Clifford came back!

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After a one-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Great Lakes Truck Club got approval just six weeks ago to stage their Antique & Classic Truck Show in Clifford, Ont. this past Friday and Saturday, August 27-28. Club leaders Chris Hall and Ron Johnston and the rest of the crew scrambled to get it together. And they succeeded beyond all expectations.

The last unofficial count, via Johnston, put the number of participating trucks at 320. That’s easily a new record for the show that was first launched in 2010.

Showing trucks at Clifford Truck Show
(Photo: Rolf Lockwood)

With so little lead time, Chris Hall said much of the work was just getting on the phones calling people who they knew had trucks to show off, and asking for tips about others who might be interested. Remarkably, they attracted several trucks that hadn’t been shown before. And while we haven’t seen paying-spectator numbers yet, the crowds seemed much bigger than in years past.

While it’s mostly a fairly local show with west-central Ontario being the focus, it always attracts others from further afield. Jean-Guy Boulanger, for instance, brought his ‘007’ Kenworth down from northern Ontario. John Darra bobtailed his beautiful W900L KW all the way from Huntington, Quebec. And the Earl Paddock crew from Stoney Creek brought several trucks along, including an excellent 1966 Hayes Clipper.

The only downside of the affair was the powerful thunderstorm that soaked the event’s finale, the Saturday night barbecue dinner. Chris Hall said he had a sleepless night prior to the show’s opening, fearing that the forecast of rain would ruin things. At least it held off until after the show itself.

What we really saw there in Clifford was a lot of pent-up demand finally being satisfied. Trucking people love to gather, nowhere more so than an outdoor truck show. After so many months without being able to get together, there was real joy in the air. And a lot of smiles.

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Rolf Lockwood is editor emeritus of Today's Trucking and a regular contributor to

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  • Absolutely awesome! Always a great show in Clifford and this year was no exception! Congrats to CJ and his crew for throwing this together on such short notice and making this yr one of the beat ever! Next yr hopefully my ‘92 shaker will be displayed on cabover row .

  • Nice to see these classics and antiques,there is certainly a lot of interest as well as memories from these various years and ages of these vehicles!
    Godd reporting, Rolf, and warm regards, Paul

  • Great show! You are correct there certainly was an awful lot of pent up demand for the show to return. These people do an incredible job putting on this event.
    First class!!!!

  • Great show! Thanks for taking notice of our W900L. John put a lot of work in this truck. We have owned trucks for 39 years and this picture and mention of us in the article is quite an accomplishment for us. The picture is great too! Chris is a great guy, his team did a fantastic job getting this many trucks together in such short notice. We were happy to be able to be a part of this show. We met great people, had a wonderful time.

  • It was a pleasure to be able to walk around and see the trucks and meet alot of people who haven’t seen for years.

  • Nice article as always Rolf.
    Was nice chatting with you briefly.

    John “Darragh” from Huntingdon PQ

  • I didn’t get there until after 12 on Saturday, and left just at the time the storm hit, but I was glad that I went. The only one that I recognized was Toby Doyle who was there with his 02 Pete (i might be wrong on the year). Just to see Toby, who I worked with in the early 90’s made it a super day for me. The truck display was exceptional. Hopefully I’,, be able to make it next year.