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Classic trucks draw crowds to Clifford

Classic-styled trucks and cabovers may be scarcer than ever on the highway, but the crowds who showed up at the Clifford Truck Show on Canada Day weekend would suggest interest in these trucks is still high.

And, at a time when most new trucks cast similar shadows on the asphalt, there may even be a heightened interest in restoring and showing off these trucks of the past.

Rotary Park in Clifford, Ont., was packed with classic iron July 1-2 and large crowds came out to see them. There was a healthy collection of first-time trucks on display, as well as some that return every year. This was the 12th annual event, put on by the Great Lakes Truck Club with an emphasis on trucks that are at least 25 years old.

Some newer trucks dotted the park, but they’re required to have traditional styling with exposed air cleaners and stacks. There were plenty of cabovers, parked together in a section dubbed the Cabover Cruise-In. Show organizers believe it is the largest assortment of cabovers on display anywhere in Canada, and even in the Northeastern U.S.

Some of the trucks were painstakingly polished to a gleaming shine, while others proudly sported signs of years on the highway. There were 280 trucks at this year’s event, easily surpassing the 180 registered last year.

Chris Hall is president of the Great Lakes Truck Club. He was pleased with the turnout.

“We had no issues,” he said, noting even the weather was better than expected on July 1. “We had a really good turnout of people from all over the place. I like it because a lot of guys build stuff for Clifford. The hobby has really taken off here in Ontario.”

He was also pleased to see first-time participants showed respect for the spirit of the show. “We’re not an engine-revving Jake braking show.”

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