Father’s Day fun at the WDM

Brice Reynoldson and his daughter Gracie examine a 1929 streetcar in the Western Development Museum on Father’s Day, June 18, 2017. Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

Museum opens hoods of classy cars in rare chance to see the engines

Brice Reynoldson and his daughter Gracie had some spare time on Father’s Day and decided to check out the Western Development Museum (WDM).

“I hadn’t been here since I was a kid,” said Reynoldson on Sunday. “She’s never been here. It’s good.”

In addition to visiting all areas of the museum, the Reynoldsons were also able to see under the hoods of some classy cars.

“That might not sound like a big deal, but normally they are closed,” said Kathy Fitton, manager of the WDM. “People often don’t just want to look at the outside of a car. They want to see its guts, how it operates.”

As the theme of the WDM Moose Jaw is transportation, many people often see the museum as a “guy’s museum,” continued Fitton.

“We thought it’d be a great opportunity to remind people that this is a great place to come bring your dad for Father’s Day,” she said. “It’s fairly low key, but it’s a little something extra during your visit with your dad.”
Hoods of the 11 classy vehicles aren’t often open simply because of the setup of the exhibits.

“We’ve tried to keep the barriers low and by doing that, we have to keep the hoods closed because we’re not inviting people to get right into them,” said Fitton, “but this is a way for them to see.”

Some of the car engines were easier to see than others. For instance, the 1975 Bricklin SV1’s hood opens the other way than traditional hoods open.

A classy car, she said, is one that is special in some way, although they might not have been typical cars people drove at the time.

“The Bricklin is a Canadian car. It wasn’t built in Saskatchewan,” said Fitton. “The (1931) LaSalle Roadster, when you think about what was happening in ’31, you know that not many people would’ve been able to afford a car like this.”

The LaSalle Roadster is one of the museum’s fanciest cars and even has a special compartment for a golf bag.

“When you know what was happening in the ‘30s, you think, ‘Wow, this is a special car,’” said Fitton.

The exhibit also includes a 1909 White Steam Car, which is powered by steam, and the 1911 Case Touring Car, a gasoline-powered vehicle with a crank start.

“Most of us, me included, when I think of Case, I think of tractors. I think of agricultural equipment,” said Fitton. “I don’t think of cars and that’s the same company that built these cars.”