Gordon Maney, Center of the Power Wagon Universe

Written by Fred Coldwell

Power Wagon

Back in the mid-1980s, when people communicated by land line, letter and classified ad, Gordon Maney was the center of the Power Wagon Universe he created with the Power Wagon Advertiser. The Dodge military vehicle hobby was then 10 years old and interest was growing in their civilian cousin, the Power Wagon. Gordon gauged interest and solicited subscribers for his proposed monthly magazine by placing ads in other publications read by Dodge truck enthusiasts. He found enough enthusiasm to venture forward, and never wavered.

The first issue of the Power Wagon Advertiser dated July 1984 was mailed to about 180 subscribers. Its name, Advertiser, proclaimed its purpose: to create a dialogue among owners and establish a clearing house for all things Power Wagon. Gordon provided the venue for sharing our passion for these slow, ugly yet purposeful trucks whose form was function. He created this network of truck nerds who finally found acceptance among others who understood them and nodded in agreement rather than look askance at our heavy metal obsessions. He started us talking.

Before the Internet, model and parts identification, mechanical knowledge and regaling of adventures was disseminated by paper that arrived monthly on our doorstep. It was always accompanied by some philosophical point raised thru a Socratic dialogue placed on a Tailgate. Gordon was forever curious, and piqued our imagination with simple but thoughtful questions. He got us thinking.

In person he was calm and reserved, with no use for backslapping or gregarious chatter. His humor was so wry and dry it could suck moisture out of dust. But he got our gears spinning and propelled forward our conversations about our favorite old slow ugly trucks. He kept us in touch.

Gordon was one of the quiet ones, a modest Midwesterner who always delivered on time whatever the circumstances. He lived that bedrock Dodge value: dependability. Once you met him you were forever a friend who, no matter how long apart, could pick up where you left off at your last meeting with no fanfare whatsoever. And you always walked away from your meeting with him feeling better not only about yourself but about the world at large. Gordon had that effect on people, bringing out the positive and giving you more insight into the world and yourself while leaving you the gift of yet another thought to ponder. He kept us wondering.

I will miss Gordon and wish him a peaceful rest. But I will always remember Gordon and the positive environment he created, whether in person or at the kitchen table reading his latest issue. The world is a poorer place for his passing, but he leaves behind a legacy of joy to all those who may peruse old issues of the Power Wagon Advertiser. The Power Wagon Universe shuddered, but still lives on.

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