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Historic Truck With Valley Roots


People with roots in the Swan River Valley can be found across the country and the globe, and apparently, even historic objects two provinces west can carry evidence of a direct Swan River link.
Last year, Clayton Gessner from Lloydminster, Alta., purchased a 1947 Studebaker M5 pickup truck off a farm in Nipawin, Sask..
His fondness for vintage vehicles made the rare find catch his eye. He bought it “American Picker-style” as part of a semi-load of other items from the farmer.
Upon closer inspection, a clue to its origin was discovered. A sticker located on the front, driver’s side of the box says ‘SWAN RIVER’.
“I don’t like to assume, but I’m thinking it’s from Swan River (originally),” said Gessner. “I’m wondering if anyone there can tell me any history on this truck.”
Insight into the vehicle’s past could allow him to explain it at any car shows that it might be entered in. As of right now, Gessner has been able to tie it back two owners ago, a fellow named Wayne Kroetsch who likely owned it for 10 years or more and purchased it privately in the Swan River area more than 20 years prior.
Gessner has big plans for the Studebaker.
“I currently have the body mounted on a shortened and modified 2002 V8 Dodge Dakota chassis, and I’m using a 2012 Dodge Laramie donor truck for the rest,” he said. “This Studebaker will have a 5.7 litre Hemi (engine), six-speed automatic transmission, navigations, Bluetooth, remote start, air, cruise, tilt, and more. Everything the 2012 had. I’m hoping to have it ready for summer of 2018.”
If anyone has any information as to the mystery origins of the post-war pickup, Gessner can be contacted at 780·205·1599. He is also looking for compatible parts, particularly a hood ornament and a headlight.

Jeremy Bergen