Jim Semon of Westlake, Ohio became interested in GMCs by the 1946-1948 GMC cabovers that passed his grandparents’ fruit farm on Route 163 in Danbury, Ohio when he was a kid. Those light blue GMCs were owned by Fitterling Cartage and Jim loved to watch them roar down the highway with freight for Lakeside and Marblehead, Ohio. In September 1994 an ad for a 1959 GMC DF-860 “Cannonball” tractor located in Tucson, Arizona, caught Jim’s eye, so he spoke with the owner and learned that he had used the GMC in his mobile home business. He also learned that the GMC was originally purchased and used by an amusement company in California for more than 30 years and was still in very good shape. After agreeing to the seller’s price, Jim had the tractor shipped to his home in Ohio. The GMC is basically unrestored, although Jim did replace the mobile home lettering with his “S&S” logo, which was created for his grandsons, Jimmy Semon and Holden Stacy. In addition, he replaced the tires, made windows for the doors, added West Coast mirrors, serviced the 6-71 Detroit Diesel engine, and had the original aluminum wheels polished. The twin Riker mufflers are still in use but with new, taller stacks. Jim and his wife Bonnie like taking their GMC to shows, and everyone seems to enjoy seeing and hearing their Cannonball in the Northern Ohio area. By the way, Bonnie is co-owner, and she is adamant about keeping the old GMC in their family forever!
John & Shirley Sponholtz have been involved with old trucks for over 20 years. Shirley was editor at Wheels of Time for 12 years before going out on her own and starting Old Time Trucks magazine in 2004. John is an avid photographer who enjoys taking pictures of odd and/or rare trucks (he provides most of the pictures for this article and their magazine). John & Shirley, who are from Richmond, Indiana, have been regular contributors to 10-4 Magazine since 2006.