Bob East secures the 1937 ‘White’ truck—bought by the R.B. McLean Lumber Co. for log-hauling—on a truck deck for transportation. DAVID HOOPER PHOTO

Industrial Heritage Society takes vintage trucks to show in Reno, Nevada

Alberni Valley truckers to promote area’s resource-based heritage

Three members of the Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society will take two heritage logging trucks to an international truck show in Reno, Nevada this month.

Cliff West, Bob East and Russ McCoy will be bringing two trucks from the IHS/ city’s collection plus two model trucks to the American Truck Historical Society’s annual show May 30–June 2. Kingsley Trucking has loaned them a 2000 Volvo semi-truck and deck to haul the show trucks.

“The last show we went to, they had just over 900 trucks,” West said. Organizers anticipate 10,000 spectators. The show moves to different regions in the United States, and every three years it is held somewhere on the west side of the country.

West, East and McCoy will be bringing a 1927 Federal tow truck and a 1937 White flat deck log hauler, painted in an R.B. McLean red paint scheme. One of the models is a Challenger logging truck and the other is a Butler logging truck. One of them has a diesel engine and steering wheel on top and is designed to be ridden. ATHS organizers spotted it in a parade in Duncan last year and asked the IHS to bring it to the international show, West said.

The American Truck Historical Society show has been held every year since 1972. Port Alberni representatives have taken vintage trucks four times to the show, the last trip being three years ago to Salem, OR.

That year, East and West met a group of 33 Dutchmen who had flown to the truck show from Holland. They ended up diverting their North American trip to spend three days in Port Alberni. “Their big interest was Hayes trucks because they’re made in Vancouver. We have quite a few” in the Alberni Valley, between public and private collections, East said.

The IHS sends trucks and representatives to this show in order to promote the Alberni Valley as a whole, as well as their museum. They go armed with tourism brochures and accommodation information, spending their weekend promoting things to do in the Alberni Valley.

Logging equipment and trucks are popular, and there are people who travel from all over North America to attend this show, they said.

“These people don’t think anything of travelling from one end of the States to the other. For them it’s a hobby,” West said. “The intent is to try and get them up here.”

The IHS hopes to raise $7,000 to help recover the cost to bring the trucks and three members to the Reno show. They are about halfway there. Anyone wishing for more information or to make a donation may e-mail ihsportalberni@gmail.com.

East, West and McCoy aren’t the only truck enthusiasts from the Alberni Valley or Vancouver Island who will head to Reno next week. There are others who will be bringing their personal vintage trucks to the show as well, West said. For more information on the truck show, go online to www.aths.org.

The IHS building (5025 Dunbar St.) is open Tuesday evenings and Saturdays, or anytime the “Open” sign is on for drop-in visitors. They have already had people visiting from out of province and other countries.

Volunteers will open the truck shed behind the Port Alberni Train Station during the cruise ship festival on Saturday, May 25, which takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. around Harbour Quay.

The IHS’s annual antique truck show will take place Aug. 31–Sept. 1 at their Dunbar Street facility.

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