When he looks at one of those old Corbitt trucks, Charles Powell sees so much more than an old vehicle that just happened to be manufactured right here in Henderson in the early part of the 20th century – he sees, in his words “magnificent pieces of equipment.”
Powell, president of the Corbitt Preservation Association, and plenty of other Corbitt Truck enthusiasts are looking forward to gathering again in a few weeks to share their love of the locally produced vehicle with others.
There will be a Spring Fling and Open House on Saturday, April 9 in the area of the Bennett H. Perry Museum, which also is home to the preservation association. This is the 20th year for the event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine.
“You can’t just look at it as a hunk of metal,” Powell told John C. Rose on Thursday’s Town Talk. What some may see as utilitarian vehicles of a bygone era, Powell and other Corbitt truck fans see as history on wheels.
There will be some Corbitt trucks parked along Church Street in front of the museum so folks have a chance to see them up close.
The preservation association was all set to have the open house last year, but COVID-19 quashed those plans. Powell said the open house for the museum is a great way to let the community know that the museum is here for them to enjoy.
“I think everybody’s ready to get out,” Powell said. “People have been inside for so long – I think they’re really going to like these events.”
There are half a dozen or so car shows or other similar events across the state that Powell and others either drive or trailer some of the old Corbitts to, including the Got To Be NC festival in Raleigh and another at the Transportation Museum in Spencer, near Salisbury.
“It takes quite a bit to get these vehicles loaded up and hauled to a show,” Powell explained. Some of the vehicles are between 70 and 100 years old, so driving them is often out of the question.
Some of the ones who have loved and cared for the vehicles are getting older, too, he said. He’d love to attract some younger folks to become members of the preservation association. Membership dues were waived during the pandemic and Powell said anyone interested in becoming involved need do nothing more than show up at a meeting – the next one is May 15 – or come out to the spring fling and sign up.
Find the group on Facebook at Corbitt Preservation Association or at https://corbitttrucks.com/