Cruisin’ Old 99

Originally Published in 10-4 Magazine on September 15, 2016

It looks like the small town of Junction City, Oregon did it again! I’ve really got to hand it to the local City Council and the Oregon Department of Transportation for allowing us to completely close off Junction City’s main street (Old US 99) and transform this little town’s main drag into one big truck show and cruise, for the 4th annual Truck Function in Junction, held July 16, 2016.

The show and shine portion of this year’s event kicked off without a hitch at Junction City High School. We got really lucky this year in regards to the weather, with nothing but blue skies and temperatures in the mid-70s. I figured that I would get there bright and early to beat the crowds, around 6:00 AM, but to my surprise, there were already over 40 trucks on the lot – and the trucks just kept coming. With over 95 trucks entered in the show and shine and over 100 trucks in the cruise later that evening, things got very busy, very quickly.

In addition to all of the old favorites and locals that come each year, there were a lot of new faces at the show, too. One of the first people that I met was Scott Sakugawa from Merced, California, who brought out a really beautiful white and blue Peterbilt 379 single axle, complete with a set of decked-up matching doubles, owned by Macedo Hay (featured in the July 2016 edition of 10-4). Good friends Justin and Lyndon Troyer also made an appearance, rolling in with their beautiful head-turning rigs – Justin’s white K100 Kenworth cabover and Lyndon’s classy blue 359 extended hood were pretty hard to beat in the “cool” category.

Not too far from the action was Jim Oldland’s perfect lineup of both new and old turquoise-colored Peterbilts – Jim even brought out his painted-to-match classic Ford pickup. Thank you again to Jim, Randy and the crew for coming up from Medford to be a part of this event. On the other side of the lot sat the bright viper red Peterbilt from Joel Olson Trucking, proudly driven by Gary Ross, who also took the entire weekend to hang out with us (thanks again Joel and Darren). One of the highlights for us was watching Brett Whitaker from Roseburg, Oregon pull into the lot driving his dad’s silver and blue Kenworth W900. Sadly, we lost his dad, Gene Whitaker, earlier this year, so what a sight it was to see his son and other family members arrive at the event, along with a few of Whitaker’s pressed-out blue Kenworth log trucks.

The non-judged show, held at the high school throughout the day, featured lots of great equipment and good people, even though the air was filled with smoke. Junction City is a small community and the entire town was still reeling from a devastating fire that occurred the night before this event. Burning everything except for one building, our past cover trucker Jesse Bounds of Bounds Hay Hauling lost his two huge barns and all of his hay – thankfully, he managed to get all of the equipment and trucks safely away from the devastation. So, needless to say, it was the most inspirational moment of the entire day to see one of Jesse’s beautiful white and orange Peterbilts pull out onto old Highway 99, shined up and ready to go cruising, and receive a rousing round of applause from everyone out on the street.

After about two hours of cruising, this year’s Truck Function in Junction came to an end – and was another great success. Heck, even two of the sponsors, Papé Kenworth and DSU Peterbilt, were seen out on the strip cruising their trucks. What a good time… and it just gets better and better every year, thanks to everyone involved. Huge thanks to Dan Alley and the entire board for putting all of this together and doing the heavy lifting.

We really hope all of you will make the trip to Junction City, Oregon, to be a part of this fun event next year, which allows trucks to take over the town and enjoy a fun cruise down old nostalgic Highway 99 – and it just doesn’t get much better than that.

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Summertime Cruise

Junction City, Oregon did it again! This year marked the 3rd annual Truck Function in Junction all truck show and cruise on July 18, 2015. This event has become a must for a growing number of folks each and every year, and especially this year, boasting a record 131 trucks for the all-day show and shine, and over 100 trucks rollin’ throughout the evening cruise through the middle of town.

It was great to see many new faces this year, both vendors and drivers alike. Jeff Patterson even turned his curtain-side trailer into a make-shift performance stage for local country singer Amy Clawson and her band. Papé Kenworth and DSU Peterbilt, along with McCoy Freightliner and others, helped to fill the Junction City High School parking lot up with their cool new trucks on display, along with all of the outstanding working trucks that came to participate.

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Again this year, this event brought in many fine-looking working trucks such as Troy Points, with his silver and blue walking floor Peterbilt, along with his dad, Tom, and his wild purple and silver 379. The Van Dyke family also made it out with a beautiful lineup of trucks, including George’s new personal ride – a special edition “Pride & Class” 389 Peterbilt, painted in the signature Van Dyke colors of Medium Green and black, of course. Mark McLeroy brought out “Ironsides” – a historic 1979 A-Model from Los Angeles that was owned and operated by Bob Wilson until he died a few years ago. This truck, which has about a million lights, is equipped with a Cummins KT525 that puts out a whopping 1,400 horsepower to the flywheel! As you can imagine, this rig turned a lot of heads.

It’s always great to see folks take the time and effort to attend events like this. Friends Korey, Lain and Ryan from Stingray Express out of Alberta, Canada even rolled in with their fine group of Peterbilt roll-tops, and Todd Fisher, with his white 379 2-axle, came equipped, hauling in his golf cart and Chevy pickup. Nik Leslie and good friend Larry Crusen dropped jaws with Nik’s bright blue king of Cool ‘Gordon Fast Freight’ A-Model, which he recently restored. Tim Nelson of John Day, Oregon and his KTA600-powered blue and silver A-Model, parked next to Nik’s Kenworth, fit right in, rather nicely.

The sunny 98-degree day went by fast, but thanks to all of the food and beverage vendors at the show, we never went hungry (or dry)! Now, at last, everybody fired up their wagons and headed for Main Street. I may be a little biased, but what a cool cruise it was! To close down a portion of Pacific Hwy. 99 for a truck cruise is no easy task, but we did it – and it is a real rush to cruise down the boulevard on a hot summer night. People and kids all along the way were waving and just having some good old American fun.

I must say, the highlight of the whole day for me was cruisin’ down 99 in my yellow and brown Freightliner cabover with west coast legend Mr. Bill Frampton. Bill ran a Southern California-based refrigerated trucking company that was known for having some of the sweetest reefers up and down the west coast. His historic trucking career spans several decades. Now living in Oregon, I would like to say “Thank you, Bill” – what an honor it was to go cruisin’ with you.

All of us with the Truck Function in Junction would like to thank everyone who participated in this event and made it such a great day. A big thanks go out to all of our amazing sponsors, our crew of volunteers who help make the day go smooth, and each and every one of the people who brought their truck (or trucks) out to the show and cruise. If this year is any indication as to what next year might be like, look out, because it’s gonna be huge – we hope to see you there!

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Cruisin’ The Junction

 

The Pacific Northwest is home to some of the finest big rigs in the nation, and this year’s Truck Function in Junction proved it once again! This year’s show and cruise, held on July 19th in Junction City, Oregon, was actually the second annual event, but with the huge rainstorms and windy weather during last year’s event, we could almost consider this year’s show and cruise the “real” first annual Truck Function in Junction! This year, Dan Alley, Randy Chizek, Brian and Teresa Austin and their families really out-did themselves, along with their crew of volunteers, by planning and executing such a great event.

Much to our pleasant surprise, we woke up Saturday morning to clear blue skies and warm temperatures, confirming our hopes that this year’s event would far exceed last year’s – and boy were we right! This year’s “Truck Function” welcomed almost 90 trucks, more than doubling last year’s count, and the size of the crowds almost doubled, as well. Everybody from young to old seemed to stop in to check out all of the fine rides parked in the Junction City High School parking lot for the “show” portion of the event.

A few of the local street rodders pulled up in their roadsters and realized that many of the trucks, like James Davis’ black and orange Pete 379 and Randy Chizek’s gray and black W900L dump truck, highly resembled their roadsters parked outside. As with most truck shows, the most enjoyable spectators to see are the kids and their excitement at seeing all of these giant and beautiful rides. Most of the kids had done laps around each truck several times before they even realized that there was a snow-cone stand!

By 10 a.m. almost the entire west side of the high school parking lot was packed – but the trucks kept pouring in! Before we knew it, trucks were filling the entire east side of the parking lot, as well. Heck, even an ambulance, owned and driven by Arlen Rexius, rolled in, along with a few of Rexius Forest By-Products’ other awesome lime green Kenworths. This year was also a big year for our good friend Ryan Van Dyke (aka “Mr. big 18-year-old CDL guy”). Ryan, along with his dad Brad and grandpa George, all helped to sponsor the event and showed up with a few of their impeccable turquoise-colored Petes, including Ryan making his maiden voyage in his 379 looking a lot like the one his dad Brad used to have.

Bill Latimer and RAM Trucking came down from Brownsville, Oregon to not only help sponsor the event but to cruise in his beautiful black A-Model KW long hood, as well – and it was an awesome sight to see. Again this year, like last, Mike and Susan Brown of Mike Brown Trucking helped sponsor the “Truck Function” and brought out their outstanding light blue long nose baby cab Pete log truck, right alongside the black and silver 2013 Pete 389 log truck driven by Arron Star, along with his little co-pilot, Wyatt Star.

Read More at 10-4 Magazine

Guess what folks? We have great news! The Truck Function in Junction will be coming back for another year of big rigs, semi-trucks and haulers for the 3rd annual event!

Join us July 18, 2015 in Junction City, Oregon. We expect the best turn out yet this coming year! Contact us and get involved by sponsoring, volunteering or spreading the word about the 2015 Truck Function in Junction!

A Public Statement: Trucks Take Over Junction City

How many times a week do we all catch ourselves looking over into storefront windows and checking out our trucks as we drive by? Chances are, we can’t even count how many times! Even on our worst days, simply jumping into our trucks and putting some miles down can have great therapeutic results. Little do we ever realize, but a big part of the general public also admires our fancy rides. We may be only a small percentage of the overall huge world of trucking, but we can sure make a public statement.

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