As my son and I were in the midst of our our roadtrip last week, we were driving from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Regina Saskatchewan on the Trans Canada Highway. Somewhere around the midpoint of that day’s drive, my head suddenly swiveled to the left and I felt myself slowing down without being aware of having let off the accelerator.
Sure enough, out of the corner of my eye I had spotted two perfect examples of why we all visit this site and it was definitely worth a quick stop.
The location was actually Elkhorn, Manitoba, which is a small town about halfway into our day’s voyage and this was right at the main intersection that bisects the highway. Perched on the grass near a gas station were what appear to be a 1971 Plymouth Scamp as well as a 1951 Austin A40 Devon.
I’ve been on an old-Mopar kick lately so I was initially attracted to the Scamp. Walking around it made it obvious that although not in perfect shape, it was certainly very passable.
It has seen a few knocks and undoubtedly has many stories to tell. I don’t know if there is a way to tell which engine it has (if the original one is even what is still installed) but do know that 1971 was the first year for Plymouth to have the Scamp which is basically a Dodge Dart Swinger.
The flush side marker lights were only on the Scamp for this first year, unless the Canadian-assembled cars are different than the US ones. That steering wheel and center console appeal to me too, a little upholstery work and the interior would be ready to go.
We’ve covered the Scamp before in Jason Shafer’s excellent read (click here) and after re-reading that find myself even fonder of this car. There was no price or phone number on it, and in any case, dragging it back to Colorado wasn’t a very appealing option at the time (though now as I sit here and look at the pictures again, I’m tempted and could probably make some calls for more details…)
Its companion on the lawn initially had me stumped. After a little investigation I realized it was an Austin and eventually figured it was an A40. Originally I thought perhaps it was an even older Plymouth than the Scamp but obviously not (even though the design certainly could be).
Also painted in red, with a matching red interior, this little car exuded charm although it obviously needed a little more visible work than the Scamp. Those thin metal steering wheel spokes are magnificent.
Paul Niedermeyer just last month republished his post on the Austin A40 Devon, which makes for an exhaustive read on the subject which I won’t even attempt to rehash here but if you click here it will take you there.
This one did have a price laying on the front seats, CAD$1500 which I thought made it interesting, and just realized as I was writing this that with the exchange rate that would make it less than US$1200 before haggling, so realistically a thousand or less US dollars could probably easily snap this up.
Restoring a sixty-something year old English car obviously would require many multiples of that amount and I’m not that big of a fan so I’m not the one to make that investment.
Anyway, it certainly made for a nice little opportunity to stretch our legs and walk around two very interesting cars on a fine summer’s day. If interested, I’m sure both are still in the same spot they were in last week.