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November 11, 2017

Campo - Motor Transport Museum

This past Friday morning Bobby (Fran’s brother) and I are doing a little male bonding as we took a drive through the rural areas of of San Diego County.  It was a chance for us to chat and solve the world’s problems, with no specific destination in  mind.

After a bit we arrive at the little town of Campo, which is about 50 miles east of San Diego and less than 2 miles from the Mexican border.  Certainly Campo is known as the home of Lake Morena County Park, which offers camping (RV hookups) and fishing.  Campo is located along the old San Diego and Arizona Railway (called the impossible railroad).  Currently the Pacific Imperial Railroad (PIR) is in possession of the SD&A Desert Line.  However, Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, still offers limited passenger train rides from Campo.  The Gaskill Brothers’ Stone Store Museum became the home of Camp Lockett during World War II.  Camp Lockett State Historic Park is currently under development.

Campo is also home to one of only three museums dedicated to antique trucks, the Motor Transport Museum of San Diego.  The museum has an all volunteer staff dedicated to the restoration and preservation of antique trucks.
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When I was last there they were putting the finishing touches on the original Julian Stage (bus), which provided service between San Diego and Julian.  It is now on display in Julian.  On this trip an International is on the shop floor.  The wooden spoke wheels were reconstructed at the site, but the rubber had to be custom ordered.
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The restoration shop and display room are housed in the old Campo Feldspar Mill.  Currently on display is a 1923 chain drive Mack truck used in the movie “The Aviator”, among others. 
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Unfortunately, and like the other museums in Campo, the display room is open on Saturdays, today is a Friday but we can still walk the ‘graveyard’.  This massive Diamond T was custom built for the Navy with extra-heavy duty suspension and spent its working life at Naval Station San Diego.
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I had no idea that Plymouth made locomotives, but there is a little 5-ton yard worker.  As I learn from the information on the front, it is made by Plymouth Locomotive Works of Plymouth, Ohio – not Chrysler.  Although the majority of the display units do have information about the unit, those in the salvage yard do not.
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If you plan a visit to Campo on a Saturday, enjoy one of its historic museums, a train ride, or wine tasting at one of the Wineries on Highway 94.

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