October 22, 2021

Brockway enthusiasts share a BRU in place of canceled event

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Seven Brockway trucks lined Cortland’s Main Street Saturday morning. Owners of the trucks met for coffee in place of the annual National Brockway Show that was canceled this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cortland’s Main Street featured your run-of-the-mill Fords, Toyotas and Lexuses parked in front of businesses Saturday morning.

Until you reached NBT Bank at the intersection of Court Street, where seven Brockway trucks, ranging from 1948 to 1977, were parked.

“A group of us just wanted to get together and have coffee this morning,” said Robin Quail of Marathon, whose husband, David Quail, owns a 1970 Model 361.

The group of Brockway owners and enthusiasts met for coffee Saturday at Bru 64 because this year’s Annual National Brockway Show was canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The show, which has been going on since 2000, is hosted each year by the Brockway Truck Preservation Association, which also runs the Brockway Museum at the Central New York Living History Center on Route 11 in Cortlandville, where other Brockways were gathered Saturday morning.

In years past, the show would have more than 100 trucks lining Main Street, Robin Quail said. “It’s a big event.”

“It creates a lot of money for the area,” said David Quail.

Not being able to have the event though has been tough for people like the Quails, who regularly participate in it.

There was “a lot of disappointment,” Robin Quail said. “A lot of people wanted to come. They wanted to come from all over the States, even Canada.”

One previous yearly participant would come all the way from Australia, she added.

“It’s a legacy for the area,” said Jeremy George of Binghamton, who came with his 1973 Model 359 dump truck. “They were built right here in Cortland.”

The Brockway name was founded in 1875 by William Brockway as a carriage maker. His son, George Brockways began making trucks in 1909, and they were manufactured in large volume from 1912 until the company closed in 1977.

Robin Quail said that she hopes the event can return next year and happen like it normally does, which in years past has included a parade, a truck show and an award ceremony for attendees to vote on their favorite trucks.