In addition to the many shows we cover, a few times a year we at 10-4 stretch our legs a bit and travel to an event or area we have never been just to check it out. This year we ventured into the heart of America – Nebraska – for the 3rd Annual Midwest Classic Truck Show. Held on July 22-23, 2022, at the Burt County Fairgrounds in Oakland, NE, we enjoyed our time in this small town, in the middle of nowhere, with a long Swedish history, that just happens to be the Swedish capital of Nebraska.
The Aron Arlington family arrived as the area’s first Euromerican settlers in 1857. Norwegian John Oak and his wife Inger came to the area in 1866 and, as other settlers arrived, the Oak family provided them shelter and assistance filing homestead claims. In 1868, John Anderson petitioned the Burt County Supervisors to honor Oak by naming the town Oakland. John Oak died in 1875, and then Oakland was officially incorporated on April 13, 1881. To this day, Oakland still has a heavy Swedish influence, especially in and around the old downtown area of the city.
This was the first time the event was held in Oakland, as the previous two years were held at Raceway Park of the Midlands in Pacific Junction, Iowa, about 30 minutes south of Omaha, NE. After outgrowing that location, show founder Brock Gadberry and his team decided to move it the Burt County Fairgrounds in Oakland, NE. This move was welcomed by show attendees, and because of that, it grew even larger this year.
We arrived in Omaha on Friday afternoon after a long day of traveling from California. After picking up our rental car and making a quick stop at Costco to get “supplies” for the week, we headed toward the show, which was about an hour north of Omaha. Arriving at the show in the late afternoon, being our first time in Nebraska, we found a nice collection of trucks we had never seen before. There were just shy of 100 trucks parked on the grass, with bobtails in one area and combos in another. As we braved the high heat and humidity, we were happy when the sun finally set and the temperature fell to a much more pleasant level (but it was still hot).
After the sun went down, the trucks began firing up their lights. It was quite the spectacle, and we are sure the glow coming from the fairgrounds could be seen from space! As the night came to a close, it ended with an amazing firework show that lasted at least ten full minutes. Seriously, this was a professional grade display that went on for a long time! It was a great way to close out the day.
A pancake breakfast was prepared and provided by EZ Pete Interiors for anyone who was hungry on Saturday morning, and then lunch, consisting of pulled pork sandwiches and all the sides, was provided by the Oakland Express Truck Stop across the street from the fairgrounds (which also just happens to be a new distribution location for 10-4 Magazine, so now you can stop there to get your free copy each month). Vendors in attendance at the truck show included EZ Pete Interiors, Primrose Lubricants, Evan’s Detailing & Polishing, BPA Auctions, SAP Brothers, Vander Haag’s Trucks & Parts, Chrome N’ Steel Truck and Trailer Repair, Haseman Engine Service, and more.
As mentioned before, Friday was hot and humid, but nothing could prepare us for the extreme heat and humidity that awaited us on Saturday. With temps in the triple digits and the level of humidity around 80-90 percent, it was downright miserable out on that grass. Thankfully, we had a covered golf cart to sit in, lots of cool rigs to look at, a stocked cooler, and the nicest people to meet and visit with. Nothing beats the Midwest for friendly people and hospitality!
Along with plenty of nice company trucks from local fleets, there were also a lot of cool 359 Petes and old A-Model KWs at this show. Many of these older trucks are still regularly used throughout the Midwest, so it is always neat to see what the locals might bring out.
Some of the other trucks that stood out for us included a brown Peterbilt 389 owned by Garrett Neville Trucking, a yellow Pete 379 flattop hooked to a matching reefer owned by Kreutner & Sons, a light silver Peterbilt 379 daycab with blue scallops that was rumored to be originally from California, and Jake Bast and his white Pete 379 standup and matching flatbed combo. There was also a customized golf cart running around that looked like Mater from the movie Cars (they called it Lil’ Mater).
My favorite truck at the show was a brown and gold, big bunk Peterbilt cabover owned by The Anthony Boys. I love cabovers, and brown is one of my favorite colors, so it was an easy choice for me! Calling this rig “The Gambler” and presenting it in honor of Albert “Babe” Anthony, this rig was turning heads and photographed by many. I think it is already a well-known truck in this region, but we had never seen it before, so it caught our attention, for sure. Anthony P&L, the company that owned this truck, also had an entire line of trucks hooked to tankers and a bunch of nice bobtails at the show, too.
The awards started at 5:00 PM and began with the announcements of all the raffle prize winners. The sweaty winners got to choose the prize they wanted from a table of donated stuff! For the trophies, there were six classes, divided between bobtails and combos, plus four “Best of” awards, a People’s and Driver’s Choice, and one specialty award – the Kroy Vandenberg Memorial Award. The Best of Show trophy went to Bryan Koliha and his teal-colored flattop Peterbilt 389 hooked to a nice hopper trailer.
In memory of a friend who lost his son this year, a special memorial award was created called the Kroy Vandenberg Memorial Award. Young Kroy had a rare disease that caused lesions on his brain and spine and took him at the age of just nine years old earlier this year. With help from a friend, Dustin Graf, show producer Brock Gadberry was able to collect $4,000 from local businesses and friends to donate to Brad and Valerie (Kroy’s parents) for their scholarship fund in Kroy’s name. The winner of this award was John Madelleno and his cool silver and black Kenworth W900 with an early style aerodyne bunk.
Once all the awards were handed out, it was time to relax and celebrate. Our hats go off to Brock Gadberry, Trevor Coufal, Tyler Van Der Zwaag, and their entire crew of about 20 or more people who worked hard to ensure this was a fantastic, laid-back event. Thanks to some great sponsors and a successful raffle, in addition to the $4,000 raised for the Vandenberg family’s scholarship fund, the show was able to raise another $11,000 that was divided up between an organization called Homes For Our Troops, which builds homes for severely injured veterans, along with a local legion and the VFW post in Oakland.
Next year they are thinking of moving the date to early August instead of late July, to accommodate some other shows happening in the nearby area. Keep an eye on their Facebook page (The Midwest Classic) and on 10-4 Magazine for future updates and announcements about the 2023 show. With great trucks, great people, and a great venue, this fun event is destined to be a Midwest Classic for years to come. And this year’s winners were:
1987 & OLDER (BOBTAIL): 1st Chad Madden; 2nd Brad Bousquet; 3rd Anthony P&L.
1988-1999 (BOBTAIL): 1st Leroy McRoberts; 2nd Clay Anding; 3rd Billy Sager.
2000-2010 (BOBTAIL): 1st Riley Leber; 2nd Leonard Zeleny; 3rd Koby Way.
2011 & NEWER (BOBTAIL): 1st Brock Belina; 2nd Ben Schultze; 3rd Mike Frazey.
COMPANY PRIDE (BOBTAIL): 1st Scott Mitchell; 2nd Aaron Puterbaugh; 3rd Anthony P&L.
FARM CLASS (BOBTAIL): 1st Thernes Trucking; 2nd Thernes Trucking; 3rd Caleb White.
1987 & OLDER (COMBO): 1st Travis Connor; 2nd John Kavanaugh; 3rd Zeleny Trucking.
1988-1999 (COMBO): 1st Jacob Denton; 2nd Mike Nelson; 3rd Hunter DelaBarre.
2000-2010 (COMBO): 1st Jake Bast; 2nd Justin Strong; 3rd Boe DelaBarre.
2011 & NEWER (COMBO): 1st Bryan Koliha; 2nd AM Transport; 3rd Matt Parr.
COMPANY PRIDE (COMBO): 1st Anthony P&L; 2nd Anthony P&L; 3rd Anthony P&L.
FARM CLASS (COMBO): 1st Brayden Darrington; 2nd Taylor Bucholz; 3rd Brett Bahr.
BEST LIGHTS: Jeremy Harmon.
BEST POLISH: Ben Schultze.
BEST INTERIOR: Boe DelaBarre.
PEOPLE’S CHOICE: Teigan Case.
DRIVER’S CHOICE: Riley Leber.
BEST OF SHOW: Bryan Koliha.