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British Columbia pre-war cars that have survived


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1 hour ago, 13White said:

The first picture it sure looks like the Mitchell has a rope on the back and is towing the Hup!!!

Yes, if it didn't run, Phil wasn't opposed to pulling it behind a vehicle that did run.  We couldn't get away with it now.  

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On 9/8/2020 at 10:42 AM, Modeleh said:

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Unrestored 1913 Lafrance originally bought new by the city of Nanaimo BC, they bought two of them and both survive though the other one has been restored.

This truck still runs on the original tires and fabric radiator hoses.  Formerly of the Phil Foster collection which I believe was purchased in its entirety by Gerry and Vern Wellburn around 1962.  It remains in a private collection on the island.

 

Here's a Phil Foster picture of the 1913 LaFrance firetruck from Nanaimo.  I wonder how he got it from Nanaimo to Victoria? (at about 4 mpg)    I bet he didn't tow it behind the Studebaker!

 

It looks like it may have been towing the Holley in this parade.  The third car is the 1911 Stanley.

 

LaFrance.thumb.jpg.3d7167778d6dce21a3a071301d020133.jpg

 

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I took this picture of Newel Taylor and his 1912 Indian when we were on our Antique Tour in 1987. The bike was very original and in order to be in compliance with our helmet laws, Newel wore an original leather helmet. He usually stole the show when he had the bike out.  He drove it for the full weekend tour. We were touring the Fraser Valley that year.

Ken

1912 Indian Newell Taylor 1987 tour.jpg

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8 hours ago, KLF said:

I took this picture of Newel Taylor and his 1912 Indian when we were on our Antique Tour in 1987. The bike was very original and in order to be in compliance with our helmet laws, Newel wore an original leather helmet. He usually stole the show when he had the bike out.  He drove it for the full weekend tour. We were touring the Fraser Valley that year.

Ken

1912 Indian Newell Taylor 1987 tour.jpg

 ... and the bike is still around.

 

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There are two 1913 Henderson motorcycles from B.C. that have survived.  Both came from Vancouver Island, where Thomas Plimley was the dealer in Victoria.  B.C.'s motorcycle registration data is not complete, but what is available shows that 6 Hendersons were registered in 1913, all on the island. 

 

Curiously, the two survivors were both found with the entire front end missing - no forks or handlebars.  One bike was restored by Art DeGraf and the other by me.  My bike was recovered by Buck Rogers back in the 50s.  (There are a good number of Buck's vehicles to add to this list.)  Art and I were fortunate that Barry Brown in Quebec was willing to have two front ends fabricated using his bike as a copy.

 

The front end of these motorcycles was obviously a weak spot and wouldn't survive a meeting with a tree or ditch.  However, a picture surfaced recently of two Victoria kids sitting on a 1913 Henderson with an aftermarket front end that turned it into a trike.  It's possible that  this bike is is mine and the missing front end was moved to a more modern "update" when the Henderson's days were done.  ... You never know.   Art's bike had a slightly different frame so this could not be his. 

 

Photos:   The Victoria trike,   Art's 1913 Henderson,  my 1913 Henderson,  and a video taken at the Aggasiz Speedway.

 

653699427_13Hendersontrike.thumb.jpg.e6307871281bbeff75bd713a8234447e.jpg

 

1807665771_13HendersonADG.thumb.jpg.5480b0b2ead40fd570d672c973cef76a.jpg

 

 

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Edited by PFindlay (see edit history)
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On 9/10/2020 at 9:00 PM, KLF said:

The Mitchell was a 1912 roadster the Vern sold to Earl Tucker. The car is now in Australia and still being actively used.

Vern also had a 1912 McLaughlin Buick roadster. That's in Dave Proctor's collection now.

Also Vern had an 11?? Hupmobile roadster. That car is still in Vancouver.

These cars may all have come from the Foster collection I'm not 100% sure. I've got pictures of them on film. I'll try to track them down and post them.

Ken

Here's a picture of the 12 McLaughlin roadster taken in 1987 on tour. Vern Wellburn owned it at that time.

 

Vern's 12 McLaughlin 1987.jpg

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Moving from 2 wheels to 3 ...  this was another of Phil Foster's cars.  It's a 1912 A.C. Sociable, made in London and the A.C. has nothing to do with spark plugs or Albert Champion.  It stands for Auto Carrier.

 

Phil Foster ended up selling this three wheeler to his brother-in-law, who had the Russell-Knight shown earlier, and it's still in the family.

 

Photos:  In front of Phil's station, and in the 1970s.

 

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Until a few weeks ago, this was my 1935 DeSoto Airflow.  It was purchased by the Curran family of Vancouver in 1935 (possibly at Begg Motors) and was Mrs. Curran's car.  In the 1950s she passed it on to their only son, Bill, who drove it to school daily.  In the early 60s he used to bring it by my dad's service station (Lorne's Automotive on 4th Ave.) regularly.  In 1965 he parked it in the carport of the family home and it stayed there until he died in 2008.  At that point his widow called my 82 year old dad to ask about getting it and the 1955 Cadillac, which had been beside it for 30 years, sold.  Dad worked outdoors on both cars through the winter and ended up buying them both and getting them back on the road.

 

This is a Canadian model, one of 108 built that year.  It has some 34 Chrysler trim on it, giving it a unique look among airflows.  Most obvious is the three tiered bumper.

 

 

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One of our pioneer collectors out here was Paul Bolam. His main interest was in the brass era cars. One day back in the early 70's he was driving down a back lane and saw some car parts that looked pretty early. What he had discovered was the remains of a 1912 Napier T30 6 cyl . The car was totally dismantled but most of the parts were there. He restored what he had and made what was missing. These pictures were taken of it on the 1987 tour.

He also found another 12 Napier T48 6 cyl touring that was a similar story.He restored it as well. I don't have any pictures of it. I believe one car is in England now and the other was sold into the USA.

Napier was competing with Rolls Royce at the time. Both were high end cars. Vancouver had a Napier dealership and quite a number were sold.

 

Bolam's 12 Napier and Blackstaff's 12 McLaughlin buick.jpg

Bolam's 12 Napier.jpg

Bolam's Napier 6cyl engine.jpg

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Here are some pictures of Phil Foster's 1910 Russell.  I'm not sure how Phil  ended up with it, but the car was sold new in Vancouver  to George Creech, who had a grocery business and also had real estate interests.  It was in use until the early 1920s by Creech or an associate of his.  At some point Phil found it and added it to his collection.  It went to the Wellburns in 1962 and Vern toured it regularly until he died.  It's one of only two 1910 Russels still on the road, although there is another under restoration in Ontario.

 

Photos:

- Phil Foster sitting in his 1910 Russell in 1952.

- Opera singer and car collector James Melton "pushing" the car at Vancouver City Hall (mid 1950s).  The other man is Vancouver Mayor Fred Hume.  I believe Phil Foster brought the car to Vancouver hoping that Melton might want to buy it.  Good thing he didn't.

- The Russell in 1966 when Vern Wellburn had it on the 1966 B.C. Centennial Tour around the province.  Vern is wearing the straw hat and that's my mother and sister sitting in the car.  (I was abandoned back in Vancouver with my little brother.)  The Russell was dark green at the time.  Later Vern painted it red, which would have been a factory colour.

- A more recent picture of the 1910 Russell taken at an event commemorating Canada's first gas station, in Vancouver.  At that event we had a good turnout of original Vancouver cars.  That's the Silver Brothers' Peerless in the background. 

 

365947465_1910Russell.thumb.jpg.528813f386ce02a7e0ed62684b68176c.jpg

 

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Thanks for posting the photos of the Russell I was fortunate enough to have Vern give me a ride in it not long before left us.  Just a wonderful car.

It had been mentioned earlier the Russell cars were built by the CCM company, the Canadian Cycle Manufacturing company, which later went on to make all kinds of sports equipment so when I see CCM on the front of a hockey helmet while watching the Stanley Cup playoffs it always reminds me of that ride with Vern in his Russell.

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1 hour ago, Modeleh said:

Thanks for posting the photos of the Russell I was fortunate enough to have Vern give me a ride in it not long before left us.  Just a wonderful car.

It had been mentioned earlier the Russell cars were built by the CCM company, the Canadian Cycle Manufacturing company, which later went on to make all kinds of sports equipment so when I see CCM on the front of a hockey helmet while watching the Stanley Cup playoffs it always reminds me of that ride with Vern in his Russell.

Another nice story; and not to sound picky, but in the interest of historical accuracy, CCM stands for “Canadian Cycle and Motor” 

please keep up with the interesting stories!

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2 hours ago, 13White said:

Another nice story; and not to sound picky, but in the interest of historical accuracy, CCM stands for “Canadian Cycle and Motor” 

please keep up with the interesting stories!

In the interests of being even more picky ....  here is what is on the step sill of my car.  I try not to step on it!

 

CCM.thumb.jpg.b8c1d3f4718b3e39c3a18cce10d1690f.jpg

Edited by PFindlay (see edit history)
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42 minutes ago, PFindlay said:

In the interests of being even more picky ....  here is what is on the step sill of my car.  I try not to step on it!

 

CCM.thumb.jpg.b8c1d3f4718b3e39c3a18cce10d1690f.jpg

Now there is the final word!!! thank you!!!

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I must say thank you to all those who have posted; I have certainly enjoyed this thread. Although I am from the island, I grew up around pretty much all of these characters and most of these cars. Some of these gentlemen I first met as a child and then went on to become friends as an adult. It was always interesting when Buck Rogers would pull into the driveway driving his " travelling swap meet" lol. Is Paul Bolam still alive? I have not seen him in many years.

A really interesting thing would be to compile a roster of all of the vehicles that were discovered by Buck Rogers and passed through his possession to other collectors. That would be fascinating but maybe impossible to complete.

Thanks again to everyone that has posted.

Edited by 13White (see edit history)
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57 minutes ago, PFindlay said:

In the interests of being even more picky ....  here is what is on the step sill of my car.  I try not to step on it!

 

CCM.thumb.jpg.b8c1d3f4718b3e39c3a18cce10d1690f.jpg

Yours isn't the only one....

1907_Russell_1.jpg

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Peter Findlay and his brother Ken know my car: a 1924 Cadillac touring that was purchased new by West Kootenay Power and Light, Rossland, B.C. Company manager Lorne Campbell signed for it; he was later a provincial minister of mines. I have not found any old photos of my car, but it is interesting the company used at least one older Cadillac before mine as a company car, and pictures of it are in the Rossland archives. Until another participant in this thread posted an excellent photo of Begg Motors (showing Cadillacs of the model just before my V-63) I did not know the significance of that. The build sheet for my car lists Begg Motors as the distributor; the car was shipped north (presumably from Detroit) to Oshawa, Ontario, and then, I guess, transported west to Rossland, all this being looked after by Begg. Lots of members of the VCCC knew my car before I got it, because it was owned for a long time by club member Lincoln Sandner of Christina Lake (not too far from Rossland). So the car has moved east of Rossland, B.C., to the Vancouver suburb of Coquitlam, without (I imagine) leaving the province. Happy driving! (My car is listed third down from top on the build sheet.)

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On 9/10/2020 at 7:39 PM, TimMuldoon said:

I just purchased a 1938 P6 that was made in Windsor. I imagine the car was sold to a Canadian citizen when new. Who would l talk to about the history of the Windsor factory? Canadian cars seemed to have different options, color codes Engines etc. My email is tmtalaskanmalamutes@gmail.com 

Not a lot of response here.  Does anyone know if there are Chrysler Windsor records anywhere?

Peter

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I'm just about fiinished with Phil Foster cars here.  This is the 1902 Holly Motorette.  Its known history goes back to 1913 in Victoria when it was given to three boys who used it in parades.  Sadly, all three were killed in WWI.   There is a good history of the car here:  http://www.bristolmotors.com/holley.html

 

In the early days Phil thought it was a DeDion, hence the name on the front.   It went to the Wellburns in 1962 and was often seen at events and tours.  Vern completed the London to Brighton run twice with it.  It's still on Vancouver Island, and in the public eye.  

 

Photos:

- an early Phil Foster photo.  The history page says he bought it in 1950, but the plate in this picture shows 1940-something.

- an early Phil Foster shot

- in a Victoria Day Parade

- Vern Wellburn driving the Holly in the London to Brighton run

 

... and a video of the car from 2012.

 

1629648235_1902Holley.thumb.jpg.8b435c89073140110e4e1748c6cdd004.jpg

 

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On 9/6/2020 at 8:53 AM, Eldovert said:

Begg Motor Company,Vancouver,1921

72531948_1171111233072409_3752606788730486784_o.jpg

 

Eldovert: Do you have other photos of Begg Motors. I am especially interested because the “61” behind the Caddy on the left, means Type 61. My car is a V-63 — the model produced right after. Very similar looking carts. The 61s shown here are the last model with rear-wheel brakes only. Thanks! Mike in Coquitlam

 

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20 minutes ago, Michael J. Barnes said:

Eldovert: Do you have other photos of Begg Motors. I am especially interested because the “61” behind the Caddy on the left, means Type 61. My car is a V-63 — the model produced right after. Very similar looking carts. The 61s shown here are the last model with rear-wheel brakes only. Thanks! Mike in Coquitlam

Mike, there are some other shots taken at the same time (1921) as well as a few 1917 shots in the Vancouver Archives:

If you click the link below they are listed down the left hand side.

https://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/begg-motor-co-showroom-3

 

Peter

 

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I find it interesting that the Phil Foster 1903 Holley was misidentified as a De Dion. However, that was actually quite common in the early days of the hobby. In those early years of automobile manufacturing, European designs were ahead of American engineering. Many European manufacturing companies actually licensed other companies around the world to manufacture copies of their cars and/or engines. Numerous companies in the USA and at least a few in Canada built clones or copies of De  Dion engines. And if one reads through enough era advertisements for automobiles built in the Americas, one can often see mentions of the De Dion patents or "French" designs. It is interesting to note that Benz also licensed automobiles to be built in other countries at the time. There were a couple companies that built licensed Benz clones during the early 1890s in England (I met someone at a car show many years ago that had one!). It was not an uncommon practice at that time.

I  have always looked forward to news and hobby reports on the London to Brighton Run. With the advent of the internet,almost every year, I look ahead at the entries as they are posted. Then on the evening after the Run, I usually spend an hour our two looking at whatever I can find posted about the day's events. The De Dion Bouton is the most common marque nearly every year! Dozens of the little cars, manufactured from about 1898 through 1904, participate. What makes it even more interesting,is how many other cars look so much like the little De Dion Boutons. Many cars, from around Europe and England, were manufactured under the designs of De Dion,whether licensed or not. I won't try to list many names, however "Rochet" and "Star" I have seen quite few of. The American Holley was certainly influenced by the De Dion Bouton, if not an actual clone.

It is interesting when reading through early automobile specifications, how often one can find mentions of using De DIon engines or clones. Even the very first Pierce Motorettes (before the "Arrow") used a De Dion motor mounted directly on the rear axle! They soon switched to a slightly improved motor of their own design, although still similar.

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... not quite done with Phil Foster yet.   This is his 1907 Ford Model N.  It may have been Phil's first "old" car - he got it from his father who had purchased it in 1916.  The following information comes from the Vintage Car Club of Canada's Nanaimo Chapter website:

 

The original owner was Matt Hutchinson, who was a city industrial electrician in Victoria, BC.  The car was believed to have been used as a service vehicle for many commercial buildings including the Empress of Victoria Hotel and the Legislature Buildings.  About 1916, Bert Foster of Foster's Boat Yard purchased the "N" and kept it for about 20 years.


Subsequently it was sold to Phil Foster, Bert's son, who nicknamed it "Lil Abner" and it was seen in many Victoria parades.  G.E. Welburn acquired the car and did a restoration about 1962. Possibly it was then donated to the BC Transportation Museum for display in 1982.  When the Museum was closed, the car was then transferred to the Nanaimo Transportation Society.

 

It's interesting to note that the Model N was Matt Hutchinson's second car.  He had registration #19 in British Columbia issued in 1904.  When he bought the Model N it received the #19 registration which it kept when the car was transferred to R. Foster.

 

The car is currently being re-restored by the members of the VCCC Nanaimo Chapter.  Pictures are at this link:  http://nanaimo.vccc.com/ford folder/ford.htm

 

642979586_1907ModelN.thumb.jpg.0044e3a3b2d7cc35c7b452d2c4d9c52e.jpg

 

1092650351_1907ModelN2.thumb.jpg.e7fe1e14e15999d59a71a521ba41d1d3.jpg

 

 

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Thanks for posting the archive link Peter...sorry Mike I should have given credit to the archive for that photo...so nice to have a archive with such big,clear photos..So many archives have tiny photos or are trying to extract money from you.

Cheers,Pat

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George Hoffman has been providing some history of these two Cadillacs.  Both cars were used as taxis in Atlin, way up in northern B.C. and apparently were still in use as late as the 40s during WWII when the U.S. military was building and operating an airstrip.

 

The years following must have been pretty tough for the two Cadillacs, a 1913 and a 1914.  These photos show what they looked like when Buck Rogers and Roger Brammall found them in the early 60s.  Buck brought them down to the coast and offered them up for sale.  A number of people looked them over.  My dad told me he saw the '14 but it was just too far gone for him to consider and $600 was a lot of money.  Eventually George ended up with the '13 Cadillac and in 1968 Dave Proctor took the '14.  In 1971 Dave passed the '14 on to Jim Morley, who spent 35 years on it, with beautiful results.  It has just recently moved on to George so the two cars were briefly reunited before the '13 made its way to a new home where it will be restored after all these years.

 

Photos:

This is the 1913 Cadillac when they found it.

Cadillacs1.thumb.jpg.71d6c08f3b154f93a33e4f62aecf2d66.jpg

 

 

This is the 1914 Cadillac after they brought it down to Vancouver.

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This is the '14 Cadillac and you can see the rear of the '13 body on the left.

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This is the '13 Cadillac after 50+ years in George's basement.

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The 1913 Atlin taxi in its new home - ready for restoration.

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The 1914 Atlin taxi in its new home - ready for touring.

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The 1914 Cadillac, out on a run in August.

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Edited by PFindlay (see edit history)
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I have a handful of pictures of cars that Buck Rogers recovered from all over B.C. and the Yukon.  Many are hard to identify because they are not much more than a frame.  But it's amazing that some have been brought back to life like the Cadillac above, so we're grateful for the work that Buck and others did to preserve history.

 

Back in the '50s Gifford P. (Buck) Rogers was one of the early collectors in Vancouver .  Eventually he ran an ad in the Vancouver Sun inviting any other car collectors to a meeting at his place and this led to the formation of the Vintage Car Club of Canada.  Some of the names mentioned in previous posts here were part of that founding group.

 

Most of Buck's cars (and motorcycles) seem to have been projects that were passed on to others to make something of, but this one was an exception.  It's Buck's 1910 REO.  I don't know its story, but somehow he ended up with a mostly complete car and even used it for awhile.   Buck was pretty active in promoting early events which may or may not have actually come to be.  One which was very successful was the VCCC's 1958 Centennial Tour from Fernie to Victoria, and he drove the 1910 REO on that tour.  (At the time he called it a 1908 REO)

 

In 1959 Buck sold the REO to Dave Proctor and Dave toured with it for over 50 years.  It has been a regular at B.C. car events for almost 70 years now.  Those REOs sure were good cars, weren't they?

 

Photos:

 

Buck in the REO at his home on Smythe St. in Vancouver.

1677082670_REOwithbuck.thumb.jpg.cc6d9be72db11cdc24436a215f3d9b49.jpg

 

 

An article from the Vancouver Sun about Buck's old car planning.  Races, really?

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The REO as it is today.

450474045_1910REO.thumb.JPG.22c86f3d779f738551aa6d811960644c.JPG

 

Edited by PFindlay (see edit history)
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This 1913 White was shown earlier in this thread, but we didn't get the whole story.  It was found in 1959 near Cache Creek of B.C. by Paul Bolam, who spent a few days digging it out.  He sold it to Buck Rogers and that began a string of owners and a long period of recovery for a very historic car.

 

The White was originally owned by Stephen Tingley, one of the owners of the B.C. Express Company.  In the early 1900s the company moved from stage coaches to cars and settled in on a fleet of Wintons to carry people and freight into the Cariboo.  The White is thought to have been Tingley's personal vehicle.

 

The full story is well told with many (small) pictures at this link:

http://antique.vccc.com/pioneers/White/13white1.html

 

Photos below are from 1917 and 1920, when the car was owned by Judge Calder of Cache Creek.

 

1917.jpg.488710e8bcb1ef8fb180af9fba64a1af.jpg

 

1920.jpg.612d4841aa43a79271910a63ce1d30cf.jpg

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Thanks for posting the stories behind these cars.  To me the stories attached to the artifacts are as exciting as the exhibits themselves.  Yes Jim Morley did a beautiful job on the ‘14 Cadillac and it was interesting to learn it had been a taxi at one time.  If I recall correctly Dave’s 1910 REO was a Canadian built car?  I like that he left the front axle unpainted so everybody can see it in all it’s bronze glory.

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Here is another car that Buck Rogers saved.  Funny how they all have the same general look to them.   It's the remains of a 1913 Cadillac which was photographed in his front yard on Smythe St. back in the sixties.  The second photo shows that it's on its way to becoming a car once again.

 

387011789_1913cadillac.thumb.jpg.1a2fd9dd173432037f719ffd50fac148.jpg

 

617104589_1913Cadillac.thumb.JPG.eb9ace45996a16ad3c540eba92c84fa9.JPG

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Here are a few pictures of a 1904 or 1905 Fiat.  Buck Rogers took these as it was being restored by an owner in Washington state.  According to Paul Bolam, the car was originally in use near Westwold, B.C.  Sometime around 1914 the car burned and ended up in the barn at the Westwold Hotel.  Many years later it ended up in Washington State and returned to B.C. for the Malahat Run once.  Does someone have a picture of it there?    This may be the Fiat that is now in the LeMay museum, but I'm not sure about that.

 

Click this link to hear a 2 min clip of Paul Bolam telling the story of this car:

http://antique.vccc.com/pioneers/Bolam-1904Fiat.wav

 

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On 9/21/2020 at 9:22 AM, PFindlay said:

Here is another car that Buck Rogers saved.  Funny how they all have the same general look to them.   It's the remains of a 1913 Cadillac which was photographed in his front yard on Smythe St. back in the sixties.  The second photo shows that it's on its way to becoming a car once again.

 

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Thank you once again for posting. One thing for me is it makes me feel good to see that the White really wasn’t any worse than most of the cars of that era.  Those guys weren’t easily intimidated!!! I’m so grateful that they salvaged so many early cars when they did.

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On 9/22/2020 at 1:45 PM, dictator27 said:

How about the McAdam 07 Cadllac and the 1912 Hupp retrieved from a swamp in the Yukon (probably by Buck and Roger)?

The Cadillac was covered back on page one of this thread.  Here is a link to some history about Dr. Wilson, the original owner.

https://vanasitwas.wordpress.com/2020/08/05/wilsons-1907-cadillac/

 

I don't have have anything on the Hupp.

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As well as being a founding member of the VCCC, Buck Rogers helped start up the Classic Motorcycle Club of B.C. in 1975.   During his trips around the province he found the remains of quite a few motorcycles which, of course, could easily be piled on top of the trailer or truck for the trip back home.

 

This 1914 Excelsior was one of Buck's bikes.  He found it up in the Coquihalla area back in the 60s along with another bike.  Both bikes were in a shed that had collapsed under the snow.  Buck managed to come to a deal with the shed owner and ended up removing both bikes.  In 1913 and 1914 Excelsior motorcycles were the second most common motorcycle in B.C., after Indian.  

 

 

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Edited by PFindlay (see edit history)
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Hi all and Peter, I just registered on this Forum and it is somewhat different from other sites I am familiar with. We have several cars that are originally local owned. Having been a founding member of the Vintage Car Club Of Canada in 1958 I have enjoyed reading some of the posts from the "old days". I am looking forward to answering some queries and  posting some photos if I can figure out how. This Computer age is relatively new to me seeing my kids and grand kids are planning a virtual party for my 84 th birthday next weekend.

Lets try a photo.  Well with a little help from Peter here we have a photo of our 1908 model  "S" Ford one of about 30 odd to have survived. I can be corrected on the 30 figure though.

Cheers George.

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In an earlier post it shows the beautifully restored 1930 Packard phaeton bought new by Chris's grandfather.  What always amazed me was that the car was 9 years old when it was used to tour the Queen around. It obviously  had been well kept . The first time I saw the car was when Art Falawka was painting it in his garage in March of 1958. 

In 1961 when Doris and I were  married Art and Cathy chauffered us around in the Packard. It was a spectacular wedding car and certainly impressed our guests.

We met Chris at the Crescent Beach Concourse in 2014 where he showed the car. We introduced ourselves and produced out wedding photos for a photo session.

Here we are with our wedding album on the running board 53 years later. And once again in the rear seat. What a magnificent car.

Cheers George.

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