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Thread: The National Truck-in? past and future

  1. #1
    Van Addict billo's Avatar
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    The National Truck-in? past and future

    The National Truck-in? past and future

    by Greg Cooper February 28, 2021

    The 1st Van Nationals? was held at Tiger Run, Colorado in 1973, hosted by Rocky Mountain Vans of Denver. The idea for a national van event was first proposed by Steve Green, staff writer for Hot Rod Magazine. The then editor of Hot Rod, Terry Cook wrote an editorial proposing this idea, looking for a potential host. Rocky Mountain Vans responded to the request, and put together the First National Truck-in. Hot Rod mag was not directly involved in the running of the event but still had a controlling interest. The National Truck-in?, as it was coined, was a big success and there was interest for it to continue. Hot Rod Mag and Terry Cook were instrumental in placing the second Nats. with Vans Am of Kansas as the host. The second National Truck-in? was held in Bonner Springs Kansas.
    There was an organization based in Chicago called the National Street Van Association. It was growing in numbers and influence and was invited by Hot Rod magazine to be a part of the event. The following year the Nationals was hosted by the NSVA and Midwest vans. It was held at the Beach Bend Park in Bowling Green Kentucky, July 1975. To this point Hot Rod magazine was the determining factor in who was to host the event.

    At the third National Truck-in? there were over 4000 vans in attendance, A lot more vans than they were prepared for. There were a number of vanners unhappy with the issues that came up. Then it was announced that the following year?s Nationals would again be held at Bowling Green. There were a number of vanners that took issue with that.
    To make a long story short, Rocky Mountain Vans decided to trademark the name and take control of the National Truck-in?. By virtue of having hosted the first Nationals, they felt they had precedence over the name. They were subsequently awarded the trademark rights to the National Truck-in? name and would host the Fourth National Truck-in?.
    RMV decided to Continue the tradition of passing the Nationals to worthy groups. RMV wasn?t going to be able to host the event every year, but would decide where it would be hosted, and by whom. They took bids from interested groups and would decide who would be awarded the event.
    In 1981 Rocky Mountain vans announced the formation of a regional board. There were 9 members on that board, picked by RMV, each from a geographical region of the country. The purpose of the Board was to be the eyes and ears of Rocky Mountain Vans who at the time was the sole controller of the National Truck-in. The Boards duties consisted of studying applications of clubs or organizations from their area, and submitting recommendations to Rocky Mountain for final judgment, determining who would host the following year?s National Truck-in?. Originally that announcement was to be made at that year?s National Truck-in?.
    None of those original board members are still on the board. In fact, there have been a number of changes over the years in the board?s membership. Within a few years of its original inception the board members picked alternates who would take their place if they were unable to fulfill their duties.
    In the beginning there were no meetings scheduled for the board. They met informally at the Nationals each year and soon began meeting during the Council of Counsel?s weekend since most of them would attend there anyway.
    By the early 1990s Rocky Mountain Vans determined that they would no longer be able to be the determining factor in who got the Nationals every year. At that time, they turned that responsibility over to the National Truck-in Board?. The Board then became incorporated. At that point, the responsibility of the Board increased greatly.
    When the board was originally formed there were a number of groups and or clubs that wanted to host a National Truck-in?. But as you know over the years interest in doing that has diminished. It has gotten to the point where we do not have any groups interested in doing a Nationals in some years. In 2013 we had no bids. The Board had to step up and host the Truck-in ourselves.
    Actually, in the last 10 years we?ve only had one National Truck-in that was done entirely independent of the Nats Board?. Was it not for the individual efforts of some of our members to put together a hosting group, the Nationals Board? would have been on the hook for doing several more National Truck-ins??
    The point is that this situation is not going to change. We will continue to have to go looking for people to host a Nationals.
    We have come up with at least one alternative with our financing of the event to try to get more people involved in doing a National Truck-in?, but the reality is that the Nats Board? is going to be required to take more and more responsibility for this event if it is to continue.

    So, what can you, as an individual vanner do?

    Plenty! Volunteer. There are plenty of ways to help the National Truck-in?. Everyone has skills of some kind that would benefit the event. We need show judges every year. If you have done any kind of customizing, you are needed. Come to a meeting, or the show classification and volunteer to judge. We need people to help at classification. People to help add up judging sheets. People to help park vans the day of show. People to organize trophies for the presentation. That is just the show. There is trash to dispose of. Bathrooms to keep maintained. You like a clean restroom? So, does everyone, but no one wants to do it. We need people to man the gate. It is open for at least a week. It must have at least 2 people there at all times. People to man the headquarters. Selling ice is a full-time job. People to run games and activities, organizing entertainment, security personnel and more. As you can see there are a lot of people needed to pull off this event.
    The board is made up of 18 vanners. 9 members and 9 alternates. These vanners are all volunteers. There is a support staff made up of vanners who help where they are needed. They too are volunteers. You can join the support group and be included in all of our meetings where your input is welcome. The nationals need to become a communal effort.
    Look at it as the board and support group being no different from the host club of any event. The Nationals Board? is not some governing body of vanning. Our purpose is to host a truck-in every year. It just happens to be the largest van event of the year. Bringing in vanners from all over the world. Our goal is to make it the best van event every year. To do that It needs your support and help. Come join us.
    Coop
    billo

  2. #2
    VCVC Member van-itti's Avatar
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    Ok.
    Ive read this. I read it again. Its a great bit of history. I wasnt a direct part of it but dreamed of that day I would be.
    I tried to get involved and it seemed its an "old boy" network and unless I was around "back when", I wasnt getting information.
    I had an idea and questions just never got a straight, Do this, answer.

    Attending the West Coast Nationals at King City was confusing. There were 7 vans. Most of the attendees were in class A rolling behemoths.
    You cant call them a van...Where were the vans?
    Other than meeting Turbo Bob it kinda sucked.. and please dont misunderstand me, the folks were very nice and invited us to stay, the show was just odd.
    Is this event still happening? I doubt it as it was hard to get info about it. Hard to contact anyone once we found out about it. Again seeming like if you werent grandfathered in..later tater.

    So years have gone by...I have worked to make vintage Chevy van restoration easier for anyone involved. Sharing information and any knowledge as well as meeting many of you guys.
    Mark(108vanguy) has essentially become my partner in grime on a couple projects of restoration parts. Jose, Joe and Gary and how do I thank Derrick...this guy bleeds van.
    and all of you that bought my sill plates and threshold moldings Thank you Thank you!!

    ...but my idea still lingers. I ask and again there is a bit more info but what exactly needs to happen cant get answered.
    There seems that a Counsel of Counsel has to be ascended before any sort of National Event can happen. Alright, what does that involve?....crickets....

    Now this post has once again got me thinking about my idea. If an organized club needs to be formed it needs to have members.
    If the few guys near me want to put it together. Everyone is so busy...yada yada.
    I dont have an issue calling a meeting and keeping minutes..even if Im the only participant.
    If thats what it takes.

    My idea is to hold the 50th National Truck-in in Southern California.

    I have looked for places to hold the show. There are several.
    Can this be accomplished? Its about money right?

    When I was first thinking of this I had 10+ years...

    There are questions I have posed before. There were no direct answers. I need a list. A "laundry list".
    What are the procedures that need to occur? What forms, if any, need to be filled in? Do I need to contact county/city officials?
    HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? Better yet...whats it going to cost to make it happen?

    Any answers/questions/ideas? Please....
    Mike

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    VCVC Charter Member Vanner68's Avatar
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    For one, King City is not affiliated with the National Truck-In Board, which handles the Van Nationals, those are different events.
    The Van Nationals generally has 400-600 vans in attendance.
    Gregg Groff


    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

    1968 Chevy G20 108 panel Now with 454 power!

    1965 Chevy G10 panel- OHC Pontiac inline 6

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    VCVC Member jrinaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by van-itti View Post
    Ok.
    Ive read this. I read it again. Its a great bit of history. I wasnt a direct part of it but dreamed of that day I would be.
    I tried to get involved and it seemed its an "old boy" network and unless I was around "back when", I wasnt getting information.
    I had an idea and questions just never got a straight, Do this, answer.

    There are questions I have posed before. There were no direct answers. I need a list. A "laundry list".
    What are the procedures that need to occur? What forms, if any, need to be filled in? Do I need to contact county/city officials?
    HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? Better yet...whats it going to cost to make it happen?

    Any answers/questions/ideas? Please....
    not the straight answer you want but an idea/option. i served a very small part in 'vans across america' a couple years ago. we had 200 vans and was a decent event (didnt cheap out to save money). while the club did turn a profit, it wasnt a huge amount and a few less vans would of left us in the red. my point is not only the cost but that it was a decent truck in that didnt need the nats board approval. with corona, most of our local events were cancelled, however, we had plenty of makeshift gatherings. some only drew 20 vans. overheads were kept to a minimum but we had truck ins. again, no nats board approval. while those fall short of the nats on west coast, it is something/a start. last year was a weird year with the lock downs and all but typically we have mostly van owners gathering to have a good time. most events exclude r.v.'s but some allow them. there are a few of the "old boy" types. despite seeing them 5 or 6 times a year for 10 years, i am excluded from their circle as i wasnt there in the '70's! the other extreme is in an effort to keep vanning alive, they except anyone. walk ins, rv's etc. not trying to discourage your dreams of the nats but in the meantime, get a dozen vanners together for the weekend and build from there.
    '64 chevy, 292 40 over, 206/526 cam, 2004r trans. 9.75:1, dual webbers, Langdon cast headers, 1.94 valves

  5. #5
    VCVC Member van-itti's Avatar
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    Now at least theres a discussion.
    The group in San Diego comes together once a month for Vans and Coffee.
    Its about a 2 hour drive for us. We have definite plans to attend this month and will get those guys talking too.

    I dont plan on making money by holding an event. I could care less. I dont do anything for the money...Id never do anything. LOL
    It would be worth it for me just to get it to occur. I need to calculate the costs of course.
    WHAT ARE THEY?

    Scenario: Hold the event at a camp ground. Plenty of hook-ups, toilets, showers, pavilions.
    Pool/hot tub, wifi all that..
    If attendees are responsible for registering and paying for their sights aside from a group permit cost.
    Getting the campground to reserve the entire place might require a deposit.
    Just give me an idea, please.

    How much did it cost your "club"? 15k-20k?
    Last edited by van-itti; 03-07-2021 at 12:38 PM.
    Mike

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    VCVC Member jrinaman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by van-itti View Post

    How much did it cost your "club"? 15k-20k?
    i wasnt really in to that part. i sat threw a few meetings but just dont remember what the costs were. 200 vans at $50.00+ is over 10 grand. a "guess" is it cost 7-8 grand? rather than reserve an entire campground (i do like the idea though!) look into group camping sites. you may have some restrictions though. find a campground that is okay with loud music, open containers and an occasional naked drunk strolling threw the campground. one of the makeshift events was on the hosts property. he had a job trailer he set up for showers, got local talent to provide music and had a bon fire every night. he also provided a good portion of the food. water/electric, wood, food and tip the free band still adds up but very doable with even a dozen vans.
    '64 chevy, 292 40 over, 206/526 cam, 2004r trans. 9.75:1, dual webbers, Langdon cast headers, 1.94 valves

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    Administrator smiley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by van-itti View Post
    Ok.
    Ive read this. I read it again. Its a great bit of history. I wasnt a direct part of it but dreamed of that day I would be.
    I tried to get involved and it seemed its an "old boy" network and unless I was around "back when", I wasnt getting information.
    I had an idea and questions just never got a straight, Do this, answer.

    Attending the West Coast Nationals at King City was confusing. There were 7 vans. Most of the attendees were in class A rolling behemoths.
    You cant call them a van...Where were the vans?
    Other than meeting Turbo Bob it kinda sucked.. and please dont misunderstand me, the folks were very nice and invited us to stay, the show was just odd.
    Is this event still happening? I doubt it as it was hard to get info about it. Hard to contact anyone once we found out about it. Again seeming like if you werent grandfathered in..later tater.

    So years have gone by...I have worked to make vintage Chevy van restoration easier for anyone involved. Sharing information and any knowledge as well as meeting many of you guys.
    Mark(108vanguy) has essentially become my partner in grime on a couple projects of restoration parts. Jose, Joe and Gary and how do I thank Derrick...this guy bleeds van.
    and all of you that bought my sill plates and threshold moldings Thank you Thank you!!

    ...but my idea still lingers. I ask and again there is a bit more info but what exactly needs to happen cant get answered.
    There seems that a Counsel of Counsel has to be ascended before any sort of National Event can happen. Alright, what does that involve?....crickets....

    Now this post has once again got me thinking about my idea. If an organized club needs to be formed it needs to have members.
    If the few guys near me want to put it together. Everyone is so busy...yada yada.
    I dont have an issue calling a meeting and keeping minutes..even if Im the only participant.
    If thats what it takes.

    My idea is to hold the 50th National Truck-in in Southern California.

    I have looked for places to hold the show. There are several.
    Can this be accomplished? Its about money right?

    When I was first thinking of this I had 10+ years...

    There are questions I have posed before. There were no direct answers. I need a list. A "laundry list".
    What are the procedures that need to occur? What forms, if any, need to be filled in? Do I need to contact county/city officials?
    HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? Better yet...whats it going to cost to make it happen?

    Any answers/questions/ideas? Please....
    If you have the time, there's a lot of light I could shed on all of this for you. Probably better suited for a phone call, because there's a lot of information you asked for.
    1966 Chevy Display, "Southern Belle"
    1968 Chevy, "Blue Overdose"

  8. #8
    Van Addict billo's Avatar
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    The Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by van-itti View Post
    Ok.
    Ive read this. I read it again. Its a great bit of history. I wasnt a direct part of it but dreamed of that day I would be.
    I tried to get involved and it seemed its an "old boy" network and unless I was around "back when", I wasnt getting information.
    I had an idea and questions just never got a straight, Do this, answer.

    Attending the West Coast Nationals at King City was confusing. There were 7 vans. Most of the attendees were in class A rolling behemoths.
    You cant call them a van...Where were the vans?
    Other than meeting Turbo Bob it kinda sucked.. and please dont misunderstand me, the folks were very nice and invited us to stay, the show was just odd.
    Is this event still happening? I doubt it as it was hard to get info about it. Hard to contact anyone once we found out about it. Again seeming like if you werent grandfathered in..later tater.

    So years have gone by...I have worked to make vintage Chevy van restoration easier for anyone involved. Sharing information and any knowledge as well as meeting many of you guys.
    Mark(108vanguy) has essentially become my partner in grime on a couple projects of restoration parts. Jose, Joe and Gary and how do I thank Derrick...this guy bleeds van.
    and all of you that bought my sill plates and threshold moldings Thank you Thank you!!

    ...but my idea still lingers. I ask and again there is a bit more info but what exactly needs to happen cant get answered.
    There seems that a Counsel of Counsel has to be ascended before any sort of National Event can happen. Alright, what does that involve?....crickets....

    Now this post has once again got me thinking about my idea. If an organized club needs to be formed it needs to have members.
    If the few guys near me want to put it together. Everyone is so busy...yada yada.
    I dont have an issue calling a meeting and keeping minutes..even if Im the only participant.
    If thats what it takes.

    My idea is to hold the 50th National Truck-in in Southern California.

    I have looked for places to hold the show. There are several.
    Can this be accomplished? Its about money right?

    When I was first thinking of this I had 10+ years...

    There are questions I have posed before. There were no direct answers. I need a list. A "laundry list".
    What are the procedures that need to occur? What forms, if any, need to be filled in? Do I need to contact county/city officials?
    HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? Better yet...whats it going to cost to make it happen?

    Any answers/questions/ideas? Please....
    Mike, please give me a call 928 201 2001 . I am on the Nats Board and i was a vanner in San Diego for 40 yrs, so familar with California.
    I believe I can answer a lot of your questions.

    and YES THe King City run still goes on (cancelled last year due to Cal Fire occupying the Fair Grounds)

    ANYONE on the west coast may go to the Nor Cal Council website. All West Coast event flyers are listed on there. https://norcalvancouncil.blogspot.com/

    Billo
    billo

  9. #9
    VCVC Member van-itti's Avatar
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    Ok gentlemen. Expect to hear from me.
    Mike

  10. #10
    VCVC Member van-itti's Avatar
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    Sorry guys.
    I had planned to contact you both before and have got into some repairs on the van.
    Work has me travelling again and the time,,,ehh you know..

    I wanted to meet up with the San Diego vanners at the last V&C to discuss and another long story unfurled...
    Why we needed the repair.

    ANYWAY...
    I have the next couple days off (so to speak). I will try to give you guys a call...
    Last edited by van-itti; 03-25-2021 at 10:17 AM.
    Mike

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