Sunday, August 14, 2011

More Old Cars

Growing a Pontiac
For those who have been following my blog, you would have read about my difficult search for old American automobiles during the trip. Strangely, now that I am back in Canada, I have found all those old cars.

There are still lots of old cars out there, they are just hidden away from main roads where you don't notice them. The best way to find old cars is to ask someone who has lived in the area for a long time and knows everyone. I found a wonderful collection back home by visiting an old friend who took me to a neighbour who had twenty or thirty cars back behind old buildings and trees. While visiting Regis' uncle in Saskatchewan I asked him if he knew where any old cars were. He didn't really understand at first that I didn't want to see the nice beautiful restored cars, I wanted the old ones slowly sinking into the surrounding fields and vegetation, but after he thought for a moment, he suddenly smiled, “I know!” he said “I know a guy that has a whole row of old cars along his field.”

The first stop was his own old farm house where I remembered an old Pontiac sitting. It had been moved but was still on the farm, now sitting on four cement blocks because the frame was so rusty. He also had an old 57 Mercury one-ton in the barn. He tells me this truck was only available in Canada; built in Canada and only sold in Canada. It was in service constantly, hauling grain from the combine to the grain storage bins, and still works well.

Inside the Quonset
Next we drove across the road to his nephews farm, where after a few minutes of introductions I was sent down to a Quonset, where I was assured there were a few old vehicles. He wasn't kidding. There was an old Dodge in beautiful original condition, a 31 Oldsmobile with suicide doors, a 61 Impala convertible, two or three old pickups, various engines and parts, and hidden way in the back was a 1927 Nash, completely disassembled and labelled for rebuilding. When I mentioned it to Regis' uncle, he exclaimed “Hey, I used to own that car, bought it for $70.00, it ran like a top.” Coming out of the Quonset, I noticed some roof lines down a tree line behind the barn, and when I asked about what was there, His nephew had to think a minute before remembering that indeed there were a few old “wrecks” down there too. I have usually found that the people who, instead of trading in or recycling their old cars “put them out to pasture” tend to remember the few good old cars in the buildings, but the ones out back get forgotten, and they are amused when they discover that those are the ones I am really interested in.

Automobile Fence
Finally we drove to the farm where the “supposed” line of old cars was. As we swung into the road we were confronted by a massive 4 wheel drive tractor with triple tires on each corner with a 50' wide cultivator on the back. He stopped and was a bit hesitant at first when asked about his old cars, but instructed us to a parking lot that was itself full of old cars. After we chatted a bit and he realized that Regis' uncle and his father were old friends, he said it was Ok to take a few pictures in the parking lot, and when I came back to interrupt the ongoing talk of grain, tractors, combines and other “Farm” talk, I was invited back to the farm to look at the real row of cars. In fact, I was even told that I could take the dirt bike across the field to the trees hiding the cars.

Dodge Brothers Truck
This row of old cars was exactly what I look for. There was over a ¼ mile of cars from the 50, 60, and 70 all lined up bumper to bumper along a line of spruce trees. Most were Chevrolets, Pontiacs, and Oldsmobiles, from the 60, but there was an old Dodge Brothers truck, a Desoto, and even an old Honda Civic stuck on top of something a lot older. There was a definite “Brand Loyalty” here and I decided we were lucky to be allowed in the yard with the Ford truck we were driving. Many of them were decorated with scrap farm implements, bicycles, and other metal bits. Some of them were completely covered by vegetation taking over, and some were almost unidentifiable. I could have spent hours there taking pictures, but did not want to overstay my welcome, and Regis' uncle was waiting in the truck, so after walking the length of the row, I chose a few of the best to photograph.

I will have to come back again to take some more pictures. I bet he knows some more good “hidden Vehicles”

1 comment:

  1. Hey Art, I love the pics ... you really do give these oldies but goodies a new life in these photos.