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Space, the final frontier

I received a news release from the Two Hills, Alberta, RCMP last week, and it has to be one of the oddest I’ve ever seen. That detachment has located an old car described as a 1940 to 1949 Dodge. It was abandoned near an oil lease site in Lamont County, Alberta.

The Force says, “All efforts have been exhausted in locating a previous owner of the vehicle, which is believed to be a 1940-49 Dodge Special Deluxe. Two Hills RCMP would like to hear from anyone who has information about this vehicle in an effort to locate the owner.”

So is this your old Dodge? I’m guessing it certainly didn’t get to where the police found it under its own power. I didn’t see an engine in that picture. I can certainly understand why someone would want it back. An old two-door coupe like that would make a great resto-mod or hotrod project.

Which reminds me, I still have a 1956 Willys Jeep in storage that is part way through restoration. After we sold the farm and moved to the city, finding a suitable replacement shop to rent so I can continue the work on it has been a bit of a challenge. Getting that taken care of will be the final step in our assimilation into city living. There are lots of potential workshops available, but dropping $1,200 to $1,600 a month plus utilities is a bit out of the question for my modest budget. If my wife saw monthly bills like that plus the parts invoices come in on a regular basis, I’d be sleeping on the patio deck—even through the Winnipeg winter!

I’ve found a few cheaper alternatives over the months, but none seem to really be right for the kind of dusty, dirty work involved in a restoration. Often it involves sharing a garage with someone who wants to store a classic fully restored vehicle, and if he doesn’t want a speck of dust to land on his prized car, it means serious shop work is out of the question.

Having access to a shop and ample space to park vehicles is one of the things that just seems natural on a farm. The workshop is there anyway to house and repair machinery, and there is always at least one corner of it that has room for that special project.

But, of course, in the city, space is always at a premium. It’s just one of the tradeoffs we make when choosing the spot we’re going to call home. And the irony is, here in the big smoke, there is quick and easy access to all those specialty parts that took days or weeks to arrive on the farm, with a parts store located every three minutes or so along Portage avenue.

And if I need to take some specialty technical training course, I can easily do that too. On the farm, those kinds of pat-time adult training courses anywhere within a reasonable driving distance are a rare thing.

But I’ll continue my quest for a space that is ideal, cheap and well suited to working on the old Jeep so it can live again, although it may be easier to find a unicorn wandering around my neighborhood.

And by the way, if you have information about that old Dodge the police found in Alberta, call the Two Hills RCMP at 780-657-2820.





About the author


Scott Garvey

Scott Garvey is a freelance writer and video producer. He is also the former machinery editor at Grainews.


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