Retro Truck Show – 2014

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THE BEST TRUCK SHOW IN THE UK. FACT.

Why?? I will tell you why, it’s a truck show, organised by a truck nut for other truck nuts, who love their trucks. Get it? a truck show is about the truck. Its not a truck show come Sunday market where you can buy chunky garden furniture and dog treats. It’s a show full of trucks from the best few decades of truck manufacturing that will ever be and the ladies and gents who bring their pride and joys to the show are all passionate enough about them to spend their spare time looking after them and in some cases still working them. Its a great show and the big boys of the show world would do exceedingly well to learn a few lessons of the simplicity of a great show. The premise for the show is any truck that was built between 1960 and 2000 can enter, although there are a few newer trucks too. Just to prove it is a show for the real enthusiast, there are no trophies or prizes to be won, its purely a meet for one and all to enjoy and meet other like minded truck nuts.

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What an amazing Scammell Crusader! Its gems like this that appear that make the show what it is. If its your pride and joy you can guarantee that there will be others at the show that feel the same. I was only at the show on the Saturday which isn’t the official show day so unfortunately I didn’t get to see a full show ground, but what was there on Saturday was plenty. Lots of ERF’s, Seddon Atkinsons, Volvo’s, Scania’s, some Mercedes-Benz and many more. As with all shows these day’s a few trucks came with authentic trailers……….

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The reason I was at Gaydon on the Saturday was, there was a Middle East drivers reunion and seminar. This year mainly to celebrate 50 Years of Astran and the start of the legendary Middle East run. Writer of the The Long Haul Pioneers, Ashley Coghill organised a truly memorable event, that incorporated hundreds of unseen photos from the pioneers of the Middle East run and even some cine-camera footage that was just incredible and made me realise just how difficult/amazing and unknown those early years must have been. You have to remember the modern day newbie truck driver can’t get from Heathrow to Cardiff without a Satnav, so how on earth these transport heroes got from London to Kabul/Bandar Abbass/Oman and even Doha with no twat-nav or mobile phones is bearly imaginable. The event was sold out and Ashley told me he could have easily sold twice as many tickets. The highlight for me was meeting the men who actually made these monumental trips week after week, month after month through scorching summers and freezing winters. I shook them all by the hand, real gents, and found myself stood between Peter Cannon, Graham Wainwright, John Frost and Gordon Pearce (read the The Long Haul Pioneers!) to name drop a few. I could have stood  their for days listening to the stories, some one needs to get all their stories written down, they are just epic. I also took my copy of Ashleys book and managed to get them all to sign it. To say I was chuffed is an understatement, just ask the lady wife. All in all it was a truly unforgettable day.

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Once again I will try to tell you that it’s an awesome little show, approx. 300-350 truck, but each one is the stuff of boy-hood dreams if you have your HGV license that is, no matter what your preference. For me an F series Globetrotter like the black one below or a 143 Streamline are my ultimate trucks they are just the nuts!! Incidently more from the Fleetwood F16 to come in the next few weeks.

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From all over the UK, Belgium, Holland and Germany with trucks from the 1960’s through to the turn of the millennium you won’t find a better selection of trucks from yester-year. With a great atmosphere and every person being a bit of a truck nut, you can find some one with the same likes or even some one to have a bit of banter with about which is better. You have to put it in your diary for next year people, you’ll be missing out if you don’t.

Finally a big thank you and well done to Lee Herbert and Ashley Coghill for organising an amazing weekend with both the truck show itself and also the Middle East reunion, a really unique event.

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