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  #1  
Old 30-06-15, 22:28
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is online now
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Default MVPA Convention, Topeka KS

Gents,

Just returned home from the MVPA annual convention in Topeka, Kansas. It was a 3,000 mile round trip, and well worth it. Caught up with several other Ford GP restorers, managed to find a few parts I was after, and found a few more reference books to add to the library. Displayed vehicles included an LVT-3, Sherman 'Grizzly', several half tracks and even a current M1070 Oshkosh tank transporter tractor. The usual array of jeeps, Mules, and other smaller vehicles, most restored to a very high standard. Lots of parts, lots of people, lots of fun: it was a great few days.

Among the reference books I purchased is a 1952 US Army book simply called 'Tank Data'. It was a reference hand-out on US Armor courses. The surprise was the contents: it is a survey of around 120 AFVs held at Aberdeen Proving Ground, each with an image and extensive technical specifications. Some rare vehicles in the book that I certainly don't remember seeing at APG when I visited several years ago.

Visited the Strategic Air Command Museum at Ashland, Nebraska, en route, and the Heartland MV museum. Both were worth the visit - the SAC Museum has a B36 Peacemaker on display - what a mammoth aircraft! The Heartland Museum was refreshingly accurate in their extensive captions to the displays, and a diverse series of displays there are, too, including two Bradley IFVs.

Next year's convention will be closer: it's in California!!

Mike

Last edited by Mike Cecil; 01-07-15 at 00:57. Reason: corrected nomenclature on LVT
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  #2  
Old 01-07-15, 00:47
motto motto is offline
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Did you drive or fly Mike?
LVT ?

Dave
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Last edited by motto; 01-07-15 at 15:44.
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  #3  
Old 01-07-15, 01:01
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is online now
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Dave,

I drove: driving the interstates is great (except in Nebraska, where the speed limits are 65mph!!) Wyoming and SD are mostly now changed to 80mph (up from 75mph) on the interstates, and all dual carriageway, so only the occasional need to cancel the cruise control.

You made me think again about the LVT - my error: it was an LVT-3 with the Cadillac engines in the sponsons. Fully restored, running: beautiful restoration. I didn't see it running, but it drove into the hall on the set-up day, and was said to be very quiet.

Regards

Mike
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  #4  
Old 01-07-15, 03:58
rob love rob love is online now
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Derk Derin, Myself, and another friend drove down for the Thursday morning opening, and stayed until Saturday afternoon. I have to say I was a little disappointed in the convention. Many of the major dealers were not there. Wallce Wade was not there, so no tires, tubes and flaps. TNW Murray was not there, so no M151A2 parts. Beachwood Canvas was not there, so no canvas items. I am pretty sure there were at least 50 tables still empty, and that was after some dealers spread their stuff out to try and use up the real estate.

Even the barn out back had minimal vendors in it. But they are truly the gem of these shows. Some of the guys just brought in boxloads of stuff and did not want to take it home again. I got a NOS Ford carrier distributor (no coil or caps, but with points and rotor) for $40, and one of the WW2 US spotlights, NOS, for only $40. Also got a decent WW2 Cdn/Brit stretcher for $40.

Other highlights were John Bizal (Midwest Military) who brought me some pre-ordered items, RAPCO, from whom I bought the usual pallet of paint, and Rod Shaver for the Bren carrier track pins. Brian Asbury was there of course, so it was good talking to him and neat to see some of the treasures he still has for the CMPs and M-series.

Just like a gun show, some dealers started out with outrageous prices, and by the end of the show were willing to deal. I got one of the European repro Ramsey winches for my M38A1 for around half the initial asking price by dealing at the last minute. I didn't hardball the fellow, and told him I would have no hard feelings if he turned down my offer, but with the exchange rates we Canadians have to pay for US dollars, the offer was as much as I was going to pay.

I may miss out on next years California show as it is too far a drive, and I think someone told me they were going to have the 2017 show in Kentucky, so that one may be out as well. Hopefully it ends up in the midwest again for 2018.....I'll be running out of paint by then.
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  #5  
Old 01-07-15, 05:10
Mike Cecil Mike Cecil is online now
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Pity we didn't coord before hand, Rob, we could have met for a chat.

Weebee Webbing from Richmond, Ohio were there with there range of canvas products (and I think I'll be getting the GP canvas, webbing and hardware from Dave), plus I got the new 6.00-16 tubes I needed as well from Dan someone (can't remember his name).

But I agree: some of the usual suspects were not there. I had hoped to see Vintage Wiring of Maine (now operating in NC, so closer to Topeka) there but no joy.

Mike
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Old 01-07-15, 16:00
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Not many LVT 3s about either.
Twin Cadillac V8 side valves - music to the ears. A superb engine in every way.

Dave
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Old 01-07-15, 16:20
rob love rob love is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Cecil View Post
Pity we didn't coord before hand, Rob, we could have met for a chat.

Weebee Webbing from Richmond, Ohio were there with there range of canvas products (and I think I'll be getting the GP canvas, webbing and hardware from Dave), plus I got the new 6.00-16 tubes I needed as well from Dan someone (can't remember his name).

But I agree: some of the usual suspects were not there. I had hoped to see Vintage Wiring of Maine (now operating in NC, so closer to Topeka) there but no joy.

Mike
I was supposed to bu a MB/GPW soft top along with bows and hardware for a friend of mine. Normally at one of these shows I wold have choice of 3 or 4 vendors to buy from. There was nothing at this show. Another guy wanted me to pick him up some rear seat covers for a M38A1. There was none of those to be had either.

I saw the fellow with the tubes for sale, and in fact bought a few things from him. Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of things to spend on, and quite a number of them I didn't even know I needed until I saw them. I did manage to spend every US dollar that I had on me, so it was success on that front. But it was not the usual show where you could show up with a shopping list and fill it.
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  #8  
Old 02-07-15, 04:30
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chris vickery chris vickery is offline
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Perhaps the mid-West venue is the main reason for the turnout such as it was.
Topeka is not exactly on the main route to anywhere...
This year's show in Aberdeen was a little lackluster as well, but from what I gathered, the show in Findlay OH was also running the same weekend so many venodrs had to pick one ot the other.
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1968 M274A5 Mule Baifield USMC
1966 M274A2 Mule BMY USMC
1958 M274 Mule US Army
1970 M38A1 CDN3 70-08715 1 CSR
1981 MANAC 3/4T CDN trailer
1943 Converto Airborne Trailer
1983 M1009 CUCV

RT-524, PRC-77s,
and trucks and stuff and more stuff and and.......

OMVA, MVPA, G503, Steel Soldiers
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  #9  
Old 02-07-15, 06:12
rob love rob love is online now
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I think it may be a sign of the times. I talked with someone in the know who mentioned membership in the MVPA has gone to half of what it was a few years ago. As for the dealers, why travel all the way to anywhere, and have to pay the shipping costs associated with it, if most of your customers are just sitting at home and hitting the "add to cart" button.

I also heard some talk that with the newest wave of releases, from the Humvees to the M939, and everything in between, there is more of a market for the newer stuff's parts, where businesses are keeping theirs going, than with the collectors of the older equipment. This woudl not be applicable to all the dealers mind you.

When I went to the Portland show a couple years ago, it was the same thing. Many of the larger dealers were not there, there were whole blocks of tables empty. The reason people gave then was that it was on the West coast, and too far away for a lot of the dealers. With Topeka pretty much geographically dead center in the US, I would have thought there would be more dealers.

Then you have to look at an example like Wallace Wade, who specializes in the military tires. He does have a lot of them pre-ordered, so gets STA to ship them directly to the show. He also brings a lot on spec, and if they don't sell he has to pay the shipping back to STA. These days, you can go to a company like Summit racing, or Simple tire, get the same tires for the same price, and shipping to the border is either included or very cheap.

Perhaps the days of the brick and mortar military vehicle show, much like so many of the clubs, is numbered. I sure hope not, I like the opportunity to bargain, barter, and find those things I didn't even know I needed.
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  #10  
Old 02-07-15, 14:16
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chris vickery chris vickery is offline
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Agree with your commentary Rob.
Another issue to contend with for many dealers is the actual cost of the show itself. Depending on who the dealer is, they may have to pay travel, hourly wages, meals, hotels etc and this gets expensive. Add in shipping costs for display or product plus the actual table fees or trade show fees and it becomes understandable.
Not sure what the MVPA charges dealers to set up as I have never looked into it but many larger industry shows are very expensive, dealers need to contemplate where the best bang for the buck is.
I know of a local truck show here in Ontario that has gone from a high of 2000 displayed vehicles to less than 400 in the past 10 years. The same goes for the dealers and vendors, I am talking big names here who cetainly have the money (Shell, Valvolene, Western star etc etc) The complaint at this particular show is that the venue organizers have gotten greedy and priced their sponsors right out. Sponsors make a show and bring in people so this is backwards thinking in my mind.
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3RD Echelon Wksp

1968 M274A5 Mule Baifield USMC
1966 M274A2 Mule BMY USMC
1958 M274 Mule US Army
1970 M38A1 CDN3 70-08715 1 CSR
1981 MANAC 3/4T CDN trailer
1943 Converto Airborne Trailer
1983 M1009 CUCV

RT-524, PRC-77s,
and trucks and stuff and more stuff and and.......

OMVA, MVPA, G503, Steel Soldiers
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