The Hays Antique Truck Museum was established in 1982 by founder, Mr. A.W. Hays.
A California Non-profit Public Benefit Corporation, the museum is governed by a Board of Directors. With only one paid employee, the museum is operated by volunteers and sustained through the financial support of members and supporters interested in the history of trucks and the trucking industry.
Museum Founder, A.W. Hays
A.W. Hays (1901-1992) is responsible for establishing the Hays Collection of antique trucks. After the sale of his trucking business in 1977 at the age of 76, Mr. Hays actively pursued his hobby of locating and restoring old trucks. He began with a 1929 Chevrolet truck in his personal effort to “rebuild the past”.
At age 76, this would seem like an ambitious undertaking for most folks, but not so for “Pop” Hays. He thrust himself into this new hobby with enthusiasm that continued until the age of 91 when declining health kept him from his daily pastime of searching for new trucks, supervising restorations, and personally showing museum visitors his prized collection.
Recognizing the need to protect the collection, Mr. Hays established the Hays Antique Truck Museum as a California Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation for the purpose of preserving the trucks and trucking history for future generations. After donating his personal collection of trucks to the corporation in 1982, Mr. Hays continued to search for more trucks for the museum until the time of his death at age 92.
Who was A.W. Hays?
A.W. (Wayne or “Pop”) Hays was a quiet, industrious, and inventive man who began his trucking career in Corning, California in 1928. Driving a 1929 1-1/2 ton Chevrolet (purchased for $750), Hays got his first big break proving that he could deliver live chickens from Corning, California to the markets in San Francisco. He was truly a trucking pioneer, driving initially in trucks with no cabs to protect him from the weather. Hard work and long hours ultimately led to success and as Pop’s fleet grew, so did his reputation for being an honest and efficient businessman.
- Mr. Hays was an innovator in the trucking industry.
In 1949, he designed and constructed hopper-bottom trailers that dramatically improved the off-loading of dry bulk cargoes. His new trailers allowed ten tons of wheat to be off-loaded in just ten minutes by using the force of gravity to drain the cargo through the specially designed hopper-bottoms. He later made structural modifications to these trailers that lightened their weight and allowed them to carry more payload. One of his drivers reported that authorities at the weigh stations could not believe the scales and would force him to repeat his turn at the weigh station to verify the scale’s report. In all, Pop Hays built 500 sets of the hopper-bottom trailer for his own use from 1950 to 1975.
- Mr. Hays was also a leader in the trucking industry.
Under his direction, the A.W. Hays Trucking Company came to be known as one of the largest and most highly respected lumber and agricultural trucking companies in California. Mr. Hays was a strong supporter of the American Truck Historical Society and the recipient of the ATHS Founder Award. The Hays Antique Truck Collection is the embodiment of his dream of preserving and displaying these relics that helped to build America.
Board of Directors & Advisory Board
The Hays Antique Truck Museum is governed by a Board of Directors. Members of the Advisory Board provide assistance and offer advice to the Board of Directors.
The members of the Board of Directors are:
Ed Rocha – Executive Director
Terry Klenske – Chairman of the Board
Alvin Garcia – President
B.L. “Bev” Davis – Vice President
Alice Gibbons – Secretary
Robert Lautze – Treasurer
F. Earl Blincoe
Don L. Hays
Albert J. Nunes