Features
No rain on our shine
Into every life a little rain must fall, but not on this year’s all-indoor Boston truck beauty contest

W eather was not a factor at the 31st Annual North American Truck Show (NATS) in Boston, May 8-10. It was all indoors.

Not having to contend with the elements (rain and more rain) made for happy competitors in the truck beauty competition and plenty of oohs and aaahs from the general public as they visited with more than 600 exhibitors and strolled through the collection of gleaming working show trucks on display.

The second in the series of Stars & Stripes Truck Beauty Events for 2003, this matchup of tough competitors was sponsored by: Peterbilt Motors Co., Chevron DELO, Long Haul Truck Appearance Products, PPG Industries, Belmor Heavy Truck Products, Newport’s RoadStar magazine, Truck-Lite, Howes Lubricator Products, Bridgestone/Firestone Tire Co., Rockwood Products, 75 Chrome Shop, Valley Chrome Plating, Alcoa Wheel Products, BF Goodrich Tire Co., Double Eagle Sleepers, 3D USFlag.com and NATS.

Rising to the top of the heap with five trophies, including both Best of Show Bobtail and People’s Choice Bobtail, was OOIDA member Marcel St. Germain with the 2003 KW W900L he drives for JRC Leasing, painted with “dark” clown images.

“I was so excited — it brought tears to my eyes,” St. Germain said. “I was especially thrilled with the People’s Choice — I never expected to win all that. And to have my family there with me made it even better.”

Repeat champion Larry Weaver of Rhett Butler Trucking, another OOIDA member, brought home the Best of Show Combo award and four 1st place trophies with his immaculately cleaned and amazingly decked out rig “Miss Scarlett.” This truck and trailer are muraled from front to back with scenes from the classic film “Gone With The Wind.” On judging day, the entire Rhett Butler crew dressed in antebellum costumes to coordinate with the truck’s theme.

The People’s Choice Award, voted on by members of the public, who provided a steady stream of traffic through the show truck area, was one of the highlights of the event. With more than 1,000 ballots cast, every competitor’s truck received votes, but when all the votes were tallied, the People’s Choice Combo award was given to Plycon Transportation Group. Their display included not only their truck and trailer on color-coordinated flooring, but a kid-sized version of the truck, even smaller die-cast replicas, and an astounding array of accessories, all painted to match. Gas cans, specially labeled water bottles — even the padlock on the passenger-side step toolbox was detailed with the company colors and logo.

Next year, NATS will move to larger quarters in Baltimore, taking advantage of opportunities in the middle of the eastern seaboard, and preparing to move into a different convention center upon its return to Boston in 2005 — alternating between Massachusetts and Maryland over the coming decade.

Regardless of the location, happy competitors promised to return next year. Camaraderie outpaced rivalry as competitors cheered for every winner at the awards banquet.

—by Suzanne Stempinski, Land Line exclusive

Next Issue look for show results of the Show & Shine Truck Beauty Contest at the International Trucking Show in Las Vegas, June 26-28. In October, LL will publish results of a new show to be held in conjunction with Hot August Nights, scheduled for Aug. 8-10 at the Petro Stopping Center (formerly the Alamo Truckstop) in Reno, NV. We’ll also have results and pictures from the Great Salt Lake Truck Show, Aug. 22-23 in Salt Lake City.

And the trophies went to...

OPEN COMBINATION 
1st Larry Weaver/Rhett Butler Trucking – 2001 white muraled Kenworth T2000/2002 Utility van – ‘Miss Scarlett’
2nd Ricky Neidhart/Plycon Transportation Group – 2000 white/multicolored Kenworth W900L/2000 Kentucky climate van – ‘Five-0’

OPEN BOBTAIL
1st Marcel St. Germain/JRC Leasing – 2003 blue muraled Kenworth W900L – ‘Clown’
2nd Gil Wilson/JRC Leasing – 2000 blue muraled Kenworth W900L – ’Flag’
3rd Mike Floyd – 1998 mocha pearl Peterbilt 379

WORKING BOBTAIL
1st Dean Mitchell/Rhett Butler Trucking – 2003 gold Kenworth W900L
2nd Jeff Christenson/Longhaul Trucking – 2003 silver Peterbilt 379
3rd Gordon Sullivan – 1979 blue Peterbilt 359

INTERIOR – CAB ONLY
1st Gil Wilson/JRC Leasing – 2000 blue muraled Kenworth W900L – ’Flag’
2nd Dean Mitchell/Rhett Butler Trucking – 2003 gold Kenworth W900L

INTERIOR – OEM SLEEPER
1st Larry Weaver/Rhett Butler Trucking – 2001 white muraled Kenworth T2000/2002 Utility van – ‘Miss Scarlett’
2nd Ricky Neidhart/Plycon Transportation Group – 2000 white/multicolored Kenworth W900L/2000 Kentucky climate van – ‘Five-0’
3rd Jeff Christenson/Longhaul Trucking – 2003 silver Peterbilt 379

INTERIOR – AFTERMARKET SLEEPER
1st Marcel St. Germain/JRC Leasing – 2003 blue muraled Kenworth W900L – ‘Clown’
2nd Mike Floyd – 1998 mocha pearl Peterbilt 379

ENGINE
1st Larry Weaver/Rhett Butler Trucking – 2001 white muraled Kenworth T2000/2002 Utility van – ‘Miss Scarlett’
2nd Ricky Neidhart/Plycon Transportation Group – 2000 white/multicolored Kenworth W900L/2000 Kentucky climate van – ‘Five-0’
3rd Dean Mitchell/Rhett Butler Trucking – 2003 gold Kenworth W900L

CUSTOM PAINT GRAPHICS OR MURAL –COMBO
1st Larry Weaver/Rhett Butler Trucking – 2001 white muraled Kenworth T2000/2002 Utility van –’Miss Scarlett’
2nd Ricky Neidhart/Plycon Transportation Group – 2000 white/multicolored Kenworth W900L/2000 Kentucky climate van – ‘Five-0’

CUSTOM PAINT GRAPHICS OR MURAL –BOBTAIL
1st Marcel St. Germain/JRC Leasing – 2003 blue muraled Kenworth W900L – ‘Clown’
2nd Gil Wilson/JRC Leasing – 2000 blue muraled Kenworth W900L – ‘Flag’
3rd Jeff Christenson/LonghaulTrucking – 2003 silver Peterbilt 379

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – COMBO
Ricky Neidhart/Plycon Transportation Group 2000 white/multicolored Kenworth W900L/2000 Kentucky climate van–‘ Five-0’

PEOPLE’S CHOICE – BOBTAIL
Marcel St. Germain/JRC Leasing – 2003 blue muraled Kenworth W900L – ‘Clown’

BEST OF SHOW – COMBO
Larry Weaver/Rhett Butler Trucking – 2001 white muraled Kenworth T2000/2002 Utility van – ‘Miss Scarlett’

BEST OF SHOW - BOBTAIL
Marcel St. Germain/JRC Leasing – 2003 blue muraled Kenworth W900L – ‘Clown’

Aug/Sept Digital Edition