Sunday, September 9, 2012

2012 Midwest All-Truck Nationals is the place where truck owners come together

If you own a Camaro, Corvette, Mustang, Thunderbird, or Chevelle, there is a big, model-specific car show in Kansas City just for you. Now, I don’t own a Camaro, Corvette, Mustang, Thunderbird, or Chevelle. I have an old truck. Not even a pretty old truck. So the chances of me hitting a show that I would fit in at are few-and-far between.

Or are they? Enter the Midwest All-Truck Nationals, presented by the Genuine Chevy/GMC Truck Club of Kansas City. Now this is the event for me. Hundreds of trucks of all shapes, sizes, and even conditions, make an annual appearance at the E.H. Young Park for good times, a little bench-racing (well, the truck equivalent of bench-racing), and a huge number of awards.

One of the highlights of the event, at least for me, is meeting up with members of the Stovebolt forum ( Website owners John and Peggy Milliman bring an army of old truck disciples from all over the country, and they always have a great time. I definitely don’t know as much about trucks as these people do, but many of them still use their rigs to actually do work, so they don’t seem to mind my crusty ride. They’re definitely a fun bunch, and have dinners, tours, and pool parties throughout the week.

There are also members from, van clubs, mini truck folks, 4X4 gurus, rat rod owners, and people that lavish enormous attention to later-model trucks. There are even several heavy-duty trucks that show up at this event from the American Truck Historical Society. Wherever your taste in trucks falls, you’ll satisfy your cravings here. This silver '67 stepside, by the way, took home "Best of Show."

My favorite truck of the weekend? This little blue ’71 Chevy short bed, owned by Joe Ranallo from Independence, Mo. It was so pristine that it looked restored, but I could tell immediately that it wasn’t. No restoration can capture the aura that an original truck provides. As it turned out, this truck only has about 2,000 miles. Let me spell that out: two-thousand miles. And it looked it. Even with that inline six under the hood, no heater or radio, and few creature comforts, this thing was perfect as is. What a truck.

Among the heavy trucks, I was really drawn to this smooth-as-glass black GMC. It was hooked up to its own flatbed trailer, and then the whole rig was loaded on to another late-model Alderson Excavating flatbed trailer. I’m actually not sure even what year this was, but I’m guessing it’s about a 1950 model. My homeowner’s association would kick us out if I bought something this big and parked it in my driveway, but I think they’re fascinating to look at all the same.

And speaking of big, check out this old International school bus that was converted into a monster truck. It was hard to ignore for several reasons. First of all, just look at it—it’s a monster truck school bus. Plus, every once in a while the owner would start it up and burp out black smoke from its un-muffled turbo diesel. Then he’d shut it off and give a blast on the train horn. The kids loved it.

The award for “Best Jeep” went to this Forward Control FC-150 4X4. Jeep built these flat-nosed, Brooks Stevens-designed trucks in one form or another from 1956 to 1964. Of course, you rarely see them, but when you do, they have sort of a cute industrial look to them. I know this truck drew a lot of attention all weekend.

As always, I had a fun weekend at the Midwest All-Truck Nationals. I even took home a couple of awards. One was a third-in-class with my truck, which was pretty cool. And I even did better in the model contest, where my 1/25th-scale HMC truck took second in the commercial class to a very well-detailed fuel truck. I doubt when my truck was bouncing around in a Nebraska corn field that the owners ever thought it would win a trophy in a show.

Want pictures? There are 503 of them in the slideshow below. Or click this link for a better version of the slideshow.


  1. Craig,
    This show is always a good one and this year was no exception. The Chevy GMC Truck Club of Kansas City does an excellent job of providing entertainment and making it enjoyable for all truck lovers. This club does a lot for the Kansas City area and the preservation of old trucks. That '67 chevy stepside was really a nice ride, truly the "best of show".

  2. I can't argue with that--the Genuine Chevy/GMC Truck Club of Kansas City really does a great job with this!

  3. Thanks for the kind words about my blue 71 shortbed truck. Some people find it hard to believe its really only got 2k miles on it. Its quite the time capsule.

  4. nice photo of the FC150 but sorry to say it did not win the "Best Jeep" award , the silver `61 willys pickup did .it was the first all truck show that i have been to and it was astounding.the hook & ladder,diamond t,and the big rigs were great .they resemble pieces of history.

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