s Plymouth

8) A 1950s Plymouth – in back, you get an idea just how big the yard is.

Early '50s International Pickup

9) This International from the early ’50s looks like it could be driven away.

International Loadstar Cargostar

10) An International Loadstar left and right, a Cargostar.

1967 Dodge Polara

11) Inside a 1960s Dodge Polara.

Red Green Van

12) Possum Van? And an old house on the property.

Old Grain Truck

13) Got wet feet getting this shot.

49-51 Mercury

14) Prized by collectors, a 49-51 Mercury.

Road Warrior Vehicle

15) Oh boy…cheap-ass farmers…

Scarp Yard Art

16) Ride ’em!

46-48 Ford

17) A 1940s Ford.

1951 Chevrolet

18) An early ’50s Chevrolet.

Case Model D

19) Case Model D (’40s/’50s era) – note the hand crank.

Cockshutt Model 20

20) A 1950s Cockshutt – a Model 20 we think.

Cockshutt Manure Spreader

21) “The Politician.”

1958 Dodge

22) Got a thing for tail fins!

1961 Plymouth Belvedere

23) Deatils of a 1961 Plymouth Belvedere.

1950 Plymouth

24) 1950 Plymouth, 1952 license plate.

1967 Dodge Polara

25) They made them big back then – ’67 Dodge Polara.

Old School Bus

26) The trees have the upper hand here.

65-69 Chevrolet Corvair

27) A second generation Chevrolet Corvair.

1951 Chrysler

28) The early ’50s are well represented here – a ’51 Chrysler.

1980s Belrus Tractor

29) Made in the Soviet Union.

Car Shag Carpet

30) The shag carpet treatment.

Scrap Yard Alberta

31) Lame artsy attempt!

Chevrolet Corvair

32) Slowing down – Rob sets up his view camera.

Truck in a Pond

33) On the way home…

Old Car Alberta

34) Closer to home, the last light of the day and the adventure at an end.


Join the discussion...

26 Comments on "Stettler County Collection – Part 2"

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James Tworow
James Tworow

I’ve seen a Belarus tractor, last June at the High River fairgrounds at a tractor meet, apparently some were imported and sold here…

Edgel Holder
Edgel Holder

I would love to have that old Buick, it could be a driver again. Poor car.

Tom Mallett
Tom Mallett

(via Facebook)
Does it get any cooler than this? Yeah, this is great work!

Rod Dunn
Rod Dunn

I don’t know what it is about junk yards !! Really enjoyed both articles !!

Guy Kibbe
Guy Kibbe

(via Facebook)
My first car 1953 Special!

Corrie Lynk
Corrie Lynk

Welcome aboard!!!Great rides!!!Love these old things!!!!

Walter Pipkin
Walter Pipkin

Dangit that’s cool! Great work Chris and Connie. Enjoying your adventures.

Drew Andrews
Drew Andrews

Cool that you went there. That’s been a favorite spot of mine for years.

Larry K
Larry K

I have a White 3000 exactly like it. Picked it up a couple years back. Plan on using it for a future ratrod project.

Ron VanDer Hall
Ron VanDer Hall

Post of the day, well done.

Gadwa Dwayne
Gadwa Dwayne

I see some amazing treasures in these photos. Each one would be a pleasure bring back to life.

Dave Wilkerson
Dave Wilkerson

(via Facebook)
I’ve got a place for any one of these in my garage. No problem.

Jason Sailer
Jason Sailer

Awesome! Rust never sleeps! 🙂 Looks like you guys had a great time!