Convention fit for a Tank Plant!

How do you expose more than 14,000 people to the historic military vehicle hobby? Hosting the Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s annual convention at the I-X (International Exposition) Center in Cleveland appears to be one way!  On June 22-24, 2017, that is just what happened. A huge cooperative effort led by the Ohio Motorpool,  the local MVPA affiliate organization, resulted in one of the largest and best-attended MVPA Convention in the club’s 40+ year history.

The 2017 Military Vehicle Preservation Association’s Annual Convention occurred in the Cleveland I-X Center. Formerly the Cleveland Tank Plant, the massive facility was well-suited to host the largest Convention in the MVPA’s 41-year history.

”The I-X Center is a piece of American and Cleveland’s history,” added  Bill Perrien, Senior Vice-President for the I-X Center.  Billing the show as the “Cleveland Tank Plant Homecoming Military Show and Swap Meet,” the Convention partnered with clubs, museums, and businesses to  showcase the vehicles that were once built in the massive structure that now serves as Cleveland’s premier exposition hall. As a result of a huge marketing effort by the I-X Center, attendance reached record numbers for an MVPA Convention. Perrien remarked that the show captured “…the interest of the community by attracting prior employees and families of the two plants.” With feature displays of the vehicles manufactured in Cleveland, the two-and-a-half day public side of the show drew thousands of people with an interest in the history of the vehicles and the former manufacturing plant.

Phil Huffman’s 1941 WC-26 received a Restored Class MASTER award and was the Judge’s Choice for the convention.

John Cheney, II led the discussions, planning and negotiations with the management of the I-X Center for the past three years. Combining an MVPA International Convention with a large public military show was not an easy task, but they worked together to a host an event that was meaningful to the hobby and exposed thousands more to what is we do in the hobby.

More than 14,000 visitors viewed over 300 displays that included examples of vehicles and planes manufactured in Cleveland. A wide variety of food opportunities and commercial booths complemented the deep show vendor area, making a family visit entertaining for all members, including young children.  No one appeared to be “bored” or “forced to go to a show.” There was enough to entertain a variety of interests.


Motorpool Class vehicles represent a military vehicle wherein the owner has chosen to research and present the vehicle as it might have appeared at a specific point during its time of active military service (rather than a “factory-fresh” example). Motorpool Class vehicles are held to comparably high standards than any other judged vehicle.

Within the Motorpool Class, vehicles achieving a 98%-100% score receive the Veteran Award.

Motor Pool Class — BRONZE
M35A2 1971 Jeep Corp, David Thomas

Motor Pool Class — SILVER
M3A4 1944 John Wood, Barry Welsh

Motor Pool Class — GOLD
WLA 1942 Harley-Davidson, Sean Carrigan
GPW 1943 Ford, Van Cole
WC-56 1942 Dodge, Bill Scott
M151A2 1973 AM General, Richad Smith
M416 1967 Stevens, Richard Smith
M29 1944 Studebaker, Gary Szechy
WLA 1944 Harley-Davidson, Barry Welsh
Airborne Bicycle 1944 BSA, Barry Welsh

Motor Pool Class — VETERAN
M52A2 1967 Kaiser-Jeep, Cheney Collection
1/4-ton 4×4 CT 1953 Austin, Robert Hetman
M29C 1945 Studebaker, Brock Jolliffe
712K 1977 Steyr-Puch, Ken Kline
M38A1D 1952 Willys-Overland, Andy Tally
M29C 1945 Studebaker, Richard Wark

Restored Class vehicles represent a vehicle as delivered from the manufacturer to the military. A Restored Class vehicle should appear — in condition and accuracy — as a new vehicle throughout.

Within the Restored Class, vehicles achieving a score of 98%-100% receive the Master Award.

Restored Class — BRONZE
M151A1 1967 Ford, Donna Duke
MB 1944 Logan Handley

Restored Class — SILVER
M151 1961 Ford, Kevin Emdee
M38 1951 Willys-Overland, Todd Kirby
GPW 1942 Ford, Sherwin Koning
M38 1952 Willys-Overland, Carlos Malpartida
M151AC 1964 Ford, John Murray

Restored Class — GOLD
M422A1 1961 AMC, Lou Buchli
M100 1953 Strick, Lou Buchli
M16A1 1944 Autocar, Fred Muesegae
WC-9 1941 Dodge, Dan Dague
MB 1943 Willys, Richard Grim
Auxiliary Ambulance 1944 Ford, Mike Nickels

Restored Class — MASTER
WC-26 1941 Dodge, Phil Huffman
M274A5 w/106mm RR 1970 Brunswick, Lance Miller
M274A1 1964 Kaiser-Jeep, Lance Miller
M151A2 1971 AM General, Jan Nutting

Vietnam Medial Tent, Ted Mathies

M274 Mule Display, Lance Miller

WC-26 1941 Dodge, Phil Huffman

In addition to the awards for the various classes of judged vehicles, the Association presented a variety of awards to several deserving members,organizations, and institutions, recognizing their contributions to the furtherance of the historic military vehicle hobby. These included:

*MVPA Bart Vanderveen Memorial Distinguished Service Award: Ian Young

*Jacques Littlefield Award for Preservation & Education Excellence: Musee Des Blindes, Saumur, France

*The Military Vehicle Collectors Club of Oregon  Award for Excellence: Auxiliary Ambulance, Mike Nickels

*Hagerty Insurance Young Judges Choice: Cheney Collection of Rockets and Missile, John Cheney, II

*MVPA Affiliate Website Award: Dixie Division MV Club

*MVPA Affiliate Newsletter Award: Rob Fraser & Lisa Ward, editors of Military Jeep Club of Queensland’s Command Reconnaissance

*MVPA Recruiter of the Year: Russell Deese

*MVPA Pioneer Award: David Uhrig

*MVPA Honor Roll:
-Mike Wright, Update of MVPA GPW Resto Guide
-Bill Junker, Cushman Airborne Scooter Research
-Bob Guinta, Study of Studebaker Weasels

Kyle Florian’s M3.

Dave Schwarz’s 1967 M715.

Chip Lytle’s 1954 GMC M135.

Mike Spradlin’s 1942 M2 Half-Track.

Barry Welsh’s 1944 WLA received a Motor Pool Class GOLD.

George Aurant’s 1970 M35A2.

A sample of the Cheney Collection’s Missile Defense. This collection took home the Hagerty Insurance-sponsored Young Judge’s Choice Award.

Cheney Collection’s 1963 M578.

In addition to many other vehicles, Tom Price displayed the evolution of the Mighty Mite.

Lance Miller won the “Best Vehicle Display” for his exhibit of mules that showed each evolution of the 4×4 platform truck.

David Dorson’s 1942 GPW.

Jim Hrib’s 1943 IH M2-4.

Sean Carrigan’s 1942 WLA.

David Arreola’s 1968 Brunswick M274A5.

Alan Wise’s 2001 Steyr-Puch Pinzgauer 718M.

Tom Gray’s 1977 M151A2.

Dale Smiley’s 1940 VC-5.

Bruce Blankenship’s 1992 Harley Davidson MT500 was one of 18 built for the USAF Combat Command.

Mike Nickels’ Ford / Schult Trailers 1944 Auxiliary Ambulance received a Restored Class GOLD.

Tom Watkins’ 1941 WC-3 and 1944 G518 trailer.

Neil Ammons’ 1986 M923A2.

Richard Mastin’s 1954 M170.

Kenny Adams’ 1945 DUKW.

Lou Frank’s 1959 M274.

Cheney Collection’s GOER.

In 2012, the Ohio Motorpool purchased a “true barn find” — a 1944 LCVP. It had been sold as surplus by the US Navy in 1947.

Tom Carrell’s 1970 M561.

About the MVPA

Established in 1976, the non-profit MVPA is dedicated to providing an international organization for military vehicle enthusiasts, historians, preservationists and collectors interested in the acquisition, restoration, preservation, safe operation and public display of historic military transport. The MVPA has 6,000 members worldwide, including nearly 100 affiliate groups from around the world.

About The Ohio Motorpool, Inc.

The Ohio Motorpool is a local MVPA affiliate organization opened to any and all interested in the collection, restoration and preservation of historic military vehicles and history of all years. The Ohio Motorpool has also participated in the Piston Powered Autorama in March for the past four years.

About the I-X Center

The International Exposition (I-X) Center in Cleveland, Ohio is one of the nation’s premier exhibition facilities. It is the largest single building convention center in the United States, comprised of 2.2 million sq. ft., including more than one million sq. ft. of flexible presentation space. I-X Center is conveniently located adjacent to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, just 15 minutes southwest of downtown Cleveland, with nearby hotels and secure on-site parking for more than 7,000 vehicles. For the last 30 years, the convention center has hosted more than 1,500 events attracting 50 million visitors. For more information:

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