Truck convoy raises awareness of historic Route 66

 California, Route 66 States  Comments Off on Truck convoy raises awareness of historic Route 66
Sep 162012

SAN BERNARDINO — Route 66 is more than just classic cars and motorcycles.

For decades, the historic highway served as an integral part of the nation’s transportation system.

And in an effort to raise that awareness, the Historical Society of Trucks sponsored a 40-truck convoy that traveled from Illinois along the old Route 66 Highway to the Rendezvous.

On Saturday, the society completed its inaugural Historic Highway Convey by joining the third day festivities of the 23rd Annual Stater Brothers Route 66 Rendezvous in downtown San Bernardino.
“We picked this destination because the event memorialized our Historic Route 66,” said Bill Johnson, executive director of the society.

The national organization, which aims to preserve the history of trucks as well as the trucking industry, began its trek in Illinois on Sept. 6 and drove more than 3,000 miles.

It began with 30 classic trucks in Morris, Illinois, and on Saturday morning they made their final stop of the tour, picking up 10 more vehicles in Barstow.

By 9:30 a.m., the convoy, which stretched about half a mile, were traveling down Old Cajon Boulevard, the original Route 66.

Ken Lund, of San Bernardino, worked with the society’s organizers to bring others from the local chapter to join the final leg of the jaunt.

Lund drove his 1953 GMC half-ton pickup truck but said the local chapter has models dating to 1916 as well as more modern models. A bulk of the trucks come from the 1940s, 50s and 60s.

“It was interesting to see how far away some of these trucks came from,” he said about Saturday’s ride.

Lund was joined by Richard McNamara, 62, who rode into the festivities in his 1946 Mack tow truck.

“It was a lot of fun,” the Riverside resident said about the short road trip.

McNamara’s truck, of the faded orange paint coat is covered in rust, was once used by the American Automobile Club of Southern California. A faded image of the logo is still visible on the side of the truck.

It was used by Highland based company called Bell’s Garage and Tow Service. But for years, it sat in someone’s yard unused. In fact, it hadn’t been registered since the 1970s, he said.

“I just fell in love with it. It had my name on it – Mark,” he said. “These are rare to find on the West Coast, the models were made in New York”, McNamara said.

John Vannatta, current president of the society was among those who road the whole portion of the trip.

“It was it was great everybody has a bucket list, its something you always wanted to do,” he said.

Along the way, the convoy made nine stops different stops at local Travel Centers of America. It was then the public could meet the drivers, or for members to come out and support. The largest turnout was at the Albuquerque, New Mexico stop.

There were even portions of the cross country trip that the convoy was joined by other truck enthusiasts, he said.

Vannatta said it was a big commitment to drive across the country. He commended those who took part in the trip adding that they probably spent around $1,500 on fuel.

Aside from being able to commit about two weeks, most of truckers spent between $7,000 and $8,000 on the excursion.

“The idea of doing it was fun,” Vannatta says. “A lot of people always want to do this, here (was my) chance.”

Liset Marquez – The Sun

Historic Trucks on Route 66

 Daily, Route 66 States  Comments Off on Historic Trucks on Route 66
Sep 082012

This is a first in a series of guest bloggers to Route 66 World. Eve is a fantastic writer and this is now her FIRST post to the site. She will be providing more in the near future…

It takes vehicles of all sizes and types to enjoy the pleasure of driving Route 66. Started on September 6 in Morris, Illinois, the 2012 Historic Highway Convoy along Route 66 released the brakes and headed on down the road. As the convoy goes, it will stop off at special vintage truck events along the route. This is a great opportunity of trucks, truck enthusiasts and gas & gear heads to get to see trucks time almost forgot. Many of these are lovingly preserved even when parts become hard to get and expenses rise. For many, there is nothing like looking after a vintage truck and showing it off to anyone interested.

ATHS Turns 40

The truck convoy and show is being conducted in part to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the American Truck Historical Society. Wanting a convoy and a set of shows it made sense for the ATHS to use the Mother Road, Route 66. The convoy, like the ATHS’ members and subscribers, come from all walks of life. Many of them have not done Route 66 before or have not been part of such a convoy. According to the Morris Daily Herald the convoy will include at least 50 drivers starting in Morris IL. More are expected to join as they roll through each of the eight states the route goes through.

The Stops

All told, the ATHS convoy will make nine stops in seven states. There will also be a rendzevous at San Bernardino on Sept 15th.

They will be as follows:

6/6/2012TA Morris, 1-80 & Rt 47, Exit 112B, 21 Rominoes, Morris, IL 60450 Phone: 815-942-5690

6/7/2012 TA Troy, I-55/I-70 at State Rt 162, Exit 18 Troy, IL 62294 Phone: 618-667-9931

9/9/2012 Petro Joplin, I-44 & Hwy 43, Exit 4, 4240 Highway 43, Joplin, MO 64803 Phone: 417-624-3400

9/9/2012 Petro Oklahoma City, I-40/I-35 at Martin Luther King Blvd, 20 Martin Luther King Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73117 Phone: 405-228-7040

9/10/2012 TA Amarillo, I-40 & Whitaker, Exit 74, 7000 I-40E & Whitaker Rd, Amarillo, TX 79118 Phone: 806-342-3080

9/11/2012 TA Albuquerque, I-25N, Exit 225; I-25S, Exit 227; I-40E, Exit 159A; I-40W, Exit 159B, 2501 University Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87107 Phone: 505-884-1066

9/12/2012 TA Gallup, I-40 & Hwy 66, Exit 16, 3404 W Highway 66, Gallup, NM 87301-6841 Phone: 505-863-6801

9/13/2012 TA Kingman, I-40, Exit 48, 946 W Beale St, Kingman, AZ 86401 Phone: 928-753-7600

9/14/2012 TA Barstow, I-15 & Lenwood Rd, Exit 69. 2930 Lenwood Rd, Barstow, CA 92311 Phone: 760-253-2922

9/15/2012 Route 66 Rendezvous, San Bernardino, CA.

The Program

This is a combined event, so it matches individual truck events with stop offs by the convoy themselves. Each event will take place at Travel Centers of America (TA) stops along the route. Each event will take place between 11am and 7:30pm. The arrival of the convoy on each day may vary depending on traffic and weather, but will hopefully arrive by 4pm, allowing for an expanded show towards the end of each day. Any driver who completes the entire route in their historical truck will receive a keepsake for the event from the ATHS.

Respect needs to be given to each driver. They have shelled out $100 each to take part in this show. Not only that, they have worked with the ATHS to get maps, notes, guides and to work out their own fuel and accommodation. These folks are doing it for the love of trucking. No doubt many of them needed car loans to keep their love affair with historical trucks going. Getting car credit for these kinds of journeys is not always easy, but it pays for them to get good car finance. It can be a tough road as it cuts through the storm belt, the freezing winters of Illinois, Tornado Alley, the deserts of New Mexico, Arizona and California. Pretty unforgiving territory for any tucker to work though.

Good For Route 66

The convoy is another reason why Route 66 is such a great road. If things like this keep getting organized this road will never die. It will live long and prosper in the imaginations of Americans and people the world over. The event will go on to the 14th for non-convoy truckers, so it’s well worth going to visit any stop on the route you can get to.

Article by Evelyn Robinson