One Man's Dream: Birth of the Smithson International Truck Museum

Creator(s): Smithson International Truck Museum

Ken Smithson's Truck Restorations

In 1980 Ken Smithson bought back two rundown International 1956 gravel trucks that he had owned years earlier. As a truck driver, he had once relied on them for his livelihood. But this time, he set his sights on restoring the hardy vehicles to mint condition and he did so with a meticulous eye for detail. He followed up that project in 1982 with the purchase of another old friend, a 1951 L Series International half-ton. He spent the next eight years in a labour of love, searching out and refurbishing as many International half-tons as he could. As he worked, he enjoyed the camaraderie of a close-knit group of men, who toiled alongside him, bringing their significant trade skills to the job at hand.

In the end, he completed 19, all now housed in a collection at the Smithson International Truck Museum in Rimbey, Alberta, Canada. His enthusiasm and dedication were anything but ordinary and he excelled at the restorations he found so exhilarating. This Community Memories exhibit celebrates the man and his remarkable work.

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