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Winslow Bent Plays with Old Trucks to Preserve Their Stories

Last time we saw Winslow Bent he had started a company called Legacy Classic Trucks in Driggs, Idaho, just west of his home in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. At that time, he was showing Autoweek his newly refurbished 1947 Dodge Power Wagon, a truck so completely and perfectly restored that we didn’t even wince when we heard it would cost its buyer $225,000.

Legacy takes trucks like the classic Power Wagon, Diamond T, and Studebaker down to the bare metal, makes that bare metal better, then builds them up from there with new interiors, new wheelbases (where necessary), and new, more powerful and reliable crate motors making much more horsepower than these things ever had when new. Since starting the company in 2008, he’s done about 120 such truck rebuilds, each ranging in price from $200,000 to $450,000, “depending on the complexity of the build.” Build time is “more than one year but less than two.”

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That was six years ago. In the intervening years, Bent has gone somewhat Hollywood. Or at least YouTube. We stumbled across his YouTube channel, This Old Truck, by accident. Here was this smiling guy with what he admits is “crazy COVID hair,” talking about something called a 1942 Ford Marmon-Herrington four-wheel-drive SnoGo. A SnoGo, it turned out, is a huge machine that attaches onto the front of a truck and literally chews up all the snow in front of it. You call in the SnoGo when the regular snowplows have piled the snow too high to move anymore. The SnoGo comes in, eats it all up, and spits it out.

To show the seriousness and severity of the SnoGo’s operation, Bent fired it up and tossed in a few watermelons—kersploosh!—they got devoured and spat out, their remnants launching into a field about 30 to 45 feet away. Quite the surprise to find that the guy with the watermelons was our old friend Winslow Bent. He had started this YouTube channel and seemed to be having a great time.

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“A lot of my business is, I have to source a lot of vehicles for people,” Bent told us later. “So I spend a lot of time driving around places like Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho, and kind of meeting these crazy old timers that have cool pieces of machinery around and, as a result, I’ve just had this growing list of these old timers that have amazing pieces of equipment.”

Collecting Truckers’ Stories

So he felt an obligation to document it all. He saw his job as a historian, collecting these truckers’ stories while there’s still time to do it.

“They’re dying, you know, and when they go, the story of these trucks and what they did, it goes as well.”

So he started filming their stories and uploading it to This Old Truck on YouTube.

He sees the stories of these trucks as the story of the Old West. After the cowboy, the horse, and the wagon, there was the truck, and the truck did everything.

One of Bent’s power wagons.


“You look at post-WWII, all of the development that happened in the Western United States, you have dams, logging, bridges, phones, power lines, and all this stuff, it was the railroad that brought it out to the central hubs, and from there, it was onto trucks. The trucks did an incredible amount of work building out the Western U.S.”

Each truck had a specific task and was upfitted for it.

“I was just at SEMA, and I think something like 60 percent of people will do something aftermarket to their truck. And the same was true back then. So you could get your 1935 Diamond T truck, and you’re like, ‘I need to modify this thing so I can use it to haul cows to market, I need to place telephone poles.’ So what I’m finding is, not only the old trucks and the cool guys that used to operate these things, but they have these really funny stories about how they option and make the vehicle work for them. It’s really clever, just to see what people came up with. So basically, my main drive is just, I feel it’s a necessity to record these things.”

When we spoke to him in 2021, he had four episodes in the can and up on the site—there are 11 now. If you know of a cool truck story, especially if the owner is still around and can talk about it, contact Bent.

In the meantime, watch a few episodes. And start saving up for your own refurbished 1947 Dodge Power Wagon. If you order now, it’ll be ready to go by Christmas 2025. Maybe sooner.

This story originally appeared in Autoweek in December 2021.

Headshot of Mark Vaughn

Mark Vaughn grew up in a Ford family and spent many hours holding a trouble light over a straight-six miraculously fed by a single-barrel carburetor while his father cursed Ford, all its products and everyone who ever worked there. This was his introduction to objective automotive criticism. He started writing for City News Service in Los Angeles, then moved to Europe and became editor of a car magazine called, creatively, Auto. He decided Auto should cover Formula 1, sports prototypes and touring cars—no one stopped him! From there he interviewed with Autoweek at the 1989 Frankfurt motor show and has been with us ever since.

#Winslow #Bent #Plays #Trucks #Preserve #Stories

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