-->Skip to main content
All About Cars is your home for stories, short form pieces, articles and, more related to the car hobby. Stories come from friends of Carlisle Events, staff, automotive journalists, and you!
Want to contribute to All About Cars?
Annually, the Carlisle Truck Nationals presented by A&A Auto Stores ho …
Annually, the Carlisle Truck Nationals presented by A&A Auto Stores host trucks of all shapes, sizes, styles, and eras. In addition, hundreds of Big Rigs populate the Big Rig Show and Shine. These haulers are just a few of the millions of "big trucks" that traverse our country's roadways daily, delivering goods and services to all of us. For this week's All About Cars, we celebrate National Truck Driver Appreciation Week. Below is a recognition piece from our friends at the American Trucking Associations! In addition to their adulations, Carlisle Events would like to thank every trucker on the road today as well as every trucker who has ever been part of the Carlisle Truck Nationals and Big Rig Show and Shine!
Every day, millions of Americans get behind the wheel and head out on the highways. Some of them are off to the grocery store, some to their place of work and others on road trips, but 3.6 million are professional truck drivers. These are the hard-working professional men and women that deliver the goods that keep America moving.
From the food we eat, the clothes we wear, to the medical supplies and equipment we use to stay healthy – professional truck drivers get things where they need to be, on time, safely, and securely.
Beginning on September 11, 2022, we will celebrate National Truck Driver Appreciation Week (NTDAW). Before, during, and after the COVID-19 pandemic, professional truck drivers take on a heroic role by delivering the essential goods to our country. The sacrifices that professional drivers made to help carry the nation through the pandemic must never be understated. To deliver for American families, drivers put their own health, and the health of their families on the line. Their dedication and sacrifice is deserving of our praise, recognition, and appreciation.
Truck drivers deliver over 10 billion tons of freight every year, which is about 70% of all the freight moved in the U.S. In the United States, 80% of communities – cities and towns just like Carlisle, Pennsylvania – receive all their goods via truck.
The trucking industry is the backbone of our economy, and our professional drivers are the industry’s heart. Their commitment to safety and dependability ensures our quality of life remains intact – even during a global pandemic.
This week, when you’re in a grocery store, take a minute to notice how stocked the shelves are – and always remained, even during the most trying moments of the pandemic. Then think about the professional drivers that delivered all the food you, and everyone else you know, put into your carts and brought home to your families. When sitting at home, maybe in your home office, look around and realize that everything inside it was at some point in the back of truck before it got to where it is now.
When next at a restaurant or picking up takeout, think about the meal you’re about to eat and how the ingredients were very recently delivered by truck. Think about all the jobs truck drivers have made possible out of the commitment to do theirs.
The next time you’re cruising down the highway and pass by a truck, give them the famous honking sign – they’ll love it! If a passenger in your vehicle is able to capture the moment on video, post it to social media and include the hashtag #honkforhighwayhereos and #thankatrucker.
During this National Truck Driver Appreciation Week, take a moment to be thankful for the efforts of America’s truck drivers and recognize that without them, your home, your workplace, your dinner table, and your life, would look very different.
Our most sincere thanks to America's professional truck drivers, who truly do move our great country forward.
Staffers of Carlisle Events are privy to some things that we can't always share in advance of an event. Sometimes, w …
Staffers of Carlisle Events are privy to some things that we can't always share in advance of an event. Sometimes, we can't even share them at the event but if you (the event guest) notice them, we can talk about it. One such thing is Team Chevrolet's fleet of Z06 Corvettes that they brought to Corvettes at Carlisle in 2022. Sure, they had a few Z06 Corvettes within their tent and even hosted walk-arounds on the 70th Anniversary edition, but did you know there were about two dozen more just kind around the grounds...hidden in plain sight?
Our friends at Corvette Forum did not know this in advance, but when writer Joe Kucinski parked his car in the VIP lot, he stumbled into a jackpot!
Check out this week's All About Cars to learn about the rides that Team Chevrolet brought to Carlisle, including VIN #002!
Hidden C8 Z06 Test Fleet Found at Corvettes at Carlisle 2022 by Joe Kucinski
Just like the titles reads, the 50th Anniversary Bloomington Gold Corvette event was held recently. The event has moved around frequentl …
Just like the titles reads, the 50th Anniversary Bloomington Gold Corvette event was held recently. The event has moved around frequently over the years. I personally feel this year it was at the right venue – where it started. Bloomington, Illinois holds true to some wonderful memories through the years. For as long as I can remember, my father and I would venture off to Bloomington Gold each year to help promote Corvettes at Carlisle and our other events. Dad would judge each year for BG which forced me to hand out brochures for our events and speaking to potential new guests.
Speaking of great memories, all I heard over the two-day event was people reminiscing of the old days at Bloomington Gold. Yes, I was often trying to remember much of the facility from “back in the day” however I honestly did not. With that said, the event was held at Illinois State University which is a state of the art beautiful campus. What I did remember were all the fun memories I had with my father/son trips to/from BG each year. I recall burnouts in the hotel parking lots, to fun parties at friends homes to just hanging out with a bundle of Corvette buddies. Again, I love that Bloomington Gold is back home…it just felt right.
The first day was setup day, so I setup our indoor booth space in the arena which was a very large facility that consists of many basketball courts. There were plenty of vendors setup in the indoor arena and there was also some outdoor vending as well. I enjoyed making my rounds and catching up with many vendors throughout the event. Just about everyone I spoke too really liked the new venue and a majority of them felt that more people came out versus the previous location which was at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Bloomington Gold is certainly known for their judging and this year didn’t disappoint. When you walked into the amazing Redbird Arena. There were Corvettes of all generations represented and the view was superb when looking down from the birds-eye view seating. On Saturday, the Corvette parade was well received too. I enjoyed walking around downtown Bloomington-Normal as they had a band playing in the streets.
One of my favorite parts of Bloomington Gold is the Special Collection. This year hosted some of the very best Corvettes in the world. It was really amazing seeing them all in one location. Speaking of memories, boy did this building bring back some serious memories – the same one that the Special Collection started in. There were super low mileage L88’s (12 mile car) all the way to a ’63 Grand Sport from the Revs Institute and everything in between. I took plenty of pictures for you to enjoy the event if you couldn’t make it.
Overall Bloomington Gold was a fun-filled event. As I often say… the cars bring us together, but the people behind the wheel is what the hobby is all about. It was nice catching up with many friends and forming a few new ones along the way. Life is good!
In today's world, used or "pre-owned" cars and trucks may command a high price, but how do you make a purchase without being taken advantage of - or worse yet, buying a lemon?
This is what Paul will cover during these FREE how-to seminars. Spread the word because the seminars will be about how to purchase a used vehicle and NOT be taken advantage of.
This interactive seminar hosted by Paul will cover things for the first time buyer or a seasoned owner to help eliminate the mystery of used car purchases. Koerner has over 25 years of experience serving many different makes and models and will guide you through the ins and out.
Again, this seminar is FREE once on-site, so be sure to make your plans to literally "learn more" at a Carlisle car show in 2022!
Don't take my word for it - hear it from Paul himself!
Carlisle Chrysler Nationals Preview
It was clear that people were ready to get back out in 2021 and we saw that with a record setting 2,927 show cars! That beats the old record by more than 100 cars, which is bittersweet because we did it without our Canadian friends who typically bring another 120 Mopars. We have our fingers crossed in hopes that we break the 3,000-car mark this year, but even more important, we want to see our Canadian Mopar family again. We hope you’ll join us this July to help break the record and exceed 3,000 cars.
Speaking of huge, the all-Mopar swap meet is on track to sell out again. After selling out in 2019 and 2021 (we sold Car Corral spots for general vending to accommodate where we could), we added a few more spaces; don’t ask how!! We have just over 3,000 vending spaces in the swap meet and as of this writing (late March), we have less than 300 remaining. If you haven’t booked your spaces yet, contact us ASAP to see if we have any left.
In a lot of cases, there is an actual family connection with our Mopars and we’re going to highlight some of those vehicles this year with a Mopars in the Family display. We’re looking for cool cars for this, but we’re just as interested in the story. We’ve heard some incredible stories involving Mopars over the years and now we want to feature them. The only requirement for consideration is a family connection. We’ll know a great story when we hear it, so if you have one that you think qualifies, please submit an application.
We’re taking a slight detour for our next featured display, but this isn’t the first time we’ve done something untraditional. We did the first ever Barn Finds display way back in 2010 by filling Building Y with derelict Mopars. Our sanity was questioned but it turned out to be a hit. This year we’re straying from automobiles a bit and doing a non-automotive Mopar Collectibles Display. Imagine a building filled with go karts, bicycles, Sno Runners, boats, driving simulators and more…all with a Mopar connection. We’re still looking for cool items and we’re especially looking for things we might not know exist. You’re strongly encouraged to submit if you have something for this once-in-a-lifetime display. You won’t want to miss this one!
1972 was a full 50 years ago. Performance was waning but Mopar hadn’t given up. You could still get a 440, a 4-speed and a Dana 60 in a B-Body. 340s still rocked and came in some pretty attractive packages. We’ll have some of the nicest ‘72s and a couple of the rarest as we celebrate 50 years of the 1972 model year. If you have a truly unique ’72, go to www.CarlisleFeatures.com to submit an application.
Most people reading this probably remember when the Prowler came out. It was unlike anything an OEM had ever made. It was a factory-built street rod. It wasn’t all that long ago, right? It was 25 years ago! It’s kind of rare to see a Prowler these days but we’re expecting to have 50+ including some special ones in a big tent on the Showfield. From bone stock to highly modified, we’ll have them all.
We didn’t let Covid slow us down in 2020 and put our full effort into the show. We wanted everyone who attended to get the same experience and quality they have come to expect from Carlisle Events. Even though many 1970 Charger owners are from Canada, including the leader of the registry, we moved forward with the 50th anniversary celebration. It was done with the understanding that there would be a redo as soon as Canadians could travel freely to the US. So this year will be the 1970 Charger 50th Anniversary Redux. These owners are a passionate bunch and we’re expecting a record turnout!
We were tightlipped about last year’s collectible diecast offering because we weren’t sure if it would be done in time due to its complexity. We replicated John McCabe’s Old Skool Paint 1971 Charger dubbed “Mr. Hemi.” It was our coolest offering to date! This year we have the first in a two-part set. Do you remember the 1971 ‘Cuda ad with the 340 on the left and the Hemicuda on the right? This year will be the 340 ‘Cuda and the packaging will be the left side of the ad. Next year we’ll offer the Hemicuda with the right side of the ad. When displayed together, you’ll have the full ad.
We’re always adding something new to the show and this year we’re doing something we’ve never done. Join us at the stage on Friday morning for a “State of the Hobby” address. You’re reading MCG right now so you’re most likely familiar with Rob’s annual “State of the Hobby” column. However, this will be live and will involve several presenters including media, restorers, custom builders, Mopar businesses, SEMA reps, show promoters, racers and more. At the conclusion of the address there will be some really cool Mopar unveilings. Stay tuned!
In addition to the aforementioned highlights, the show will have Mel Major’s Mopar Survivors display, autocross shootout, special guests, Kids at Carlisle, women’s activities and so much more. Outside of the event hours, don’t forget to hang out with your Mopar family. We’ve been part of some pretty awesome hotel parking lot gatherings. You’re also welcome to stick around the fairgrounds to hang at your club tent, by your car, etc. Whatever you decide, make sure to make the most of your time at the Carlisle Chrysler Nationals in Carlisle, PA, July 15-17. Go to www.CarlisleEvents.com for more information.
To a historian, the Turnpike is one of the last great expressions of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, and surely one of the most enduring. …
To a historian, the Turnpike is one of the last great expressions of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal, and surely one of the most enduring. To the 15,000 people who built the first 160 miles in a shade less than two years, it was a gigantic project squeezed into an impossibly short timetable.
Today, to more than 200 million motorists and truckers a year, it is a highway that offers savings in time, fuel, and vehicle wear.
In their rush to get to the next exit, it’s likely that most of those travelers today consider the Turnpike to be just another road. Yet, when the first stretch of 160 miles from Carlisle to Irwin opened on Oct. 1, 1940, it was absolutely unique in American transportation. It was the nation’s first superhighway, forming the blueprint for creation of the federally sponsored Interstate Highway network – 43,000 miles of multiple-lane, divided, limited-access roads that American motorists very much take for granted today.
“In an era of jet travel, magnetic levitation trains, and eight-lane interstates, it’s hard to imagine the curiosity and pure marvel generated by what is today commonplace,” wrote Frank Cozzoli, a staff writer of the Harrisburg Patriot and Evening News. “People were so enamored with the highway, they actually drove it for no reason at all, often stopping at the modern service plazas, treating themselves to ice cream at the Howard Johnson’s fountain, and then returning home.”
Designing and building the Turnpike was a massive undertaking. Ground was broken on Oct. 27, 1938, on a 10-mile stretch near Newville, Cumberland County, that would involve excavation of 850,000 cubic yards of earth and rock. The contract amount was $458,058 – a sum that today would buy a very small bridge. L.M. Hutchison of Mount Union, who was an APC officer at that time, submitted the lowest of 23 bids.
First concrete was poured on Dec. 13, 1938, on the foundation of an eight-foot reinforced concrete culvert near Newville. Two days later, Walter Jones and Turnpike Chief Engineer Samuel W. Marshall addressed APC’s convention in Harrisburg. One of the other speakers discussed “German Highways,” a reference to the Autobahn system after which the general Turnpike design was patterned.
With such a short deadline for construction, time was too precious to design the project in its entirety before work began. Because the PWA was scheduled to go out of existence in mid-1940, the Turnpike Commission was supposed to have the highway substantially complete within 20 months (later extended). Within a year of the groundbreaking, some 1,100 engineers were at work grinding out design plans while construction was already underway on sections already contracted.
By working two and three shifts, with huge spotlights blazing through the night in some of the most rural areas, the 155 contractor firms completed the job in 23 months. The design standards were striking for that era – no grade was steeper than 3 percent; no curve was sharper than 6 degrees (and all were designed with spiral easements and superelevation); and 110 miles of the 160-mile total was on straightaways.
Each lane was 12 feet wide, with a 10-foot-wide grass median strip. Seven tunnels, averaging a mile each, were constructed as the means of avoiding the climb over the Alleghenies. Not only did they keep the motorist off the foggy mountaintops, but they also sliced the accumulated climb from 13,000 feet, via U.S. Route 30, to just 3,990 feet.
The historical importance of the Turnpike was obvious even as it was being built. George Briner of Carlisle went to work on a Turnpike crew, driving a petroleum truck, soon after graduating from Dickinson College with a degree in history. “I just wanted to say I worked on the first superhighway,” he said. “I didn’t care what job I did.”
The project was not without its share of incidents. There were labor troubles between established unions and local people who wanted Turnpike jobs in Somerset County. Twenty-one sticks of dynamite were found under a bridge in Bedford County, and some sabotage of equipment was reported. Fights sometimes broke out in the workers’ camps. And at least 19 workers died in construction accidents, four of them in August 1939 in a rock fall inside Laurel Hill Tunnel.
Finally, the great road that everyone was calling the “Dream Highway” was completed. It was opened Oct. 1, 1940 at 12:01 a.m. Because of partisan political considerations, no special ceremonies were held.
Along the highway, 10 service plazas offered travelers Howard Johnson’s food and Esso gasoline. An immediate success, the Turnpike handled an unbelievable 27,000 vehicles on the first Sunday it was open, and 30,000 the second Sunday. In its first year the road carried 2.4-million vehicles, compared to the Commission’s own estimates of 1.3 million and the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads’ pessimistic estimate of 261,000. The 2.4 million annual vehicles that traveled in 1940- 41 represents about 4 days worth of traffic in recent pre-pandemic traffic volume levels. Probably the most striking aspect of the Turnpike’s opening was that it cut an arduous, six-hour drive across Pennsylvania’s mountains via the winding, hilly William Penn or Lincoln Highways to about 2-1/2 hours for the fastest motorists.
By the time Pennsylvania’s initial toll-road expansion ended, the system reached 470 miles in length. More was planned, but the passage of federal legislation in 1956, creating the toll-free Interstate Highway system with its 90 percent federal funding guarantee, put an end to toll road growth. The Pennsylvania portions of Interstate 79, I-80, I-81, I-90 and part of U.S. Route 15 (Harrisburg to Gettysburg) all were proposed in legislation as Turnpike extensions before the Interstate Act came along.
Today the Turnpike continues its legacy of innovation in the ground-transportation industry with a modern-day mission to operate a safe, reliable, customer-valued toll road system that supports national mobility and commerce. Recent advances include designing and building award-winning facilities and structures; investing in wider and smoother roadways; and providing traveler benefits such as All-Electronic Tolling, innovative smartphone apps, and a dedicated 24/7 customer safety and response team.
To learn more about the PA Turnpike’s deep history, please visit https://www.paturnpike.com/about-us/turnpike-history.
This article, written by Dan Cupper, a Harrisburg-based transportation writer, appeared in Highway Builder in 2015 and has been edited and updated to reflect current Turnpike history.
Book online or call (800) 216-1876