Monday, October 14, 2013

Gasoline Alley – Autos, Trucks and More! (#3)

This is the final blog about the Gasoline Alley automotive related collections at Calgary’s Heritage Park… We would highly recommend this experience to anyone who loves advertisment, trucks, automobiles and related ephemera and regards them as an art form.  This is a terrific collection and the items on display are pristine!

This unusual looking truck is a 1939 Federal Pick-Up, Model 8, ¾ Ton.  It’s a good example of the streamline style that was very popular in the late 1930s.  It's really a nice deep blue color but it didn't come out in this photo...
Although Federal was a relatively small producer, the company “was an all line manufacturer” offering a full range of trucks ranging from ½ - 7 ½ tons.  Their products included light duty pick-up trucks for general use, a range of delivery trucks, heavy haulers, plus school buses.  
As per the ‘Federal Trucks Photo Archive Paperback’ by Robert Gabrick, “Since 1910…Federal Trucks Have Been Known in Every Country—Sold on Every Continent.” One of the great ‘independents’ from Detroit, Federal produced a ‘high quality truck at a good price.’  From 1910 to 1959, Federal assembled over 160,000 trucks for all types of uses including delivery vans, buses, garbage trucks, and over the road heavy haulers.  In World War II Federal produced 11,338 military vehicles, earning the coveted Army-Navy ‘E Pennant’ four times for production excellence.  After the war Federal experienced the same difficulties experienced by other independents. Production of Federal trucks ended in 1959.”

This rare Canadian grain truck is a ¾ Ton 1927 Star.  This was one of the last Star trucks built. 
The chassis was built at the Durant Motors Company plant in Leaside, Ontario while the body was supplied by the Canada Carriage and Body Company of Brantford, Ontario.  Durant marketed its trucks under the Star emblem in North America and Rugby brand overseas.  This truck was soon consigned to light duty because it was not very powerful.
For more about William Durant and the Durant Motors Corporation you can go to  William Durant was the former CEO of GM. 

Lots of automotive related ephemera are evident in every nook and cranny of Gasoline Alley.  This is an early advertising Michelin Tire Man sitting astride an early tire pressure machine. 

FYI, the Michelin Tire Man is one of the world’s oldest trademarks.  It was first introduced in 1894!  His really name is Bibendum… The slogan ‘Nunc est bibendum’, (Now is the time to drink), is taken from Horace's Odes (book I, ode xxxvii, line 1). He is also referred to as Bib or Bibelobis.  For more on this topic, go to 

This handsome and powerful looking vehicle is a 1935 Diamond T Tow Truck, Model 211-AD Deluxe. 
During an era of utilitarian truck design, the President of Diamond T said that “A truck doesn’t need to be homely.”  Stylish design combined with sound engineering helped Diamond T secure a respectable market share during the lean years of the Dirty Thirties.  Exceptional quality was assured as Diamond Ts were assembled from components made by specialty manufacturers to the company’s exacting specifications. With forty years of faithful service, this Model 211-AD is a testament to the vehicle’s quality and owner pride.
To learn more about Diamond T and its trucks, you can go to

This is a 1910 Fuel Tank Wagon.  It may seem a little strange to us in this day and age, but during the late 19th and early 20th century horse-drawn tank wagons were commonly used by oil companies to distribute their products to customers. With the aid of compartmentalized tanks they could haul and dispense both gasoline and kerosene. The rear box was used to carry axle grease and other products.  Although limited to a 15 mile distance, two-horse high-wheeled outfits like this could deliver fuels right to the customer over rough rural roads. 
I looked around the Internet and I discovered one of these wagons for sale.  Check it out at You could pick it up for only $12,500!   
It’s a steal when you consider that Jackson-Barrett Auctions sold one of these wagons in 2012 for ‘only’ $36,300!  You can see this fuel tank wagon at 

This is a 1941 Chevrolet Tow Truck, Model TKH.  This 1 ½ ton tow truck is a good example of Chevrolet’s Art Deco line.  Introduced in 1941, their distinctive front end styling – two tiered grille, beaklike hood and streamlined headlights mounted on huge fenders – made them a hit with truck buyers.  

This early truck is a 1912 Benz Gagganau, Model GL-12, 5 Ton Fuel Tanker. 
Founded in 1894 as Bergmanns Industriewerke, Germany’s Benz – Gaggenau factory is the oldest operating automotive plant in the world.  In 1906 that factory produced the world’s first fire truck powered by an internal combustion engine.  By 1911 Benz’s three factories were producing passenger cars, commercial vehicles and engines for aircraft, industry and marine applications.  Built before heavy duty pneumatic tires were available, this chain driven 5 ton truck features cast iron wheels with solid rubber tires.  I imagine that the ride had to be a bit rough!
For a photo of the Gaggenau plant in its scenic setting, take a look at

This beauty is a 1933 Model 210-FF Diamond T Brewery Truck.  Diamond Ts were called the “Cadillac of Trucks”.  As mentioned previously, Diamond Ts were noted for their quality construction, performance and overall good looks.  Showcased at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair, their prestige was further enhanced by classy advertising and sales catalogues.  Diamond T trucks were frequently purchased as fleet vehicles for image conscious companies such as furniture manufacturers, movers and breweries.  

This classic ‘beater’ is a 1930 Nash 450 Single Six Sedan. 
At the beginning of the Great Depression this car rolled off the assembly line with shiny blue paint and bright nickel plating.  Its dents, repairs and rusty patina bear witness to the perseverance and ingenuity of a Saskatchewan family who weathered the Dirty Thirties. Rediscovered some fifty years later, “Scruffy” was mechanically restored.  It was later driven 2,000 miles down Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles, recreating the journey of many Dustbowl refugees.
To learn more about Nash Motor and to see lots of auto photos, you can go to  The company operated from 1917-1954.  In 1954, Nash bought the Hudson Motor Company and created the American Motors Corporation.  By 1957, under the leadership of George Romney, (a future governor of Michigan, future Presidential candidate and father of Mitt Romney), the Hudson and Nash name plates were phased out. 

This is a 1922 Gray-Dort Touring Car, Model 19-B.  Produced by Gray-Dort Motors Ltd. of Chatham, Ontario, this car was one of 26,000 automobiles produced during the company’s ten year of operation.  Initially the factory finished American Dort cars for the Canadian market.  With a gradual shift to 65% Canadian made parts, the Gray Dort is recognized as Canada’s first domestically built car.  By 1922, the dependable Gray Dort was the most popular vehicle on the prairies with over 5,000 registered.  Few examples have survived.

This early automobile is a 1909 McIntyre, Model M.  A true “Horseless Carriage,” this McIntyre Model M high wheel runabout is believed to be the only restored example of its type in existence.  The fine tradition of carriage building is evident in its handcrafted body, diamond tufted leather seats and rubber tired buggy wheels.  With 36” wheels and an air cooled four cylinder engine, McIntyre advertisements claimed, “High Wheel Motor Vehicles will go anywhere…no tire troubles, punctures and blowouts impossible with a McINTYRE.”
McIntyre Automobiles were built in Auburn Indiana from 1906 until only 1915 when the company went into bankruptcy.  For more information, go to 

This is a photo of the main floor of Gasoline Alley.  As you can see, this is much more than a bunch of cars sitting around in a sterile environment. 
The primary benefactor of Gasoline Alley is a local businessman named Ron Carey.  He’s the President of J and L Supply, an oilfield supplier.  Mr. Carey is well-known for his commitment to preserving oil and gas memorabilia as well as antique vehicles.  If you visit Gasoline Alley, check out Ron Carey’s biography.  It is located in a wall mounted display halfway up the steps to the upper level at the north end of the building.
That’s it for our visit to Gasoline Alley at Calgary’s Heritage Park.  To view most of the vehicles on display in Gasoline Alley, you can go to Then filter by using the Type drop down menu…and then click on Gasoline Alley Museum.  In addition, for a video tour, just click on
Click on any of the photos to enlarge them…
Thanks for stopping by and checking out this great exhibit at Calgary’s Heritage Park.  Only one more topic to write about from the park – Railroad History!
Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. Dave, I love the range of your interests. You are a true Renaissance man :-). Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  2. I love all these cars look lovely and look like the matchboxes my son loed collect and still have lol

  3. Looks like Diamond T made a fine truck.