By Susanne Stempinski, field editor
It's a habit that shouldn't be broken. Truck shows. Outside in parking lots or in convention centers in air-conditioned comfort. It's where the trucks are. Beautiful trucks that look almost too special to run down the road. But they're not.
Truck beauty contests have evolved over time from "grandstand" good-looking trucks to machines of extraordinary cleanliness and detail. These are our fields of dreams: If you clean them, they will come.
The Great West Truck Show in Las Vegas in early June was no exception. On hand, a collection of familiar faces along with some new and nearly-newcomers to the truck show arena.
At the top of the heap and the top of his game, Jerry Kissinger's 1991 burnt orange Mack Superliner and 2006 Great Dane reefer has been on a roll this year. Fresh from a trophy and calendar-shoot at the Shell SuperRigs show in Kenly, NC, the OOIDA member grabbed a load and headed west.
Chromed, cleaned, polished and detailed inside and out, Jerry uses his truck's high profile as a vehicle to raise money and awareness for the Make-A-Wish Foundation and Special Olympics. "It's all about the kids," he explains.
But in Vegas, it was all about the truck. He wowed the judges and brought home four trophies including Best of Show–Working Combo award.
Ben Nighthorse Campbell's 2002 gray Sterling 9500 and 2011 New Horizon trailer earned 3rd place in Limited Mileage Combo. If the name sounds familiar, you may recall Campbell from when he was a member of the U.S. Congress. He served as a state representative and then U.S. senator from Colorado from 1987 until 2005. A CDL holder, Campbell worked his way through college delivering beer for Coors Brewing Co. In July of 2000, when Campbell was a U.S. senator, he took time off to go trucking and OOIDA's Executive VP Todd Spencer went with him. And they were delivering? Beer, of course.
OOIDA Member Bill Sandvik and his wife, Marie, travel prepared. Their trucks always look spectacular, they pay attention to detail, and they define the consistent epitome of working show trucks. They run flatbed around the western states.
In Las Vegas, three trucks represented their fleet. Driver and mechanic Chuck Prigge scored at the top of his class – Working Bobtail – with their 2005 red and brown Peterbilt 379. Bill Sandvik took Best Engine–Limited Mileage and second place in Limited Mileage–Combo with his 1998 white, blue and green Peterbilt 379 and 2000 Wildside transport trailer. Built as a race car trailer, it also serves as their supplies and storage vehicle. Top of the heap and coming up all aces was driver Isaac Aguilar, winning Best Interior Limited Mileage along with Best of Show–Limited Mileage Bobtail.
Best of Show winners from all five Pride & Polish events have been invited to attend the series' national championship at the Dallas Convention Center, Aug. 25-27 during The Great American Trucking Show. LL