History on Wheels
Photo supplied by Glenn Cook
Two wheels, four wheels, half-track, on-road, off-road: Reg Hodgson’s collection of vintage military vehicles has a little bit of everything.
“As a kid, I always wanted a Jeep,” says Hodgson from his home in St. Albert. “So, that was the first vehicle I acquired. I didn’t know where I was going with it. I didn’t know anything about it. I got a hold of any reference material I could find.”
That single Jeep grew into a collection that now includes around 15 vehicles – including motorcycles, Jeeps and half-tracks – all restored on weekends and evenings. Hodgson’s pride and joy? A 6×6 two-and-a-half ton truck he drove to Alaska. It took 21 days to make the return trip to Fairbanks in 1992, the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Alaska Highway.
A former post-secondary administrator at NAIT, Hodgson retired as the dean of student services. Now he spends 20 hours per week working on his vehicles in a St. Albert warehouse.
“I’ve really enjoyed when veterans come by to see this stuff. Some of the vehicles are marked in different Canadian regiments, like they were when they were in use. Canadians don’t seem to have an understanding and a comprehension of what our people did before in the armed forces.”
Hodgson spent time in the Canadian Forces Reserves in the 1960s, ’70s and early ’80s, but his interest in military vehicles started at a younger age. He became hooked reading military histories and biographies of Allied leaders in the Second World War.