Prairie Survivors 2017

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Far from the epicenters of automotive manufacture and promotion, cars and trucks are still an integral part of rural life. While gravel roads, mud, snow and long distances provide physical challenges to the well being of nice paint finishes, body parts and windshields, classic auto owners put in the extra time and effort to keep old cars on the road and looking fit.

Prairie Survivor 2017

It seems every farm has at least one old Chevy, Ford or Dodge truck sitting out back of the barn - or as a rustic display on the front drive lane. Thousands of old iron hulks dot the countryside, offering a link to the past that urban dwellers will never see on their pavement.

1949ish Chevrolet Pick up at Elite Iron SK Canada

Farm trucks seem to have survived in far more greater numbers than cars - trucks that never drove more than a few miles off the grid or not much further than the nearest town. Wondering why old trucks rarely have tailgates, we're told that factory steel gates were often removed in favor of wooden frames with a grain chute.

Prairie Survivor 2017

Car collections tend to be out in public view - with relics rusting less in the field than driving through salted winter roads. You might see a special car in a group along the way, but more often the stash is comprised of now worthless cars that mean something only to the gatherer.

1958 Pontiac Sedan Delivery

1958 Pontiac Sedan Delivery

One suspects and can safely predict that these automobiles will never see another road unless on the back of a truck on the way to the crusher. The economics and effort to bring back grandpa's old 4 door back to life will never be worth it, but nobody ever gives up too soon on the prairie.

1949 International KB-1 Deluxe

1949 International KB-1 Deluxe  with 1473 original miles

On the other side of the fence, some lucky old vehicles get a safer spot in a barn or implement shed. Barn finds are better than field finds in most cases - and we all wish for being the first to bring them back into sunlight. "Barn find" implies the possibility of heavy dust, if not sinking mud, junk stacks atop and no human care in the meantime.

New Holland Combine

New Holland Combine

At the high end, some farm operations can provide perfect cover for genuine car collections - giant, clean buildings with filtered and climate controlled air. Collector vehicles can live a sedentary life out of the weather and safe from city streets and other craft powered by faulty drivers.

1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible

1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible

Given all these saving factors, the prairies are great sources of original collector cars. But don't tell anybody until we're done looking...

Pictured below: 1960 Mercury Monarch 4 door; and 1958 Pontiac Strato Chief

1971 Buick Skylark Convertible - GS Tribute on Ebay

by Randy Berg

1960 Mercury Monarch 4 door prairie survivor in Saskatchewan Canada 2017
1958 Pontiac Strato Chief Prairie Survivor 2017

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