Mafia Secrets
'The Godfather' - Timeless, nostalgic, classic

By Bryan 'Boss Man' Martin, contributing writer

Step back to 2008 with me as we revisit the boss of that era: “The Godfather.”

Born a 2007 Peterbilt Legacy No. 27, he was long and tall featuring glossy black paint, a 70-inch Ultra sleeper and 320 inches of wheelbase. And he had the power to back it up – a 550 hp Cat ACERT, an 18-speed overdrive transmission and 3.36 rear differentials on lo-pro 24.5s. So all the ingredients were there to make one heckuva big ride, and it was up to the crew at Chrome Shop Mafia to give it a true-to-the-times gangster look with vintage flair.

We laid down a second paint color, cream, on the black cab hood and sleeper, with a copper breaker stripe to make it resemble a 1930s paint scheme, but with a kick. A Mafioso mural painted on the back of the sleeper clinched the deal and we even painted a good portion of the cab interior to match the exterior design.

Next, we got our fabrication gang involved and really went to work. We built full-length running boards that went from the front fender on the hood to the rear tandems. To make this work, we had to hand-build the panels under the cab to not only cover, but also incorporate the battery box area. This is likely the top feature that folks seem to remember and really like about this rig.

Our fabrication boys also did a ton of other mods, such as a one-off rear sleeper shock cover, a fully enclosed frame cover, rear light bar and center panel, air cleaner panels, chopped air cleaner bonnets, a CSM sun visor, rear frame cover behind the fifth wheel, then a twin-stick set-up and painted aluminum floorboard for the interior.

With the addition of 9-inch old-style headlights, a shutter-style stainless grille insert, and 10-inch Monster stacks and by keeping the cab roof uncluttered by using the small flush mount “button” cab lights, the motif really came together to make a striking impact on just about any unsuspecting passerby.

This gangster car also is equipped with a bumper flip kit to gain some extra bumper clearance when jumping curbs or dodging chug holes! The WTI double-hump fenders on the rear, in conjunction with the ol’ time front fenders (WTI also) looked absolutely perfect with the long running boards. If you catch a look at the side profile of the cab, hood and front fender area of “The Godfather,” it really does resemble a 1950s Peterbilt, which is exactly what we hoped for.

I got to drive this large car for a good portion of the 2008-09 truck show circuit and I must admit it was a 100 percent pleasure to pilot this cruiser.

Although it was a bit more fragile than the everyday driver type truck due to the low-slung bumper, running boards and fuel tanks and the long wheelbase, at the end of the day it was a blast to drive, as so many folks would give you a thumbs up, or hold their cell phones outside their car trying to snap a quick photo.

The truck drivers seemed to really dig it and, all-in-all, it was probably one of the most well-liked trucks we have ever built. It was truly a truckers’ truck, not too overdone, not too underdone.

We all have a story about the truck we should’ve kept and not sold. Well, this is my one that got away and I wished I’d a kept him. “The Godfather” seemed to have just enough of everything to get the job done. LL