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Monday, May 29, 2023

Winslow Bent Performs with Outdated Vans to Protect Their Tales

Final time we noticed Winslow Bent he had began an organization known as Legacy Basic Vans in Driggs, Idaho, simply west of his residence in Jackson Gap, Wyoming. At the moment, he was displaying Autoweek his newly refurbished 1947 Dodge Energy Wagon, a truck so fully and completely restored that we did not even wince once we heard it will price its purchaser $225,000.

Legacy takes vans just like the traditional Energy Wagon, Diamond T, and Studebaker all the way down to the naked steel, makes that naked steel higher, then builds them up from there with new interiors, new wheelbases (the place mandatory), and new, extra highly effective and dependable crate motors making far more horsepower than these items ever had when new. Since beginning the corporate in 2008, he is executed about 120 such truck rebuilds, every ranging in value from $200,000 to $450,000, “relying on the complexity of the construct.” Construct time is “multiple 12 months however lower than two.”

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That was six years in the past. Within the intervening years, Bent has gone considerably Hollywood. Or no less than YouTube. We stumbled throughout his YouTube channel, This Outdated Truck, accidentally. Right here was this smiling man with what he admits is “loopy COVID hair,” speaking about one thing known as a 1942 Ford Marmon-Herrington four-wheel-drive SnoGo. A SnoGo, it turned out, is a big machine that attaches onto the entrance of a truck and actually chews up all of the snow in entrance of it. You name within the SnoGo when the common snowplows have piled the snow too excessive to maneuver anymore. The SnoGo is available in, eats all of it up, and spits it out.

To indicate the seriousness and severity of the SnoGo’s operation, Bent fired it up and tossed in just a few watermelons—okayersploosh!—they obtained devoured and spat out, their remnants launching right into a discipline about 30 to 45 toes away. Fairly the shock to seek out that the man with the watermelons was our outdated good friend Winslow Bent. He had began this YouTube channel and appeared to be having a good time.

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“A number of my enterprise is, I’ve to supply a whole lot of automobiles for individuals,” Bent instructed us later. “So I spend a whole lot of time driving round locations like Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, and sort of assembly these loopy outdated timers which have cool items of equipment round and, consequently, I’ve simply had this rising checklist of those outdated timers which have superb items of apparatus.”

Accumulating Truckers’ Tales

So he felt an obligation to doc all of it. He noticed his job as a historian, gathering these truckers’ tales whereas there’s nonetheless time to do it.

“They’re dying, , and once they go, the story of those vans and what they did, it goes as effectively.”

So he began filming their tales and importing it to This Outdated Truck on YouTube.

He sees the tales of those vans because the story of the Outdated West. After the cowboy, the horse, and the wagon, there was the truck, and the truck did all the pieces.

this old truck

Certainly one of Bent’s energy wagons.


“You take a look at post-WWII, the entire growth that occurred within the Western United States, you could have dams, logging, bridges, telephones, energy traces, and all these items, it was the railroad that introduced it out to the central hubs, and from there, it was onto vans. The vans did an unbelievable quantity of labor constructing out the Western U.S.”

Every truck had a particular activity and was upfitted for it.

“I used to be simply at SEMA, and I feel one thing like 60 p.c of individuals will do one thing aftermarket to their truck. And the identical was true again then. So you can get your 1935 Diamond T truck, and you are like, ‘I want to switch this factor so I can use it to haul cows to market, I want to put phone poles.’ So what I am discovering is, not solely the outdated vans and the cool guys that used to function these items, however they’ve these actually humorous tales about how they possibility and make the automobile work for them. It is actually intelligent, simply to see what individuals got here up with. So principally, my foremost drive is simply, I really feel it is a necessity to document these items.”

After we spoke to him in 2021, he had 4 episodes within the can and up on the location—there are 11 now. If of a cool truck story, particularly if the proprietor continues to be round and might discuss it, contact Bent.

Within the meantime, watch just a few episodes. And begin saving up to your personal refurbished 1947 Dodge Energy Wagon. If you happen to order now, it will be able to go by Christmas 2025. Possibly sooner.

This story initially appeared in Autoweek in December 2021.

Headshot of Mark Vaughn

Mark Vaughn grew up in a Ford household and spent many hours holding a bother mild over a straight-six miraculously fed by a single-barrel carburetor whereas his father cursed Ford, all its merchandise and everybody who ever labored there. This was his introduction to goal automotive criticism. He began writing for Metropolis Information Service in Los Angeles, then moved to Europe and have become editor of a automobile journal known as, creatively, Auto. He determined Auto ought to cowl Method 1, sports activities prototypes and touring automobiles—nobody stopped him! From there he interviewed with Autoweek on the 1989 Frankfurt motor present and has been with us ever since.

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