Antique truck group driving Route 66 from Chicago to San Bernardino for Rendezvous

Prior convoy: 1967 Kenworth with 1950 Chevrolet, 1964 International, and 1953 GMC on trailer.

MON, 10 SEP 2012 16:47:12 PDT

There’s a convoy of antique trucks rolling along Route 66 from Illinois to San Bernardino.

The American Truck Historical Society convoy of 35-to-40 vintage trucks is rumbling out to rendezvous in San Bernardino just in time for the city’s Ode to the Mother Road.

Estimated time of arrival is 10:30 Saturday morning.

The Stater Bros. Route 66 Rendezvous, which begins Thursday, when 1,700 vehicles from 1900 to 1975, including classics, hot rods, customs, muscle cars and the antique trucks arrive from all over the country to participate.

The 23rd annual Rendezvous will transform 35 downtown city blocks with four fun days of classic cars, cruising, contests, chow and rock ‘n’ roll.

“This is the first time we’ve ever tried this (convoy) and so far, it’s been well-received in all the cities we’ve been to,” said Bill Johnson, leader of the convoy.

Johnson, 56, who is driving the office/headquarters tractor-trailer, said he is just keeping everyone headed in the right direction.

The antique truck convoy includes a 1938 Kenworth and a 1946 White Truck, as well as a truck hauling a museum trailer.

The convoy also marks the 40th anniversary of Travel Centers of America truck stops, where the convoy will stop each night.

“I drove Route 66 a year-and-a-half ago because of some of the old road’s twists and turns,” said Johnson from their stop in Troy, Ill.

After Troy, are stops in Joplin, Mo.; Oklahoma City; Amarillo, Texas; Albuquerque, N.M.; Gallup, N.M.; Kingman, Ariz.; Barstow and San Bernardino.

Ken Lund, event coordinator and member of the Southern California Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society, is organizing a meeting of trucks in Barstow where the local group will accompany the convoy to San Bernardino and the Rendezvous.

“The convoy will drive from Kingman to Barstow on Friday and then on Saturday morning, six trucks from the Inland Empire will go to Barstow and accompany them the rest of the way,” Lund said.

The 62-year-old Yucaipa resident will be driving a restored 1953 GMC truck his grandfather bought new in San Bernardino.

It’s been challenging coordinating meeting places and people, according to Lund.

“Terry Klenske, owner of Dalton Trucking in Fontana, is part of the convoy, bringing some of his trucks home,” Lund said.

Trucks from the local chapter will also include a 1940 Ford cab-over and a 1948 GMC semi.

“We’ve been to Route 66 many years and one year brought 35 trucks to the Orange Show Events Center, when that venue was part of Route 66,” he said.

Antique trucks will be on display this year at Charter Park (formerly Meadowbrook Park) at Sierra Way and Third Street.

“It’s great fun and the general public finds our antique vehicles an interesting alternative to the muscle cars and street rods,” Lund said.


Convoy Schedule

Sept. 6 — Morris, Ill. — Registration at T/A truck stop Sept. 7 — Travel 250 miles to Troy, Ill. Sept. 8 — Travel 310 miles to Joplin, Mo. Sept. 9 — Travel 225 miles to Oklahoma City, Okla. Sept. 10 — Travel 260 miles to Amarillo, Tex. Sept. 11 — Travel 290 miles to Albuquerque, N.M. Sept. 12 — Travel 140 miles to Gallup, N.M. Sept. 13 — Travel 340 miles to Kingman, Ariz. Sept. 14 — Travel 210 miles to Barstow, Calif. Sept. 15 — Travel 75 miles to San Bernardino, Calif.Source: American Truck Historical Society