Truck Show with IH models and more this Saturday
MUNCY – When the second annual International Harvester (IH) National Truck Show opens locally Saturday, there will be a section for odd ball makes and models. “People keep calling wanting to bring brands other than IH and we say sure,” said Oliver Sones of Sones Farm and Home Museum where the show will be held July 12 on Industrial Park Road west of Muncy.
In an area marked ‘others’ will be a well known 1948 Ford truck operated locally since purchased new by Sam Fought from the John Turner Garage at his dealership on South Main Street. Coincidentally, the 66-year-old truck is currently parked on the same site as Murray Motor’s Collision Shop.
The saga of the 4-ton truck began with Sam Fought, owner of the grist mill on Race Street in Hughesville. Red was the truck’s original color with signage stenciled on the door identifying it as Fought & Son, the son being Raymond Fought.
“It was one of the first new vehicles Turner sold after WWII. Fitted with a stake bed, my great-grandfather used it for hauling but soon went to a seven-ton truck and then one hauling nine-ton loads,” said Jerry Fought, the current grist miller.
The next transfer of ownership occurred in the mid 1950’s, sold to Eldon “Shorty” Whipple who painted it blue, removed the bed and fitted it for service as a towing wrecker. “My father had worked locally at various garages; then in 1946 went into business for himself at 16 West Water Street in Hughesville. With a corner stone dated 1873, the location was formerly the site of the Rohrhursh Hotel carriage house,” son Steve Whipple said.
The time period of the Whipple purchase was shortly after the Korean War. “Soldiers began returning home and needed cars to get to their jobs. When dad towed a wrecked vehicle to the shop, it was common to be followed and questioned about buying it when fixed. He kept a list of those who had inquired,” Steve said.
For several years, Shorty Whipple was president of the Susquehanna Valley Auto Body and Alignment Association. “The group met monthly and dad and my brother Jim were photographed at a Steak House Restaurant in South Williamsport, now part of the Little League complex. Members would wash and polish their town trucks and drive them to the meetings,” Steve said.
Trading up to a newer model in 1967, Whipple sold the tow truck to Ray Brown of Murray Motors of Muncy. There had been no sightings of the truck until recently when it appeared looking brand spanking new at Murray Motors Body Shop at their location at 65 South Main Street, Hughesville.
In charge of restoration, body shop manager Joe Stover and the crew took photos of every step of the process. “We tore the truck down to the frame and had it sanded too,” Stover said. The Murray crew had hoped to have it debut during the Hughesville Carnival parade, however the job was not quite finished. On Saturday, July 12, the Ford truck will be on the Sones Museum grounds proudly displayed among makes and models from many states.