Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Reynolds-Alberta Museum – Part III

This posting is part III of Laurie and my visit to the Reynolds-Alberta Museum in Wetaskiwin Alberta Canada.  There was just so much to see!

As it states on the side of the tractor in the photo above, this huge piece of farm equipment was manufactured by the Gas Traction Company of Winnipeg Manitoba Canada.  The O’Grady Anderson Company in Winnipeg was licensed to build these massive tractors by the Gas Traction Company of Minneapolis Minnesota.
This is a 1910 Model B 25hp.  Its original cost was $3,000.  By 1920, the demand for giant tractors like this one had greatly diminished as much of the prairie sod was broken up and under cultivation, allowing more maneuverable lighter weight tractors to do the job.  This is the only surviving Canadian built Gas Traction Tractor…

Part of the charm which added to our interest as we toured the museum was the attention to detail and all of the transportation related ephemera on display.  Full scale vignettes like this one with a farm supply storefront helped provide an appropriate setting for the collection.

Note the distinctive eagle on the globe at the front of the farm store.  J. I. Case introduced the eagle symbol and logo for the first time in 1865.  It was based on ‘Old Abe’, a Wisconsin Civil War Regiment's mascot.  The J.I. Case Company was founded in 1843 in Racine Wisconsin.  It continues today after merging with New Holland N.V. and it’s now known as CNH Global.  The company also owns the International Harvester brand for farm equipment.  For more information, you can go to

This unwieldy looking machine is a Boggona “Pony” Snowmobile.  This 7 horsepower, single-cylinder 4-cycle snowmobile was built ca. 1960 by General Machine and Welding in St. Boniface Minnesota.  It cost $1,000 (C).  This unit was first introduced in 1958 as a lightweight alternative to the heavy, large snow machines that were being built at the time.  A total of 85 were built before mass production by larger producers forced the company to abandon the business. 

This North Star Gas Station is yet another display inside the Reynolds-Alberta Museum that helps take you back to an earlier era!  I love the contrast in gas pumps from different decades…

The auto ‘being serviced’ in front of the North Star Gas Station is a 1934 Oldsmobile Special Sedan Model F-34 Six.  This 6-cylinder, 84 horsepower vehicle could reach speeds up to 77 mph.  At $1,065 (C), it was the most expensive 6-cylinder Olds built in 1934. 

This car was built at the General Motors plant in Oshawa Ontario.  It had dual side mounts/running boards and a rear mounted trunk.  1934 was the first year that General Motors introduced independent suspension and that helped drive Oldsmobile sales to 84,000 units that year.  Interestingly enough, in 1934 GM was still building their cars with a wood frame sheathed in steel.  It wasn’t until 1937 that the company switched over to all steel frames…

In addition to all of the ‘big stuff’ in the collection, the Reynolds-Alberta museum has hundreds and hundreds of old signs, oil cans, etc.  A real gearhead could lose track of time looking at all of the miscellaneous items on display throughout the facility.  This room inside the North Star Gas Station is used for educational purposes…

This pink ‘boat’ of a car…with Laurie behind the wheel…is a 1958 Buick Limited 2-door convertible.  It weighed almost 4,700 lbs. and, unlike today’s autos, it could comfortably carry six adults.  Leather upholstery was standard and it had a V8 engine that delivered 300 horsepower. 

At $6,619 (C) this was the most expensive Buick built in 1958.  Only 839 of them were built.  When this car was produced a recession was underway and that year only autos like Volkswagen and Rambler showed any significant sales gains.

The ‘blue bomber’ in the foreground brings back a ton of memories!  This brand of automobile was my stepfather’s car of choice… This is a 1951 Hudson Pacemaker Six Model 11A.  This was Hudson’s economy class vehicle, with a price tag of $$3,072 (C).  The Pacemaker seated 6 comfortably and its 6-cylinder engine developed 112 horsepower.  The car’s signature low profile was the result of a step down frame… The passenger compartment sat inside the vehicle’s frame…

The Hudson Motor Car Company based in Detroit Michigan, made Hudson and other brand automobiles, such as Essex and Terraplane, from 1909 to 1954.  Hudson scored a number of automotive firsts, including dual brakes, the use of dashboard oil-pressure and generator warning lights, and the first balanced crankshaft.  The latter innovation, which allowed the Hudson straight-six engine, dubbed the "Super Six", to work at a higher rotational speed while remaining smooth…developing more power for its size than lower-speed engines.

The company also hired Elizabeth Ann Thatcher in 1939.  A graduate of the Cleveland School of Arts, now the Cleveland Institute of Art, and a major in Industrial Design, she became America's first female automotive designer.  Her contributions to the 1941 Hudson included exterior trim with side lighting, the interior instrument panel, interiors and interior trim fabrics.  To learn more about the Hudson Motor Company, you can go to

FYI...The car in the background of the above photo is a 1953 Willys Aero Ace.  The Willys Overland and its successor, the Kaiser-Willys Corporation, produced Willys from 1952 – 1955.  The Willys was a compact fuel-efficient car…built when the public wanted big and flashy cars.  To learn more about this stick shift 90 horsepower automobile and Willys, go to

As it’s partially black and it’s against a black backdrop, this auto is a little hard to see…but it’s a 1956 Monarch Richelieu Phaeton Hardtop.  This was the top of the line Monarch…with extensive chrome trim and power options like power windows, seats and antennae.  This 6-passenger automobile with its V8 engine producing 225 horsepower, s0ld for $3,509.

Monarchs were built by the Ford-Monarch Division of Ford Motor Company of Canada in Oakville Ontario.  Only 700 of this particular model were ever built.  The Monarch line was introduced in Canada in 1946 and its name survived until 1961.

You may have noticed a theme as you looked over the last few automobiles that I’ve posted… While we were at the Reynolds-Alberta Museum, the feature exhibit was entitled “The Fabulous Fifties”.  More than 25 vehicles were included in this special showing which ran from mid-May to mid-October. 

This is just another automobile from the 1950s!  It’s a 1955 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn 4-door saloon.  Between 1949 and 1955 this was the smallest post-war Rolls produced.  Only 760 were built, mainly for sale in North America.  It’s pressed steel body was also unique as the company usually only sold the chassis with the body being added by a coach maker.

This car had a top speed of 94 mph and it could go from 0 to 60 mph in what is today a sluggish 15.2 seconds.  There is a 1954 Rolls-Royce Silver Dawn for sale in Maryland for only $59,900!  Check it out at

The original Rolls-Royce Company was founded in 1906 and it operated until 1973.  The current company, Rolls-Royce Motors was created in 1973 during the de-merger of the Rolls-Royce car business from the nationalized Rolls-Royce Limited, a builder of jet engines and other products.  Vickers acquired the company in 1980 and then sold it to Volkswagen in 1998.  In 2002, Volkswagen sold Rolls-Royce to BMW.  For more information, go to and

This is a 1958 Edsel Pacer.  It featured the iconic or perhaps ‘infamous’ ‘horse collar’ grill and a push button transmission.  This model had a V8 engine that developed 302 horsepower and it sold for $3,465 (C).  Edsels were only built from 1958 to 1960.  The goal was to provide an extra option to the Ford-Lincoln-Mercury lines and to take market share away from General Motors and Chrysler. However, weak management support for the vehicle combined with a recession and the car’s design made ‘Edsel’ a word that became synonymous with commercial failure.

The Ford Motor Company lost millions of dollars on the Edsels development, manufacturing and marketing.  Total Edsel sales were less than half the company's projected break-even point. The company lost $350 million, (the equivalent of $2,802,796,804 in 2014 dollars) on this venture.  Only 118,287 Edsels were built, including 7,440 produced in Ontario Canada.  For more information, go to

That’s about it for the 3rd installment of our tour of the Reynolds-Alberta Museum… There was so much to see that 2 more posts will be forthcoming.

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave


  1. That is quite a museum. My neighbor had an Edsel like that with the Merc skirts and Continental kit.

  2. I certainly remember the Edsels. Do you remember Studebakers????? Love seeing old cars like that ---and going to museums. Great set of photos. Amazing to see a gas station 'display' inside....

    Cold here this morning. Was MINUS 2 about 6 a.m. Yipes!


  3. Dear Dave, These cars certainly brought back a memory or two.
    They were simply gorgeous!!! Each with its own personality and built to last,
    at a price that you could actually afford. Now a car is the price of a house!
    Blessings to you and Laurie, Catherine