Mafia Secrets
Cool is the rule

By Bryan 'Boss Man' Martin, contributing writer

Dave Charlebois (shar-la-bwah), is the creator of this red, red, red, wicked, wicked, wicked 1997 Freightliner Classic XL. He hails from up north, in Quebec, Canada, and moves heavy equipment and over-size freight in "high style" all over Canada and the U.S.

He has been trucking for nearly 25 years and owned several rigs, but this badass Freightliner is like his "only child," as he has done nearly all the modifications at his own shop. The truck sports an aftermarket flat-top sleeper, sitting on a 301-inch wheelbase, powered by a 550 horsepower Cat engine, an 18-speed transmission, and 3.55 rears. Heavy loads ride atop his painted-to-match and equally impressive 2004 Liddell detachable neck trailer.

Even when other fantastic-looking trucks surround it, so many unique characteristics pull attention to this rig.

First of all, holy jeez! It is not a Pete or KW. What the heck? I have seen several hot Freightliners over the years, but none any cooler than Dave's. Take in the low-and-slow stance; the sharp paint stripe design; the blacked-out grille; the slammed front end; the meticulous attention to the details; and his edgy innovation. All of the features and the smooth overall look of this work of art sure make you appreciate the phenomenal amount of hours and large investment Charlebois has made in this truck build.

A few of the obvious upgrades are tall monster exhaust stacks; bow tie visor; American Eagle style bumper; cab and sleeper light bars with the big oval lights; painted tanks, boxes and air cleaners; and a full row of cab lights across the top of the cab. As you might have guessed, a bunch of metal fabrication and one-off custom parts were built especially for this truck.

It's no show pony either. The big Guilty By Association Truck Show held in Joplin last September was his first truck show. And he initially built the truck more than

10 years ago. Dave wanted to give special recognition to a few folks who were vital to the build: Daniel Bilodeau - fabrication; Ian Rees - engine; Francois Tardif and Eric Suave - paint; Jocelyn Potvin - maintenance; and to the tolerator of his trucking addiction and now his girlfriend, Kime.

I have been dealing back and forth with Dave Charlebois for more than 12 years and have come to respect and appreciate his passion for cool trucks, his eye for innovation, his work ethic and his dedication when making a promise and keeping it, no matter what the cost or hardship. He is the real deal and a guy who says what he means and means what he says. That's a rare trait these days.

If you see this wicked Classic XL breezing down there, or sittin' on a truck stop parking lot, be sure to take a closer look, because Dave has made so many neat and impressive modifications to this sweet ride. We could have easily gone on and on for pages showing you just how sweet it is. LL