Historic Route 66 Convoy on the move

By Kimberely Lennard, Land Line staff writer | 9/7/2012

The Historic Highway Convoy is underway, after the American Truck Historical Society’s opening day truck show at the Travel Centers of America in Morris, IL, on Thursday, Sept. 6. The first day’s show featured 25 trucks, and more are expected to join along the convoy route.

Last week’s pre-registration count included more than 40 trucks, some traveling from as far away as Canada. Some OOIDA members are taking part in the convoy.

Tom Mullen, ATHS corporate relations manager and OOIDA member, of Linesville, PA, is driving one of the advance trucks, a blue 1983 Peterbilt pulling one of the ATHS trailers. Mullen told Land Line a total of six trucks make up a mini-convoy of lead trucks, including a red1974 Dodge Big Horn, a 1948 Autocar and a well-known 1949 Peterbilt known as “El Turbo.”

Member Terry Klenske’s 1955 two-tone green Kenworth broke down in Fort Wayne, IN, yesterday, en route to Morris. The supercharger bearing went out. He was able to find a bearing close by, but had to travel two hours away to Indianapolis to get a seal. Klenske is from Fontana, CA, and did make it to Morris on Thursday.

The Route 66 drive is “a blast to do,” said Life Member Barry Chesler of Scottsville, NY. He’s driving “HalfPete” – a red 1983 3/4 ton Peterbilt “pickup.” He has driven part of the route in Illinois before. Chesler and his wife, Gigi, are running the entire route with the convoy.

Member Jim Skrinar from Purcell, OK, drove Route 66 about ten years ago in a car. He’s driving a red and white 1979 K100 Kenworth cabover this time, from Joplin, MO, to Amarillo, TX. He said, “I’ve got the truck. I might as well use it. I don’t work it.”

Life Member Allan Rowe is “titillated” about the ride. He is driving a 1947 aluminum Peterbilt with a 48’ trailer. The St. Augustine, FL, resident is retired from trucking and is now “messing around with old trucks.”

Member Will Good, Denver, PA, is driving a blue and white 1954 Mack in the convoy. His wife, Florence, said the ride was “definitely something he wanted to do.”

Life Member Ronald Willams Sr., of East Berlin, PA, is tooling down the “mother road” in a white 1976 A Model Kenworth with a red stripe.

After the convoy leaves Troy, IL, the next stops include 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.

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.

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