Curbside Auction: Fort Nelson Museum Founder Auction – Too Far Away to Buy

Last summer I was lucky enough to be able to visit the Fort Nelson Heritage Museum during our road trip “up north”. The founder, Marl Brown, collected many of the interesting items and vehicles before founding the museum. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2021 and so I was surprised to come across an estate auction selling off several of the vehicles from his collection, many of which were in the museum. Given it is a twenty hour drive each way for me to get there I am unlikely to be buyer but I thought I would share a few of the more interesting auctions.

One of the highlights is this 1951 Ford Prefect which I remarked in my museum write up that it was in very nice condition but not really in keeping with the theme of the museum. Perhaps this why it is up for auction? Unfortunately, the photos are not fantastic but it does look like a solid car. I would be interested in bidding if this was located a little closer.

The interior appears to be in excellent shape. These banjo style steering wheels are among my favourite. This generation of Prefects were powered by a small flat head four cylinder and this would be great family tourer on slower back roads.

One of the other good condition cars on offer is this 1954 Packard sedan. I find these big luxury sedans go for surprising low money compared to more modest Chevrolets and Fords models of the same era. These days they seem to appeal to an older demographic, some of which are exiting the hobby.

The interior is possibly a little tatty under that blanket given the look of the door cards. The dashboard is still beautiful however.

This Canadian market Mercury truck was labelled as a 1947 when I went through the museum but now identified as 1946 model here. I do like the orange color.

The interior looks very usable but I suspect that diamond pattern fabric is not original.

This Morris Minor is older than I initially thought at first glance as it is a 1950 model making it an early MM model. Being an export car it does not have the headlights inset into the grill but does have the flat head, side valve four cylinder engine from the old Morris Eight which is harder to source parts for and very slow. The 0-60 time was an amazing 52.5 seconds when new. It does appear to be in decent condition.

The interior is definitely more vintage than the later Minors.

I have always wanted a Model T and I bet this would be an affordable way to get into one. That said being a museum vehicle I suspect it would need some TLC to get back on the road but Model Ts seem to be able to revived after long periods of sitting due to their very mechanical nature. The auction does not really give any indication of running condition unfortunately.

The auction identifies this as a 1923. Those rear fenders appear to be made from wood.

A little more modern is the 1930 Ford AA truck. I would be really tempted to bid on this one except I would need a very long trailer to haul it home. The fuel cost alone would massive.

On the other end of scale is this tiny 1952 Thames E83W pickup truck in NWHS (Northwest Highway System) attire. It looked to be in decent but dusty shape. I bet parts are a challenge to obtain however. I recall this one being hard to photograph in the museum and the photos presented here are rather lousy as well so it might go cheap. Certainly easier to haul home.

The interior looks reasonable except for the seat which appears to be something stolen from someone’s kitchen. It is still better then passenger accommodation!

I suspect quite a few vehicles will go well below market value due to the remote location (to large population centers) as well as the hassle of transporting the big and heavy ones like this Chevrolet bus.

A lot of the vehicles are definitely projects. This 1940 Dodge Cab Over Engine truck is amazing but, again, transport home would be an expensive and challenging undertaking. It would be amazing either restored or resto-modded.

A Canadian market 1956 Monarch in an attractive two tone appears to be a solid restoration candidate with all the unique trim seemly present.

Another Canadian market offering is this 1954 Fargo “Pilot House” truck.

There is an interesting service body on the back, possibly road construction related given the Alaska Highway theme of the museum.

Here is a very ambitious project car but a rare one in a DWK Junior. The all important front windshield appears to be crack free.

The rear side looks to be in a little better shape. The tail lights are even intact. The lack of interior shots is probably a bad sign. This is not for me. As I am trying to buy better quality projects but if this was local I would have a hard time not throwing in a low ball bid.

There are a pair of Hillman Minx cars with this 1949 being the better of the two.

The interior appears to be in quite usable, original shape. A banjo wheel, column shift and lots of Bakelite. Fantastic. I suspect this is a better car than the photos indicate and might be a steal of a deal if one just wanted a slightly shabby but solid old car.

The other one is a later car in need of more love. Again, an intact windshield means it is probably a decent project but sadly there is not much financial upside when restoring one of these.

These Internationals have such a great look to them. This one is a 1937.

These early Willys are rather appealing to me but the transportation costs mean a closer location example could likely sourced cheaper in the end. Plus, I just said I am trying to buy better quality projects going forward.

Speaking of Willys here is a 1920 vintage car which looks decent from the poor quality photos.

This 1960 Mercury M100 is a rare sight these days. This one is described as having a seized six cylinder engine. The lack of a windshield means the interior is likely open to the elements.

A large 1946 International truck.

Hopefully the scrap metal folks do not snag up all the big and rough stuff like this Chevrolet Viking school bus.

There are plenty of parts to be had as well.

I hope by writing about this auction I can resist bidding on any of these items. To be clear I have no association with auction, estate or museum but quite a lot of these vehicles fit into my sweet spot of unique, rough, and (potentially) cheap. Feel free to check out the auction yourself here – And please feel free to outbid me as really do not need another project car. If you do my wife thanks you in advance.