We aren’t usually lucky. A day late and a dollar short. Murphy’s Law. However, you want to phrase it, that’s us. But not this time. We happened to be in Pulaski County, Missouri, on the day the Military Vehicle Preservation Association convoyed through on Route 66. Better yet, the convoy stopped for the evening at Fort Leonard Wood, located in Pulaski County. Fort Leonard Wood opened the event to the public, and our itinerary was flexible. So off we went to Fort Leonard Wood to see the 42 vehicles that made up this antique military vehicle convoy.
Owners of antique military vehicles convoy every two years to honor veterans, and specifically, veterans close to them.
They come from all over the United States, and some from overseas, as well. One of the vehicles was from New Zealand. The owner shipped the vehicle to the United States for the convoy.
Not all of the vehicles make the entire trip. The association designates certain points at which vehicles can enter the convoy. More were expected to join in Branson. Likewise, I heard one gentleman say he was leaving to go home the next day because of other commitments.
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Vehicles range from motorcycles to military transports. Owners of some of the larger vehicles have converted them to RVs, allowing them to sleep and eat in their vehicles. Owners of smaller vehicles sleep in hotels along the convoy route.
Although rewarding, convoying in an antique vehicle can take a toll on both the owner and the vehicle. On the day we saw the convoy, the temperature soared to 95 degrees with a heat index of 103. Most of the vehicles aren’t air conditioned. One owner pointed out that stopping for gas can take an hour or more, waiting for everyone to take their turn at a gas pump. And with the vehicles being as old as they are, there are occasional breakdowns. Thankfully, other vehicle owners, many of whom have restored their own vehicles themselves, are quick to help.
Here are some of the vehicles in the 2017 Route 66 antique military vehicle convoy.
Antique Military Vehicle Convoy continues
The antique military vehicle convoy on Route 66 will take a total of 28 days, finishing in Santa Barbara on October 14, 2017. You can following their progress on the MVPA Historic Convoys Facebook page. Their next convoy, scheduled for 2019, will be along another historic route, Lincoln Highway.
Disclosure: The Pulaski County Tourism Bureau hosted our visit to Pulaski County, Missouri.
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