Picture-Perfect

By Frank Strohmyer

It’s that time of the year again – time for the 7th Annual Ohio Vintage Truck Jamboree. Held at the Ashland County Fairgrounds in Ashland, Ohio, as it always is, on the third weekend of the month (this year it was June 16-17), and this year had, like most, great weather. With temps in the mid-80s it was a little warm, but the sun was shining, and it felt great outside. And with plenty of vendors, fair-style food and hundreds of amazing trucks, it was a picture-perfect weekend. And, best of all, the show is a charity event, which makes everything feel just a little bit better.

Price of admission to the show is voluntary, and they accept money and/or canned food. In fact, a van full of food was collected during the event and later donated to the Ashland County Food Bank, along with a nice check for about $6,000. With just over 300 vehicles in attendance, counting about 40-50 cool pickups, there were a ton of neat rigs to check out (and photograph), along with almost 200 vendors. Activities were planned throughout the event, including a “Country Convoy” where a bunch of trucks (65 of them this year, along with 107 individuals) get together and form a convoy and drive about 25 miles to Der Dutchman, an Amish-style restaurant, and believe me, the food (and company) is well-worth the drive.

Other activities happening over the two-day event included a Swap Meet, a Slow Drag Race (how slow can you go?), which was won again by Earl Feller and his 1947 International KB-11, which he really enjoys driving… slow. There were also hourly door prizes, a daily raffle, and a plastic model truck contest, which was new this year, and won by Donnie Uphaus with his 1/16-scale needlenose Peterbilt. There was also a truck light display and a Jake Brake competition, which is to see who has the loudest Jake Brake. This year, it was won by Ed Wilson of Springfield, Ohio, with his cool two-tone brown 1979 International 4070B Transtar Eagle.

In addition to Ed Wilson’s sweet Transtar (there were a bunch of cool Transtars), some of the other vehicles that caught my attention was Reiselt’s Machine Works of Radnor, Ohio, with their 1958 IH R-190 mounted on a 1990 Ford F700 chassis with a 5.9 Cummins and an Allison automatic. This ex-fire truck, with a patina finish that has been clear-coated over, also has 5-inch dual stacks from Chrome Depot (one of the sponsors of the show). Donnie Uphaus of Michigan brought down a dark green Peterbilt 346 cab and chassis on a trailer. Powered by a Detroit 6-71 with a 10-speed and a 3-speed auxiliary, which doubles as a transfer case for the 6 x 8 application, this unit was originally built to be a mixer, as “MIXER” is stamped into the serial number of the truck. Titled as a 1974 but built in April of 1973, Peterbilt only built ten of these trucks, and there might be only four or five of them still in existence today.

As I’m walking around, I came upon a blue Freightliner FLC with a Double Eagle sleeper and thought, I’d better take a picture of that one. Later, I found out this particular truck, which is about 90% original, is a local Ohio truck that has appeared on the cover of American Trucker Magazine, was featured in one of Bette Garber’s truck picture books, and also used in a Double Eagle brochure. I was glad to see that it was still around and working, as the current owner still takes loads to Florida and back a few times a month with it.

Another slick truck was a Peterbilt 362 COE double bunk that was ordered from the factory as a three-door crew cab. Ordered by Dowell, which merged years later with Schlumberger, the truck was mainly used in the oil industry. Unfortunately, I was unable to get a good picture of this one, so you will just have to use your imagination.

Ohio native Lauren Dorenkott, who has since moved to Los Angeles, came from California to visit her parents and brought them to this year’s show. They seem to think she’s nuts, but she just has a passion for cool old trucks, in an industry and culture dominated much by men. I met Lauren at the Truckin’ For Kids Show & Drags last year out in California, so it was great to see her again in Ohio. Keep proving that women can have that passion for old trucks, Lauren, and keep working on that cool 359 Peterbilt of yours, too!

It’s good to see all four of the ATHS chapters in Ohio (Black Swamp, Buckeye Vintage Haulers, Northeast Ohio and Greater Cincinnati) all work together to make this show so great. There is always plenty to see – and eat! Lots of stuff going on all weekend, along with a lot of trucking information and history. And with on-site camping available, it’s a great event for the entire family.

Mark your calendar for next year’s show – the third weekend in June 2019. You won’t be disappointed, especially if the weather is good, because these trucks are always picture-perfect! Thanks to Chris Budke for giving me some of the details I missed for this report.

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