Passionate about antique autos

From our April 2014 issue

By Art ChamberlandPincher Creek, Alta.

I was born in 1926 to Marian and George Chamberland, and raised by Mr. and Mrs. Art Leduc.

My mother passed away when I was 2-1⁄2 years old, after the birth of her seventh child. Because my father was hurt in a bush accident, eventually losing his leg, we children were given out to families who would take us – mostly childless parents.

I worked as a mechanic at 15 in Zenon Park, Sask., which was named after my Uncle Zenon. In the winters I worked in the bush. When I was 17, I worked in Reindeer Lake driving dogsleds.

 

Art restored this 1929 DeSoto (top) and gave it to his daughter.

 

Art seated in his restored 1955 Packard that was sold to a Texan.

After working as a mechanic in different parts of Saskatchewan – Meadow Lake, Lashburn, Esterhazy, Melfort – I moved to Lethbridge in 1956 with my wife and two children, Charlotte and Dale, looking for a warmer climate and eventually working many years for the fire department. My son, Bradley, was born in 1961.

I moved to Nanoose Bay, B.C., upon my early retirement in 1985 because of a back operation and eventually six hip replacements. There, I built a log house while in a body cast.

Through the years I have rebuilt five cars: a GMC 1929 Market (Baby Buick); a Reo Oldsmobile (Flying Cloud); a 1928 DeSoto convertible; the 1968 Chrysler Deluxe Roadster Convertible; and a 1955 Packard 2-door hardtop, which was bought by a newsman in Dallas, Texas.

The Flying Cloud went to my nephew in Devon, Alta., the DeSoto to my daughter, and the other two, to people on the Island. While on Nanoose Bay, I got a large boat and enjoyed many years on the ocean.

With my daughter urging me to be closer to her, I moved back to Pincher Creek – where I had fond memories spent hunting and fishing.