JULY 2, 2015: CANADA DAY 2015–A CAR SHOW AT AN 18TH CENTURY TRADING POST

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Rocky Mountain House, Alberta has been around for a long time.

 

It was established as a fur trading post in 1799 and now plays a vital role in the oil exploration industry.

 

Canada Day is a big occasion for the town because of its long history in western Canada, so we took a trip to catch a car show that was part of the festivities on July 1ST, Canada’s 148th birthday as a sovereign country.

 

 

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We live less than 50 miles from Rocky, but have not visited this area very often over the years. The town is close enough to the Rocky Mountains to significantly influence the landscape, which is heavily treed by comparison to our community.

 

The area seems more like British Columbia than Alberta because of the proximity to the mountains. We should note that Rocky Mountain House is not actually in the Rocky Mountains for those who may be curious enough to visit this area.

 

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We were curious about their car show because it is held at the area where the actual trading posts stood centuries ago. The area is now a protected Parks Canada archeological site and receives many visitors every year.

 

The car show was located at the entry area to the festivities and we were immediately sidetracked by some very interesting rides upon arrival. The first ride was in the long lineup to enter the event and it caught our attention before we were even able to park in the visitors’ area.

 

The car was a retro-style 1935 Ford hot rod, complete with a 1951 Merc flattie. Its current owner was very enthusiastic about his old school ride and provided plenty of information about the car’s history.

 

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Look for the complete story on the retro rod in a future MSCC article.

 

We had to wait awhile to interview the owner of a stylish 1960 Studebaker Hawk because he was busy answering many questions from a throng of curious onlookers who were unfamiliar with the Studebaker name.

 

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They got a very comprehensive automotive history lesson from the Studie’s congenial lesson and now a few more people know about the little car company (and former wagon company) from South Bend, Indiana.

 

We focused more on his particular car because of its originality and will tell its story in a future MSCC piece.

 

A Chevy school bus was still on the road, even during the summer holidays, and was at the Rocky car show.

 

However, this 1957 Chevy was no ordinary school bus and was the end product of a very major change in philosophy for the old warrior.

 

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The bus likely hauled its last kids to school in the 60s, but its current owner had an entirely different game plan for it in the 21st century. Our first impression was a shortened version of TV’s Partridge Family tour bus, but this bus had considerably more attitude than the bubble gum band bus.

 

Look for the details behind the bus’s transformation into a road beast in a future MSCC piece.

 

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There are many good reasons to visit the Rocky Mountain House area and the Canada Day show at the old trading post area is one of them.

 

Jim Sutherland

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