By Bill Hudgins
They were singing “Rain, Rain Go Away,” at the first day of the Fourth Annual Tennessee Truck Show in May as late-day rains lashed the Tennessee State Fairgrounds in Nashville. Lightning replaced the Friday evening lights show.
However, Saturday turned into a sparkling day that brought out the best of the shiny rigs.
Sponsored by trucking singer-songwriter Joey Holiday and his wife, Vicky, the show once again featured truck-music legend Red Simpson. This year Red’s daughter, Missy Quattro, joined him on stage.
Holiday performed with an old friend, Jeff Harrison, who has joined the tour and who also performed several of his own tunes.
Holiday also showed off his new mobile trailer stage with its high-gloss, multi-colored cab dripping with chrome and lights, created by Truk-Rodz by Jones Performance Products.
OOIDA was there with its NASCAR simulator, and was also well-represented in the truck competition show by a number of Association members.
Tim McPeake’s 1979 International Transtar cabover, “Bumblebee,” drew admirers like, well, like bees to honey. Tim, of Lexington, TN, runs this truck hauling freight for French Trucking and drives the 4070B all over the country. It has 762,000 miles on the original Cummins 350-horsepower engine, which was overhauled once at 480,000 miles.
Tim bought it about six years ago, refreshed the paint scheme and chrome, and added air-ride and a Jake Brake.
“With the air-ride, it rides like a Caddy,” he said. “I love cabovers. I would rather drive my cabover than anything. Anyone can drive a conventional, but you hardly see a cabover. I really enjoy driving it.”
He was startled, but flattered, when Die-Cast Promotions asked if they could make a limited edition of his rig. Tim carries one of the 250 made with him.
Edward Bosket of Lake City, FL, didn’t want to participate in the “Great 2007 Engine Experiment.” So, this spring he traded his 2001 Freightliner Century for a shiny blue 2007 Freightliner Coronado with a 2006 515-hp Detroit engine and 13-speed transmission.
The 260-inch wheelbase tractor has a 70-inch, double-bunk sleeper, 150-gallon fuel tanks, front axle air-ride, and 24.5-inch Michelin steers and Bridgestone drivers. Edward added chromed nut and valve covers, blue LEDs under the steps, and a stained-glass guardian angel in the roof. He took second place Bobtail in the People’s Choice and Vendors’ Choice categories and first in Troopers’ Choice.
Raised on a pig farm near Newton, IL, Jeff Hamilton of St. Louis has turned his 2001 Kenworth W900L into a pavement porcine palace.
“I wanted to truck, not farm, but now I guess I am reverting to my roots,” said Jeff.
The rig is dedicated to his late grandfather, Leonard Mineo.
Jeff bought the W9 in 2003. He owns a moving company and hauls electronics and trade show loads.
The KW is well setup, with a 450-hp ISX Cummins engine, 13-speed tranny and 3:55 rears.
The Chrome Shop Mafia turned his interior into a rough-hewn ranch house, complete with a branding iron and hog ring pliers, sawn cedar paneling and tin ceiling. It’s clear only a “Boss Hog” lives here.
Polished by Renegade Polishing, Hamilton’s PigRig ascended to Hog heaven as the show’s Best of the Best Bobtail, with firsts in the Best of the Best Division’s People’s Choice and Vendors’ Choice, and second in Troopers’ Choice.
still at work
In September 2006, Richard Crowder of Franklin, TN, gained worldwide recognition when his beat-up 1996 Freightliner FLD was selected for a total makeover on Country Music Television’s “Trick My Truck.”
Named “Higher Power,” the rig reflects Richard’s deep personal faith. The Chrome Shop Mafia installed a stained glass window in the sleeper, angel wings on the sides, chrome triple pipes that resemble a pipe organ, a remanufactured Detroit Series 60, a plasma flat-screen TV, a custom sound system and a custom interior.
Assisted by his 10-year-old son, Corey, Richard had the tractor sparkling in time for Saturday’s judging. He needed the help, because admirers repeatedly came up to talk with him about the tractor and to ask for an autographed photo.
It’s not surprising a retired truck driver would vacation at a truck show. But a driver from England?
Les Freemantle of Dorset, England, visited a truck show in Las Vegas about the time he retired five years ago from hauling milk, and he hankered to come back for more.
As a country music buff, he was excited to stumble across the Tennessee Truck Show on the Internet and made plans to come. He brought along his son, Wade, and a friend of Wade’s David Orman, for a weeklong truckin’ and twangin’ holiday.
Bill Hudgins may be reached at email@example.com.