By Doug Perkins Note: This feature is in the Sept. TT&C 2013 issue.
Doug holding the Brockway truck.
“Play with” toys are the greatest reward for Doug.
The Brockway hood ornament that was given to Archie Perkins, Doug’s dad, before they closed their doors in 1977.
The hood ornament for the famous Brockway truck sat on Doug’s bookshelf since his dad gave it to him so many years ago. Doug feels fortunate for the opportunity to grow up in the shadow of Brockway Motor Trucks in Cortland, N.Y. His father worked in an industrial laundry that serviced the plant and Doug made many trips onto the working assembly lines of these great trucks. Doug also remembers well the day Brockway closed its doors forever. “It was June 8, 1977,” he recalls. “Brockway was and remains today one of the greatest trucks ever built. For that reason I decided to build a tribute to the last of the Brockway Trucks.” Like the hand-built construction of the Brockway truck line, Doug’s truck was entirely handmade. He is a scratch builder and every piece is wooden, cut and fitted by hand. His shop is nothing special, equipped only with the standard saws, lathes, sanders and hand tools. There is one exception; Doug’s wheel-making jigs. “This is my own creation and has taken many years of research and development to get it right. I can set it up for any wheel from a simple 2.5-inch truck wheel to the complex heavy equipment tires seen on off-road equipment. I have varied it over time and you can see these in tracing my equipment tires and wheels back over the years,” Doug said. The birth of Doug’s Brockway was the usual, lots of Internet research time, locating a real unit to photograph and measure as well as a call to the Brockway Truck Preservation Association http://www.brockwaytrucks.org/. “These are a great bunch of people who have a lot of fun restoring, driving and showing old Brockways,” exclaims Doug. “They even had this truck in one of their publications. The scale would match my fleet as closely as possible so I can display different pieces with it. I have made a companion drop-deck trailer for display and I like to change out equipment sometimes in my “toy room” so scale is consistent. “Hey, I will admit there are many items that don’t match in scale, but necessity of the time dictates that. You see, I work overseas a lot and my traveling workshop is limited, but my imagination is not. I create anywhere I can.” Doug is currently in Islamabad, Pakistan, and is working on a traditional “jingle truck.”
Want to read the rest of the story? It's available in the Sept. TT&C 2013magazine! Download here: SEPTEMBER TT&C 2013