Bigger & Better In Ohio

By Frank Strohmyer

Every year, when the month of June comes around, there is an antique truck show held in Ashland, Ohio, that just keeps getting bigger and better. This year’s 6th annual Ohio Vintage Truck Jamboree was held on June 17-19, 2017 at the Ashland County Fairgrounds. I missed the first show and last year’s show, but I have attended all the others, and I always dig this laid-back display of mostly old iron. More trucks are coming as the show gets more attention, but its major obstacle is the classic truck show held in Macungie, PA around that same weekend each year, which draws in a lot of vintage rigs, as well.

This year, the show set a record, with 316 registered trucks. With sunny skies, just a few clouds later in the day, and warm but comfortable temperatures in the upper 80s, the day was darn-near perfect for a show. A lot of activities were planned during the event, including an interesting slow drag race and a Jake Brake contest, along with a swap meet, memorabilia displays, raffle drawings, and a “Country Convoy” on Saturday night. After working all night moving freight, I made it to the event just in time for a big slice of pizza, and then washed it down with a glass of freshly-shaken lemonade. Then, to cool down some more, I had some good old-fashioned ice cream, which really hit the spot.

The slow drag race was won by Earl Feller with his 1947 International KB-11. Watching these old rigs crawl along at a snail’s pace was fun, seeing who can “creep” the slowest! Saturday night was the “Country Convoy” – a drive from the Ashland County Fairgrounds to the town of Bellville, Ohio. Once there, everyone enjoyed a great dinner at Der Dutchman Amish Kitchen Cooking. Der Dutchman is a family-style American buffet, and it was really good.

The Jake Brake contest, which was held on Sunday, ended up being a tie between Ed Wilson’s 1979 Transtar and Marc Maglietta’s 1981 KW K100 daycab. Big Horn Acres had a building devoted to nothing but tables filled with dioramas of small trucks, while another building had a bunch of memorabilia, such as old truck magazines, brochures, patches of trucking companies from the past, model truck displays and more.

During the show hours, a lot of old trucking music was played. Old songs like Convoy, Smokey and the Bandit, the theme songs from shows like B.J. and the Bear, Movin’ On and more, could be heard throughout the event, along with countless other trucking classics.

This year’s show had trucks from six states and over 1,500 spectators, and raised over $6,000 dollars in support of the Ashland Food Bank. It is good to see the American Truck Historical Society (ATHS), along with the Black Swamp Truck Club, Buckeye Vintage Haulers Truck Club and the Northeast Ohio Truck Club all work together to make this show what it is. Chris Budke, who posts a lot on Facebook, also did a lot of promoting for the show.

There were a lot of interesting trucks at this event – real trucks, made of metal, not plastic, with sharp edges, and no worry about aerodynamics. Some of the standout rigs included Kevin Jones’ 1959 orange Kenworth bullnose; Russell Stauffer’s 1966 two-tone green KW K100, with a vintage Hissong Kenworth dealership tag; a 379 Peterbilt tri-axle owned by our friends at R.D. Excavating and Trucking; and a Kenworth W900 cut down to fit on a Chevy three-quarter-ton pickup chassis. One of the coolest things to see, for me, was a bunch of WT9000 Fords rolling into the show together as a group. These days, I think I enjoy the older iron even more than the newer, stretched-out, lowered, dipped in chrome show trucks of today.

If you like old rigs, make plans to attend the Ohio Vintage Truck Jamboree next year. For dates and more details, keep an eye on their Facebook page. With a nice balance of old heavy-duty rigs and pickup trucks, you will not be disappointed, as this event just continues to get bigger and better every year.

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