Ever wish you could go back to the good ol’ days, when truckers were the Knights of the Road and a sweet COE was the epitome of cool? Todd Campbell and Kevin Young not only wished it – they made it happen.
On Thursday, the boys rolled out of Knoxville, Tennessee, en route to Salem, Oregon, via drops and pick-ups in Missouri, Oklahoma and Idaho for an ATHS National event happening May 26-28th.
Campbell is driving Icy Red, a 95 Freightliner COE with a Series 60 Detroit. He’s retrofitted the exterior with ’79 body panels and the interior with guts out of a 1981. He calls it a Frankenstein-like project, and having it sit on a modern drivetrain gives it a perfect blend of older and newer trucks.
Kevin has his trusty yellow 1981 Freightliner COE with a Double “O” 92 Detroit Diesel. The back story on this truck is pretty incredible – Kevin found it, sitting in the desert, where it had been parked for 20 some years by the previous owner. He bought it, cleaned it up, and put it on the road with the original paint and interior.
Not only are the guys driving vintage trucks, they’ve acquired vintage wardrobes and vow to seek out the old-style stops and cafes along the way. After their pickup in Kansas City, they’re hitting the two-lanes all the way to Idaho. The commitment level to authenticity on this trip was high enough to warrant Todd growing a set of pork-chop sideburns that are fairly formidable.
Campbell explains the general idea behind #BackinTime2016 on his Facebook page,“In the past, truck drivers were like brothers. The camaraderie among factions of people that did not know anything about the other person except that they shared the same career bridged a gap among drivers that is almost unknown today. Fortunately, though, there still remain a few that share the same love of trucks and trucking that keep it going.”
Young and Campbell will chronicle the trip with an album of photos in the style Todd is already known for on his Facebook page, vintage trucks in rustic settings on back roads; he’s never been much for the regular highways and chain stops. “People think traveling the back roads takes more time, but it really doesn’t,” he says. “They’re all using the interstates these days. That’s where you’re most likely to get held up in traffic.”
Campbell invites those who wish to have daily updates to follow along. He says one of the most important things to him is to, above all, promote a positive image of the trucking industry, especially to those who aren’t involved directly with trucking. “I have a friend from high school who messaged me about my page once,” he says. “She told me her dad was a trucker her whole life and she never knew what he did until she saw my page. That means a lot to me.”
He also enjoys the comments from retired truckers, who tell him they live their memories through watching the page.
The tour has been kind enough to let us follow along on our blog and use the photos Todd takes so we can share what George and I think is a super-neat adventure with y’all. Enjoy the photos – we’ll check back next Wednesday with the dynamic cab-over duo, see if they’ve bent their wire-framed mirror shades yet …
Be safe, guys!