Dozens of classic tractor-trailers gather in New Stanton for annual show
Tim Hoover has 15 antique tractor-trailers at his Saltsburg home, but he brought only two to this year’s Steel Valleys Antique Truck Historical Society’s classic truck show.
“The truck shows, there’s no competition here,” said Hoover, 61. “Everybody’s equal. It doesn’t matter what you bring, how you bring it. It could be a truck right out of the field, right off the job site.
“Every (truck) has its own personality. And if the owner knows the history of it, it’s always nice to talk to someone and find out the history of the truck.”
Almost 30 trucks lined the Kenworth of Pennsylvania parking lot in New Stanton on Saturday morning as members of the Steel Valleys chapter celebrated 20 years of the annual event, which brings together class tractor-trailer owners and enthusiasts.
Wanting a slower pace than car competitions, Hoover decided to pursue his passion for trucks so he restored a Mack B61 tow truck about 15 years ago.
After that, he decided to restore a truck every year, having an outside company come to the Hoover Stone Quarry in Saltsburg to paint the exterior, and fixing up the mechanical end himself.
Trucks to appear in Denzel Washington movie
Now, he said, each truck in his collection is unique in its own way.
“I like getting trucks that are different” he said. “… They’re not a plain Jane truck. … I just try to pick trucks that are unique, and when I restore them they are museum quality.”
Six of his trucks are scheduled to appear in Denzel Washington’s movie “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” which is being filmed in and around Deer Lakes Park.
Hoover said two of his trucks will be in the background of scenes, while he and his brother, Ron, 71, will drive four others in various scenes.
For Dale Campalong, president of the Steel Valleys Antique Truck Historical Society, the event is aimed at educating people about the trucking industry and the history of the older vehicles. While the 54-year-old Penn Hills native no longer owns his own truck, he has been a mechanic since he graduated high school.
“I started working on cars and started into trucks about five years later. Been working on trucks and heavy equipment, that’s what I’ve been into since probably 1989,” he said. “I drove them for a bunch of years and worked on my own truck. I’ve kind of been around it all my life.”
Modern trucks rarely seen
Campalong said any kind of truck is welcome to the show, whether it’s old or new, although the chapter rarely sees more modern trucks.
The event typically draws up to 40 truck owners and their families, Campalong said. Attendees can participate in a 50-50 raffle and receive door prizes.
“Most of the trucks here are members of our chapter,” he said. “Some people just own the trucks and they’re truck enthusiasts. Most of the guys are truck drivers. The guys, they just own the trucks. They don’t really operate them.”
Ed Pecora, 57, brought his 1953 GMC 630 to the event, a place where he’s able to catch up with old friends and carry on a family tradition. For Pecora, working in the trucking industry was started by his dad.
Today, his daughter has a truck of her own and spends time with Pecora at the annual truck show.
“You see guys you haven’t seen for awhile — a lot of older fellas that I looked up to when I was young,” Pecora said.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .