Deja vu on 'The Mother Road'

By Kimberely Lennard, Land Line staff writer | Thursday, September 06, 2012

A convoy of trucks – many straight out of yesteryear – are retracing the old Route 66 from Morris, IL, all the way to Barstow, CA. The American Truck Historical Society kicked off its inaugural Historic Highway Convoy Thursday, Sept. 6, at the Travel Centers of America in Morris. On Sept. 15, the truckers plan to join the annual Route 66 Rendezvous in San Bernardino.

Last week’s pre-registration count included more than 40 trucks, some traveling from as far away as Canada.

The event is being held in conjunction with Travel Centers of America’s 40th anniversary and features daily truck shows at TA and Petro locations at each stop. Each of these shows will begin at 11 a.m. with local ATHS members showing off their rides. Convoy trucks will then join the truck shows at 4 p.m. The shows will wrap up at 7:30 p.m. each day.

After the convoy leaves Morris, IL, the next stops will be Troy, IL, on Sept. 7; Joplin, MO, on Sept. 8; Oklahoma City, OK, on Sept. 9; Amarillo, TX, on Sept. 10; Albuquerque, NM, on Sept. 11; Gallup, NM, on Sept. 12; Kingman, AZ, on Sept. 13; Barstow, CA, on Sept. 14; and San Bernardino, CA, on Sept. 15.

In a radio interview on Sirius XM’s Road Dog Channel, Bill Johnson, executive director of the ATHS, told “Land Line Now” it was a great way for travelers to see “some old iron.”

“There will be a couple of combination rigs, trucks and trailers, and there are going to be some pickups going along, and some bobtail trucks.”

Johnson said the convoy includes a museum trailer with old memorabilia and a display trailer, which will be showing some old videos.

Although the convoy is basically traveling the old Route 66 roads, newer highways are an option for drivers as well. It’s all up to the participant, according to Johnson.

Johnson says truckers can join up at any point along the way.

“Everyone will be traveling at their own pace,” said Johnson, “so if you’re hoping to catch a big convoy of old trucks, your best bet is to be on the lookout when the trucks are leaving the previous day’s show location each morning around 8 a.m.”

Mark Reddig, “Land Line Now” host, contributed to this article.

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