ATHS convention, truck show wraps up today

Updated May 30, 2020

As it has in previous years, the American Truck Historical Society is about to hold its annual convention and truck show. This year’s event is Thursday, May 20 through Saturday, May 30.

As it has never done before, ATHS convenes its convention, the truck show, a series of educational sessions, silent auction and its trade show … online.

Aths Virtual Truck ShowThe ATHS is one of several trucking industry organizations which have had their annual show, meeting or gathering sidelined by the restrictions caused by the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. However, it decided its show would still go on even if it meant relying totally on technology to make it happen.

So instead of gathering at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield for the next three days, ATHS members and fans of old iron will be able to sit in on educational presentations on Zoom and check out the trucks on display from the comfort of their homes.

According to the ATHS website, this year’s show will include 1,400 trucks spanning 125 years. Each will have a short video.

Zoom webinars on Thursday include:

  • 10 a.m. CDT: Leland Hartman, Classic Truck Modeler Magazine: Presentation on building scale models of the classic trucks. It’s a great hobby for those who love old trucks but don’t have the resources or the room for the real ones.
  • Noon CDT: Owner Operater Independent Drivers Association President Todd Spencer: The history of owner-operators and OOIDA in trucking and the role they have played.
  • 3 p.m. CDT Don Scott & Leon Schumacher, The History of Biodiesel and the Future of Trucking See the first truck to run on biodiesel in the US and the first to run on soy biodiesel in the world. Leon recounts his experiences from 30 years ago, pioneering the use of a new fuel under research and real work conditions. Hear about the history of diesel fuel and locally produced alternatives and the importance of them in the future of trucks and the trucking industry. They will also cover performance challenges and durability impacts.

On Friday, the programs include:

  • 9 a.m. CDT Line Haul: Pacific Intermountain Express Growth and Evolution (1949 – 1960), Presented by Steve Bequette & Delmar Bequette Fact-based story of a successful early truck line. PIE left behind a rich historical base and PIE veterans remain with us today. The heart of the story will detail a thwarted merger, the acquisition and merger of West Coast Fast Freight, a complete fleet change in 1954, and the community base of employees through the changes.
  • 10:30 a.m. CDT Harvester Homecoming Fort Wayne: Celebrating the “Heavy Duty Truck Capital of the World” Presented by Ryan Duvall: The history of truck making in the Indiana city, from its historic beginnings to the production of big trucks and International Scouts. Also, discussion on the end of its era in Fort Wayne and what Harvester Homecoming is doing to help restore that history.
  • Noon CDT How Do I Properly Insure My Antique Semi-Truck? Hagerty Insurance will review the benefits of collector vehicle insurance to help you determine the best coverage for your collector vehicles. As the world’s largest provider of specialty insurance to vintage vehicle enthusiasts, Hagerty will discuss what lengths they are going to support initiatives that help make sure the vehicles we love—and the lifestyles that revolve around them—not only survive, but thrive, well into the future.
  • 3 p.m. CDT, Getting the Info: American Truck Historical Society, Presented by Clayton Hoak, Craig Vogel, and Courtney Cesar: Panel discussion on the benefits of ATHS membership and what items you can find in the ATHS Library.

Saturday’s programming lineup includes:

  • 9 a.m. CDT Paintin’ Pepe, Presented by Marty Glomb Glomb talks about the adventures in refinishing his amazing 1955 Kenworth Conventional. Marty will talk about the ups and downs, what to do and not do, and most of all give everyone an insight into the rebirth of his truck.
  • Noon CDT, Evolution of the W900 Kenworth Presented by Tony Martin. Details the evolution of the Kenworth W900 from its introduction to the beginning of the W900B in 1982, chronicling the changes and available options.
  • 10:30 a.m. CDT, In the Beginning at Cummins Presented by Keith Baylor A review of Clessie Cummins’ pioneering work from single cylinders to pre-war trucks.

You need to register for each Zoom webinar in advance on the ATHS website.