Ritchie’s Yard

Article and photos by Larry Crain

When we have the opportunity, the wife and I travel to automotive events taking our time to venture down the old state highways. Even on the occasional non-auto related trips we still like to run the roads least traveled. This past summer we took an extended trip out into the regions of Colorado, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and British Columbia where we traveled quite a few back roads and side streets. My head was on a swivel with my poor wife constantly asking what kind of car or truck I just saw. And let me tell you, if we had stopped every time I saw a cool old car, truck or old salvage yard, we would still be out west!

The one spot that I did stop at for a better look was just outside of Golden, British Columbia. At the speed of 60 mph or technically 96.56 kph since we were in Canada (yes that was Googled for accuracy), I saw what looked to be a Ford GT on a 4-wheel drive chassis surrounded by a whole lot of pre-60 and even pre-40’s vehicles. All of this gearhead eye candy was parked less than 50 feet, or 15.24 meters from the highway! I just had to stop!

Luckily there was a small souvenir shop next door where I sent my wife. If I haven’t mentioned this before, my wife is NOT a shopper. Shocking I know, but to make me happy she went off willingly so I could have time to do some car investigating. Yes, I’m a lucky man!

Not one to trespass, I started looking for anyone around that could point me in the direction of the owner of these vehicles. About 5 minutes later I met Ritchie, the owner of what was just a tip of the proverbial iceberg of cars, trucks and motorcycles that he has collected.

We talked for a while, and he told me of the many buildings that he had filled with collectibles through the art of buying and trading. Yes, I was told he does sell out of his collection, but he really prefers trading to get a particular car, truck or motorcycle that he wants. When you own a large collection of knuckle head Harley’s, a Chandler or even some Model A Ford’s, you can pretty much choose who you want to deal with was his answer to me.

By the way, the Ford GT that had caught my eye was an early 80’s fiberglass replica body, but still a cool piece of yard art or project because it was for sale, or yes, trade.

By running those Back Roads & Side Streets, you never know who you will meet or what you will see. Like the factory Super Stock Mopar I saw in South Dakota on an Indian Reservation… but that’s another story.

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