East Coast Convoy and East Coast Rally at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, MD.

These are some photos that I took during the 2005 East Coast Convoy to the East Coast MV Rally held at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, MD in May 2005. The convoy consisted of military vehicles (and a few civilian ones for good measure) from WWII through the present and drivers came from as far north as Canada and from as far south as Florida with the westernmost driver hailing from Nevada.

As in the past, I drove up with the Southern Serial from the south and left Raleigh at 3:00pm on Wednesday afternoon headed north to the truck stop in Henderson, NC where I planned to meet the fellows from the western portion of the state. Once Brandon and Jamie arrived (Brandon in his M816 wrecker and Jamie in Brandon's M35A2C with M105 trailer in tow), we headed north on I85 toward Doswel (Richmond), VA. The trip up was smooth, except that when I hit the off ramp for the exit in Doswell where we planned to spend the night, I lost the two guys following me... Turns out that Jamie had run out of fuel a mile before the exit, right when a semi tucked in between us... I spent a little while at the top of the ramp waiting for them to pull up (flat towing the M35a2c with the M816) and talking to Adrian about converting his M37 to diesel (using a GM6.2 engine from a HMWWV) since he and his father Bjorn had stopped to check on me when they spotted me sitting on the shoulder (Bjorn took the cranetruck M35 around the corner and checked into the hotel..).

Just as we pulled into the truck stop across the street from the hotel parking lot, Kenny from Florida showed up in his 2.5 ton tractor with trailer and his son riding shotgun. We decided to have supper at the Denny's located at the hotel and to worry about getting the M35A2C fired up afterward. After supper, it took us a little while to bleed the air out of the deuce's fuel lines, but she fired right up and ran like a dream the rest of the way up to Aberdeen.

The next morning (Thursday), we headed north on US301 through APHill and the Virginia countryside with my M37 and M101A1 in the lead, the deuces following, and the M816 five ton wrecker bringing up the rear. After a smooth ride up to the Potomac River (crossed on the Harry Nice Bridge), we did the stoplight crawl for most of the ride up to Millersville, MD. At Millersville, we met up with the group from Martinsburg, WV, Baltimore, MD, and NoVA. For the ride up I97 to Baltimore through the Harbor Tunnel and on up to Aberdeen on I95, we had a column of vehicles consisting of jeeps, small trucks, and larger trucks up to the wrecker. My line to everyone was to keep a nice distance between themselves and the guy in front and behind, and to not let the wrecker pass them...

The Southern Serial arrived on time in Churchville, MD and only had a short wait (half hour or so) until the guys from the Northern Serials arrived as a group and we passed out the t-shirts and other goodies that our sponsors had donated. We then headed out as a massed column for Ripken Stadium and our final destination.

The Aberdeen MV show was outstanding. Place was sold out and there seemed to be plenty of variety in vendor stock. I spent the weekend socializing (met quite a few folks whom I had only corresponded with on the internet, made lots of new friends, and renewed friendships with others), eating (Carter drove over in his M37 and cooked hotdogs for lunch on Friday and Saturday this year and we did the community cooking in the southern area for most meals), drinking (never underestimate the power of a military discount at the liquor store, even if the only guy in uniform is at the register twenty feet away), and in buying/trading parts (came back with the same amount of stuff in the truck, but most of it was new to me...).

For the Southern Serial, half of the guys left the rally on Saturday afternoon in order to still have some weekend left to recover from their long trips. Bjorn, Adrian, Jamie, Brandon, and I, hung around until Sunday morning and had a smooth ride home with just a few challenges...

When we left the restaurant in Doswell on Sunday afternoon (same one we ate at on the way up), we noticed that one of the tires on the M105 trailer was flat. Turns out that it had picked up a sizeable nail along the route and had decided to loose all its air while we ate... With the aid of the cranetruck's knuckleboom, air tools, and experienced operators, the tire was changed for the spare carried on Brandon's M35A2 in only ten minutes..

When we pulled into the truck stop on the VA/NC border for a last fuel up before Brandon, Jamie, and I would part ways, I managed to loose my brakes while pulling up to the pumps. I had plenty of room to stop since the truckstop's parking lot (three football fields in size) was mostly empty and we discovered that I had lost a wheel cylinder on the left rear... With just a bit of work by Brandon and Jamie, my M37 and M101A1 were hooked up to the M816 for the ride down to Raleigh... We finished getting everything on the road just in time to play tag with some rain, heavy at times, light and misting at others...

Got home, unhooked the M37 and drove it across the street into my driveway and put it to bed while Jamie and Brandon headed west toward Morganton. Heard from the guys the next day that the M35A2 lost its clutch in Clemmons, so it ended the trip getting towed by the M816 as well.

Next year, I promise to not say "don't worry, we have a wrecker" when recruiting folks for the trip...

If you have questions about any of these photos, send me an email and I'll try to provide an answer. 

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Photos Caption
1 Convoy lineup in Aberdeen when the northern and southern serial groups meet prior to the combined drive to the stadium.
2 Brandon Cobb's M35
3 Brandon Cobb's five ton wrecker with the Cummins 250
4 Bjorn's "cranetruck" M35
5 Tim Harden's M37
6 Don Dornboos' M38A1
7 Cabell Garbee's M37
9-10 Blake Sheppard's M35 with a M105 in tow in a M151 in the bed...
11 Kenny Engle's deuce tractor with trailer.   He drove it all the way up from Loxahatchee, Florida...
12 John Officer's M35
16-17 Convoy lineup in Aberdeen when the northern and southern serial groups meet prior to the combined drive to the stadium.
18 Bjorn's deuce trailer
20-27 Brandon's wrecker, a very popular truck on the trip...
28-29 Bruce Kalin's M35 with M105 trailer and USMC tie down leg between the rear axles...
31-32 Randy Emr's deuce towing a deuce (fitted with a bomb hoist in the rear)
36 Convoy lineup in Aberdeen when the northern and southern serial groups meet prior to the combined drive to the stadium.
38-43 M37 tool box replacement panels from Sheldon at JeePanels Plus (another really great piece of workmanship at a reasonable price).
44-45 M37 front fender repair panel (goes under the headlight) from JeePanels Plus.
51-52 2.5 ton wrecker for sale by TNJ Murray of Dover, DE.
53-54 "My" little vendor space with the other guys from the southern serial camped beside me...
62 Gerry Zell's M37 with an excellent display of communications gear in the back.
63-65 Bruce using his deuce as a vantage stop to take some "high level" photos of the vehicle display area at the stadium.
69 Jeeps lined up in the vehicle judging/display area.
97 Jeeps lined up in the vehicle judging/display area.
107-113 Carter Davidson's M37 (the very same one that he used to drive when in the Maryland Army National Guard) loaded with a WWII generator in back for ballast when pushing snow, and the grill that he used to prepare hot dogs for all the M37 forum buddies of his that stopped by for lunch...
114 Cabell Garbee's M37 with a M101 hitched up...   Trailer served to not only haul sale items to the show, but as a "hotel room" for the duration of the show.
115-119 M101A2  3/4 ton trailer that had some bearing trouble on the way to the show.   Notice that this model of the M101 series of trailers has the same hubs and wheels as the CUCV trucks and has surge brakes...
120 Sunday morning, Brandon, Jamie, Bjorn, and Cabell lined up ready to leave for the return trip home.
121-122 Lined up at a rest area just north of Richmond, VA.
123-126 Bjorn gets to show off another use for the HIAB crane on his truck, lifting up Brandon's trailer so that a flat tire can be changed at lunch.   (Adrian, Bjorn's son also got to show us how fast one can remove and replace a tire when wielding an air gun with a Budd socket...)
127-138 My turn to show how useful Brandon's wrecker can be and for Brandon to show us that he really did read that TM before he left for the trip...    I blew out a brake line as I pulled into the last truck stop on I85 before we hit North Carolina on the trip home and we decided that it would be a lot easier to just tow my M37 and M101 home for repairs than to work on it at the truckstop...   Jamie and Brandon did a heck of a job getting everything hooked up while I took photos...
139-140 A couple of shots showing the wrecker and my rig when we pulled up on the street across the road from my house prior to unhooking everything and sneaking my truck across the highway into my driveway.
141-153 A few more details of how everything looks when setup for a tow...   Taken just before we unhooked everything...
150 Brandon's M35 with a M105 in tow that Jamie was driving....  I rode along with them following the wrecker and my rig from the VA/NC line to Raleigh...
154 My M37 and M101 in the driveway...