THE VERY OLD, THE VERY NEW
July 11, 2018 Vol. 15 No. 14
Among the very best parts of this job, and it offers many pleasures, is the contact I have with the people of trucking. As interesting a bunch as you’ll find anywhere. Like Tom, the guy who called me this morning from California.
He wanted to talk about a column I wrote in Heavy Duty Trucking magazine in the U.S. last month. The subject was propane and he told me about a truck he drove back in the 1940s that was powered by a California-built Hall-Scott engine running on LPG.
The Hall-Scott Motor Car Company was founded in 1910 in Berkeley, CA by Bert Scott and the evidently brilliant mechanic (and race-car driver) Elbert Hall. Their first product was a gasoline-powered passenger and light-freight rail car — with the engine designed and built by Hall, and it was engines that became their bread and butter. They built engine for trucks, buses, airplanes, and boats, most of them running on either gasoline or LPG from what I can gather.
A group of enthusiasts has an enterprise called The Hall Scott Motor Car, Truck & Engine Company with a website — go here — devoted to the California outfit, with plans to build a museum. They actually wonder aloud about reviving the brand.
“With our country’s need for alternative energy sources and uses, we feel
a Hall-Scott engine designed to run on today’s alternative fuels may provide an effective answer now. Consequently, one of our goals is to redesign and manufacture a Hall-Scott engine for just such a purpose.”
How very interesting. And ambitious.
Back to my lengthy phone chat with Tom from California, I was surprised when he said that he’d been a truck fan since he was a kid, reading his first trucking magazine at the age of eight — in 1938! Now 88, he drove truck only occasionally but spent 45 years at the same dealership near Sacramento selling Internationals until retiring quite a while back. I wanted to talk a lot more so I asked him to ship me an email so that we could continue that way.
“No can do,” he said. “I don’t have a computer.”
Now, how cool is that?
STICKING WITH OLD STUFF, the gearheads amongst you would appreciate a visit to the Antique and Classic Truck Show. Some of you may well have been there for the ninth annual version of this fine event in Clifford, Ont. on June 29th and 30th. The always-fun affair is organized by the Great Lakes Truck Club. They’re just a bunch of truck lovers, and the show they lovingly run holds no pressure for anyone, with no competition for prizes and only a handful of low-key vendors. That’s how the club wants it, and the 1500-or-so folks who attend the show obviously like it. You won’t find a friendlier trucking get-together with more smiles per acre.
In 2010 the show’s first running attracted 80 trucks, which rose to about 120 in 2011. Over the last three years the count has been well over 250.