HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM) — The Hagerstown Aviation Museum is known for its historic planes, but the former Fairchild Factory was home to other historic vehicles this weekend.
Vehicles featured at the 47th East Coast Military Vehicle Rally range from early World War II up to currently issued military vehicles like the Unimog and other newer models of Humvees.
The Washington Area Collectors, Blue and Gray Military Vehicle Trust, or WAC/ B&G, restores and often drives historic military vehicles across the DMV area. The organization was originally formed by individuals who wanted to preserve military technology. The club currently has around 180 members, the majority of whom live in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. However, their membership also stretches to nearby states like Delaware, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania with members as far south as Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana. WAC/ B&G also has members in New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, and Ohio.
The vehicles featured in the show are all privately owned and restored. These vehicles range from vintage Jeeps to a restored, operable Sherman tank. Rally goers were able to enter a number of the vehicles giving them the ability to take a step back into history. The event also showcases military collectibles and gives club members the opportunity to find and trade parts for their vehicles that often can’t be found on normal store shelves.
Dean Hansen, president of WAC/B&G Military Vehicle Trust and owner of a Unimog, says that without club members who are willing to restore the vehicles, people would lose a piece of history.
“If we didn’t restore these vehicles, they’d be gone. You know, they’re like any other car. They rust away and you’ll never see them again,” Hansen said.
Hansen also explained that while the hobby preserves a piece of history, it also allows former members of the military to view and even work on vehicles they may have ridden in or operated during their time in the military.
“We love this hobby, this is great, and a lot of guys like this too because when they were in the military, they may have driven that jeep or that truck, so it’s kind of like a little bit of nostalgia,” Hansen said.
The Washington Area Collectors, Blue and Gray Military Vehicle Trust also donates a portion of the proceeds from their rallies to military and veteran organizations like Project Liberty Ship and the American Gold Star Mothers. A portion of this weekend’s proceeds will be donated back to the Hagerstown Aviation Museum.
The 47th East Coast Military Vehicle Rally will be stationed at the Hagerstown Aviation Museum before rolling out on Sunday night. Cars should follow signs for the entrance of the museum which is located on Basore Drive.