The 38th National Truck-In was another great one. Each year, a different group of vanners from a different region put on this annual event. This year it was VANNY (Vanners Associated for the Nats in New York), a group of vanners from all over the state of New York as well as others from Ohio, New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, Quebec, and Ontario. The event was held at the Washington Fairgrounds in Greenwich, New York, just north of Albany. Calling it the Nationals is very fitting as there are vanners who drive from the four corners of the U.S. and all parts in between to attend. There were 589 vans and panels through the gates this year. There were also many vanners from Canada, some from England and four from Norway.
The pre-event started July 4th at 6:00 p.m. once the park was vacated by other events. Vanners arriving early were able to get acquainted with each other at a slower pace and do some local touristy stuff. The actual event started on Wednesday. Thursday was spent visiting with the newly arriving vanners, setting up campsites, and trying to figure out how to deal with the record-breaking heat. Kiddie pools were a popular item, and were being bought up at a record pace at the local stores. There was a cruise into nearby Greenwich Thursday evening, 105 vans and panels made this cruise to the local mall. The locals were invited to come out and see the vans. It all went off without a hitch, everyone somehow managed to behave themselves.
Vanners were up bright and early Friday shining up their vans for the show. There were 117 vans and panels out on the show field. Friday night, the National Truck-In Board combined forces with the staff of Vannin.com to host a meet and greet to enable many vanners to get to meet others who may only have been a screen name. The Nationals Board is comprised of approximately 20 vanners from all over who help the host club maintain the quality of the event and oversee the show. Vannin.com is the home of many forums and threads about vans and vanning. These two groups operate largely behind the scenes, so the meet and greet was an opportunity to put names to faces. It was a rousing success, with free hot dogs and beer for several hundred attendees. The burnout contest was also a very popular event.
The awards were given out Saturday night, with more than 100 show awards given to deserving vanners. The Best of Show award went once again to Gary Larkin with Alpine Express, a van featured right here in Truckin' last year. Another notable award is the Flying Eagle award. This is given to the best van in the show shown for the first time at a Nationals. The award is named as a tribute to Greg of Akron who popularized muralling vans in the '70s. One of his personal vans Flying Eagle II was in the show. Alain Tessier from Vanmania, Quebec, won the Flying Eagle award with his incredible Chevy.
It was a great event that was two years in the planning, the VANNY members did a great job! In 2011, the 39th National Truck-in will be held July 13-17 at Guernsey County Fairgrounds in Old Washington, Ohio The event will be hosted by Vans on The Run out of Columbus Ohio. They also hosted the 16th Nationals. If you're interested in custom vans please check out Vannin.com.
Despite being in New york, this van was California dreamin'.
Look for a full feature on this van in an upcoming issue.
Frank Costa, whose van Never Enough was featured in Truckin' a while back, had his latest
Gary Larson took home Best of Show with his van Alpine Xpress...
...and here, he and his daughter celebrate.
Burnout contest winner.