as the largest antique auto show in America, the Hershey Antique
Auto Show attracts perhaps one of the most eclectic groupings of
classic vehicles to be found anywhere. This mammoth show spans the
grounds surrounding Hershey Park, located in quaint Hershey, Pennsylvania.
as "chocolatetown, USA", this little town is nestled amongst the
hills of south central Pennsylvania. This small town also happens
to house the corporate headquarters for Hershey Foods, Inc., one
of the largest candy producers in the country. This Willy Wonkan
town, featuring streetlamps shaped like Hershey Kiss candies, also
plays home to the Antique Automobile (AACA) Club of America.
Hershey, illustrious founder of Hershey foods, planned the town
as a utopian environment for the workers of his chocolate factory.
It's ironic then that this show, put on for years by the AACA, could
perhaps be an automotive utopia incarnate.
year this fall show attracts thousands of people and antique automobiles
of all sizes, shapes and types. Within this large exhibition, one
of the fastest growing segments is that of the vintage truck.
overlooked as serious classic vehicles, pickups' popularity can
be attributed to several factors. New trucks are selling at a record
pace, positioned to outsell automobiles this year and creating new
truck enthusiasts daily. Second, older trucks don't command the
premium of classic cars, making them quite a bargain and thus more
easily affordable to would-be owners.
of examples could be seen from the Big 3 truck manufacturers; Ford,
Chevy and Dodge. In addition, some trucks perhaps long forgotten
were also on hand.
General Motors, Chevy pickup trucks ranging from 1939 to 1972 made
a showing and several examples could also be found for sale in the
Car Corral area. From old flare-side pickups and panel vans to mid
seventies El Caminos and Cheyenne pickups, the Chevy's were there
in numbers. The only GMC spotted was a beautiful red flare-side
over in the Car Corral with a magnificent wood bed.
of trucks adorned with the blue oval had the largest brand turnout.
Ford trucks ranged from 1928 to 1975. Several 1928 convertible trucks
were on hand as were some older commercial pickups including one
with a dumptruck style bed. An incredibly restored 1931 woody panel
truck sat amidst the show field as did some newer F1s and one of
the Ranchero pickup automobiles.
not as plentiful as Ford and GM, an impressive collection of trucks
by the Dodge Brothers could also be seen. Spanning from 1927 to
1953, these early predecessors of today's Ram and Dakota stood as
a reminder of Dodge's continual presence alongside Ford and GM.
not as continual as today's brands, there were many more obscure
vintage trucks on hand. A bright yellow 1918 Autocar commercial
pickup seemed the oldest true pickup inside the show area.
rare American Austin pickup from 1934 stood out from other trucks
nearby due to its incredibly small size.
Mack Jr. from 1937 was also seen. It stood as a reminder that the
Pennsylvania based and now Renault-owned, Mack Truck Company also
made lighter-duty trucks beyond the commercial tractor product they
are known for today.
blue 1946 Hudson also gathered gawkers due to its stylistic beauty.
Rear wheel covers augmented long flowing fenders. The truck's hood
hinged forward rather than the more common backward motion of its
red 1949 International pickup was another reminder of a commercial
truck company with roots in consumer pickups. More commonly known
for its Scout SUVs, International had enjoyed a significant history
in light duty vehicles through the 1970's.
known for pickups, Volkswagen was also surprisingly represented.
This early '60's Transporter, basically a Microbus with an open
bed, featured a rear mounted engine like other early air-cooled
VWs including the venerable Beetle.
brand that is now retired but was represented at the show is Studebaker.
A '39 commercial vehicle and a '53 pickup were only two representatives
of the brand in the truck area, but played a reminder at the breadth
of the auto industry in the earlier part of the 20th century.
many shows try to cover all the bases, Hershey delivers in its ability
to seemingly be all things to all attendees. Even the non-auto or
truck enthusiasts will enjoy themselves due to the sheer spectacle
of it all. The burgeoning restored truck segment only makes the
show that much more sweet (pun intended).