Sunday, February 22, 2009

National Transit Corporation - A Challenge To Readers

Those of you that have been reading this blog for a while know that one of my favorite trucks is the GMC COE's of the 1950 era. This post is about a particular GMC cab over that was driven by Joseph McKenna, father of John McKenna. John sent me the picture in an e-mail. This is what he wrote:

Hi George,
I like your blog. My father, Joseph McKenna drove 30+ years for National Transit Corporation out of Detroit Michigan. Their home office was in Lima Ohio. This is a picture from the mid to late 50s I am guessing. They moved to Dearborn Mi when a new Post Office was built at this location, or next to it in the early 60s, 62 it says on a plaque outside the PO. I remember him saying the terminal was moving because they wanted to build a new PO there. I think they must have moved in 59 or 60. I went to work at that PO in March 1998. Now I work in OKC
A few times he drove by the house and picked me up with this truck, asking if I wanted to go for a ride. What!! are you kidding me?? Oh yeah lets go. I was born in 52, so I was still pretty young. They eventually bought new trucks and over the years, rode in these 50s and 60s GMC city trucks. I remember him driving 70s and later GMCs as well, and a Ford Louisville. If you ever get any more National pictures, I would appreciate it if you would send it to me. There is a picture of the 70s model at Hanks Truck Pictures. They don't give permission to put it on the web. Maybe you could ask him. The yellow GMC pictured was driven by my father at one time, I am sure it has been to the house. National was bought by Holland, then TNT, and so on.
I have the ERTL 54 GMC Coke truck,and Great Dane 30ft trailer. I am going to paint it in National Transit colors. Kind of school bus yellow and black, with red wheels. I'll send a pic when I do it. I will have to decipher the colors of the National emblems.

He wrote again this morning with another story about his dad -

I want to tell you a story about my dad. You can print it if you want to, it's up to you. This was in the early 80s. I was a big guy, Pa was a big guy. Once I was going down a two lane road, with light traffic, and saw my father driving towards me in the opposite direction. We were right near a place in Romulus Michigan where a lot of truckers stop. He saw me and pulled over. I got out and asked if he wanted to get a cup of coffee with me at Southern Boy restaurant, he said ok. Well, he made a U- turn right there with a 40 ft trailer, and maybe tied up traffic for a minute or so. I drove about a block to the restaurant and went in. A fellow sitting at the counter says to me, "Did you see that crazy S.O.B. turn that big truck around right there in the road?" I answered, "yes, I saw him" Then he says, oh look, he' pulled in here. Hey, he's coming in!" I said "Oh yeah, Huh.' Then my dad walked in and said "Hi son", I said "Hi Pa". The fellow talking to me threw his money on the counter and ran out the door. We had a good laugh. If the poor guy would have stayed, we would have bought him coffee and had a good laugh with him.

That first picture is of John's dad in that GMC COE known as a "Cannonball". The next picture shows a National Transit GMC parked next to an International with the Holland Markings - it is from HANKS TRUCK PICTURES ---

The following picture was also found at HANKS TRUCK PICTURES - it shows the National
Transit Terminal --

This photo is from John, appears to have been taken in the early 1970's.

I hope John will add his comments to this post, but we both are hoping that some more pictures of these National Transit Trucks might show up.


You can drop me an e-mail through my profile or leave a comment - I am always looking for new truck pics.

Thank you John!!

1 comment:

  1. The trucks shown are at the National Transit terminal on Stecker St. in Dearborn Michigan.


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