Saturday, March 21, 2009

There Were No Losers Here

Doggone it. I should have posted this before I left the building. But no, after the Awards Ceremony for the Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Championship and Mid-America Big Rig Build Off, I had to race back out to the parking lot to take just a few more pix and grab a few more hugs before heading home. Only to find my Internet connection was down. So please accept my apologies. You shouldn't have had to wait.

It was awesome and inspiring. A tribute to missing friends - the passing of industry icon Bette Garber; show truckers and friends to many Jake Eilen, Gina Kemner, John Kimball and others. We memorialized our losses with tears and smiles. They live on in our hearts.

So much recognition delivered. Trophies in a wide range of classes for new trucks and antiques, working trucks and those that have yet to run down the road under a load.

Best of Show Working Combo and the People's Choice Awards went to Marcel Pontbriand and his amazing blue-muraled 1989 Peterbilt 379 pulling a 1992 Stoughton dry van. It is muraled and customized from end to end. He calls it the "Little Train of Happiness." It has been 20 years in the making, all of the details done by himself -- from painting murals depicting his lifelong journey to designing and making stainless and installing lights, teak wood steps and intricate carvings, stone-embedded railroad tracks, pistols for door grips and so much more. This truck is a constantly evolving work of art.

Todd and Beth Roccapriore brought home an armload of awards for their "Chopped 93," a stunning '93 purple & black Pete 379 pulling a Mac dump trailer. He pulls into sanitary landfills, and you'd be hard pressed to find a speck of dirt anywhere on his truck.

Best Limited Mileage Combo went to Paul Stanchio. His car-hauling machine has a distinctive style that's uniquely his.

Limited Mileage Bobtail went to a 1942 Autocar shown for owner Dale Blevins. It first appeared at GATS last year after a total restoration.

And the Big Rig Build Off winner by popular acclaim went to Alex & Nick Gobel's Vigilante - a way-outside-the-box flat black & gray Pete. These guys are reinventing the show truck look. Unique design elements, repeating themes and patterns throughout the interior and exterior ... it's always a treat to spend time with them. They're young, creative and excited about what they're doing. It's contagious.

Homer Schultz's 1993 Caribbean blue tow truck was the Working Truck Bobtail Best of Show winner. Customized inside and out with a stop-you-in-your-tracks style ... you wouldn't mind being on the hook behind this sweet ride.

Dean Bugg didn't bring home a trophy. But the attention he got for his eye-catching pearl white and lime green truck - chopped and lowered and sporting invisible fuel tanks made him a crowd favorite.

I could go on for days about the highlights. Every truck offered something special to delight and intrigue me.

They were all winners.

No comments:

Post a Comment