Power to the People: Power Wagon Owners Gather for the 2018 Vintage Power Wagons Rally

Power in Iowa!

Jim AllenPhotographer, Writer

You may not know it, but Fairfield, Iowa, is the center of the Dodge Power Wagon universe. For the past 31 years, Fairfield, population 9,464, has been home to the Vintage Power Wagons Rally, hosted by a company that has become the primary worldwide support for owners of Dodge Power Wagons, World War II Dodge military trucks, and classic Dodge trucks in general. Strangely enough, that company calls itself Vintage Power Wagons, and they’ve been in business since 1975.

The five-day Rally is low key and very much a self-directed event. Vintage Power Wagons (VPW) has a daily list of available activities and participants make the choice. VPW remains open for business and tours, but the Rally welcome center and show area are at the Jefferson Country Fairgrounds. Most of the participants’ trucks could be viewed and ogled there, at least when they weren’t out on the trail or at one of the many scheduled events.

The trail runs took people over terrain of varied difficulty, from relatively hard for the built rigs to easy for the restored trucks. Kerr Farm provided the most difficult venue, and the Phillips Farm provided less strenuous Power Wagon exercises. For those that wanted to see Iowa farm country in a more laid-back way, there were several road tours as well over those five days. In one road tour, the destination was to Steffensmeier Welding and Manufacturing to see how various products are made, followed by a luncheon. Another road trip took Power Wagoneers to a local winery for a little tasting party. Tech sessions covered topics such as base and clearcoat painting techniques. Meals, award banquets, and raffles completed the social side of the event.

The competition side of things started with a Tough Truck competition obstacle course at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds arena on Wednesday night. That was followed up by the Power Wagon truck pull at the same venue on Friday, with an honest-to-goodness pulling sled! Despite being powered by 100-horse sixes, even the stockers did well.

The final event is the parade and show in the town square of Fairfield. Virtually all the 126 trucks registered were there, along with 341 registered people. The VPW Rally has become a bit of a local party; so many locals are also in attendance. Regrettably, a gully washer came through the area just as the parade arrived, sending everyone scurrying for cover. It cleared later but probably lessened the normal crowd. Any trucks still dirty got a free wash, with a spot-free rinse.

For more information visit vintagepowerwagons.com.

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