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The Legend of the Black Pearl bested the competition with five major awards, including Best of Show Working Bobtail.

Robert and Shelley Brinker’s 2000 Freightliner Classic XL, Legend of the Black Pearl, and Brad Caton’s 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood blasted the competition at this year’s Paul K. Young Memorial Truck Beauty Championship in Louisville, Ky.

The Brinkers, of Grayling, Mich., won Best of Show Working Bobtail and four other awards, all First Place, at the competition, presented by Overdrive’s Pride & Polish at the 2008 Mid-America Trucking Show. Caton’s six awards included Best of Show Working Combo.

A trucker in his early 20s repeatedly circled Legend on the show’s final day, pointing out details on the homage to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. “If this is a working truck, I’d pay a million dollars to see it on the road,” the young man exclaimed. Easily done; the Brinkers put more than 130,000 miles on the truck each year.

Robert Brinker was amused at the man’s histrionics: “I think he’s had a little something to drink.” But Brinker couldn’t hide his pride – or his trophy collection, massed on Legend of the Black Pearl’s fifth wheel.

Legend has been a truck show favorite since the Brinkers introduced the theme in 2006 as a tribute to their daughter, Amie Knight, who died in 2005 and who is depicted on the truck in pirate costume alongside Johnny Depp as Capt. Jack Sparrow. In the past year, Canadian artist Al Proulx has added pirate song lyrics to the wheel fenders, added more characters from the film to the rear fenders and painted the engine to look like a treasure chest.

The interior mimics the deck of a pirate ship, complete with a faux parrot. The Brinkers also have installed television screens throughout the rig that showed the “Pirates” film trilogy all weekend.

Caton’s truck, owned by Eilen & Sons Trucking of Hampton, Minn., appeared at the 2007 Paul K. Young show with a different paint scheme. Later, when fixing a cracked hood, “we decided to change the paint job, too,” Caton says.

The company custom-paints nearly all its trucks but has focused its competitive efforts on this Pete, Caton says. Additional customizing was done by Twelve Gauge Customs of Guelph, Ontario, and Top Done of Minnesota.

Nearby, another movie-themed truck garnered several awards, including Best Theme from co-sponsor Truck Rodz. The Gambler, a 2007 Peterbilt 379 Legacy, didn’t start out as a tribute to the 1980 TV movie starring Kenny Rogers. Doug Fisher, a company driver for Transport N Service of Guelph, Ontario, says he initially was looking for a theme to match the high stakes of trucking. “Every day’s a gamble out here,” he says.

The hood has a mural of Rogers and other stars of the first “Gambler” movie, as well as playing cards. The Western-themed interior includes dice-shaped cabinet knobs, faux saloon doors separating cab from sleeper, and a beautifully reconditioned shotgun that serves as gear shifter.

A recent addition is Rogers’ own signature. The entertainer met Fisher and his wife, Kim, and autographed the truck’s hood before a concert in September.

Ron Baird didn’t need a theme to attract lots of fans. He just needed an eye-popping green, silver and orange mural on the 2000 Heil pneumatic tanker pulled by his 2000 Peterbilt 379, named Hoffman’s Hot Rod after owner Hoffman Transportation. The truck and trailer won Best of Show for Limited Mileage Combo.

A truck show veteran who has won more than 140 awards, Baird helped design Hot Rod’s paint scheme as well as its grille and hood, based on a 1935 Duesenberg roadster in addition to classic motorcycles. “The hood is narrowed 8 inches and lengthened 4 inches,” he says. Grille, hood and headlights were manufactured by custom shop Ridin’ High in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Baird’s favorite at this year’s show was the champion of Big Rig Build-Off IV. Sponsored by Jones Performance Products Inc. and PPG Industries, the ever-popular Build-Off featured four trucks built by top heavy-duty customizers.

First in Class, a slick-looking orange and red 1986 Peterbilt 359, was the work of Randy Stroup and his crew from First Class Services of Lewisport, Ky., who walked away with the two major Big Rig Build-Off prizes, Engineer’s Choice and People’s Choice. First in Class also featured handiwork by Twelve Gauge Customs, which worked on Caton’s truck as well, and by Outlaw Customs of Henderson, Colo.

Disdaining show-only trucks that can’t haul, Stroup vowed to build a working truck. “I think we need to keep it real,” he said.

New to Mid-America were A&A Stainless Steel Plus of Miami and its blazing blue 1997 Peterbilt 379, Old Skool Bluz. Onlookers admired its flashy graphics, killer entertainment system and gleaming accents that used no chrome, only stainless steel, including the entire floor.

Proof that Old Skool Bluz made quite an impression was the bidding contest that broke out among spectators. Owner-operator Steve Denny of Tulsa, Okla., made the top bid of $525,000. “It’s the baddest one out here,” he explained.


PAUL K. YOUNG MEMORIAL TRUCK BEAUTY CHAMPIONSHIP

Best of Show Working Bobtail

2000 Freightliner Classic XL, Robert and Shelley Brinker

Best of Show Working Combo

2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Brad Caton of Eilen & Sons Trucking

People’s Choice Best Working

1998 Freightliner Classic, Michael Most Limited Mileage Bobtail Best of Show

1999 Peterbilt 379, Mario Bergeron

2nd: 2001 Peterbilt 379, Ryan Danylchuk

3rd: 1979 International Transtar II, David Carey

4th: 1997 Peterbilt 379, Armando Garcia and A&A Stainless Steel Plus

5th: 1985 Kenworth K100, Steve Hendershot

Limited Mileage Combo

Best of Show: 2000 Peterbilt 379, Ron Baird of Hoffman Transportation

2nd: 1998 Peterbilt 379, Bill and Marie Sandvik

3rd: 2005 Peterbilt 379, Vinnie Diorio of Rollin’ Transport LLC

4th: 2007 Kenworth W900L, Bob Bissell

5th (Tie): 1996 Peterbilt 379, Chuck Prigge of Sandvik Trucking; and 2006 Kenworth W900L, David Blondeau

Bobtail, Antique Non-Working

1st: 1966 Peterbilt 281, Warren Roosevelt

2nd: 1963 Peterbilt 351, Gary Robey

3rd: 1954 Autocar DC75, Jerry Howard

Bobtail, First Show

1st: 1984 Peterbilt 359, Josh Stier

2nd: 2007 Peterbilt 379, Drennon Durham

3rd: 1998 Peterbilt 379, Clayton Fletcher

Bobtail, New Truck

Under 75,000 miles

1st: 2007 Freightliner Coronado, Tom and Maryann Quick

2nd: 2007 Peterbilt 379 Legacy, Doug and Kim Fisher of Transport N Service

3rd: 2007 Peterbilt 379, Jonathan Dyck of Jade Transportation

Bobtail Company Truck

1st: 2007 International 9900ix, Curt Miller of J&R Schugel Trucking

2nd: 2006 Peterbilt 379, Josh Lyles of Taylor Transport

3rd: 2008 Freightliner Cascadia, Lowell Wilderman of Schneider National

Bobtail 2000 & Older

1st: 2000 Freightliner Classic XL, Robert and Shelley Brinker

2nd: 1998 Freightliner Classic, Michael Most

3rd: 1993 Peterbilt 379, Ron Brubaker

Bobtail 2001-2006

1st: 2006 Freightliner, Lynn and Shelley Baxter of A&E Mann Trucking

2nd: 2006 Kenworth T800, J.R. Roth

3rd: 2005 Peterbilt 379, Tom and Daveda Reitz

Bobtail 2007 & Newer

1st: 2007 Peterbilt 379, Dallas McCord

2nd: 2007 Freightliner Coronado, Edward Bosket

3rd: 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Matthew McCord

Combo Antique Non-Working

1st: 1970 Peterbilt 359, David Ratliff

2nd: 1951 Autocar DC100, Richard Gingerich Combo First Show

1st: 2007 Kenworth W900L, Dan Mitchell

2nd: 2006 Kenworth W900L, Curt Miller of Forward Air

3rd: 2008 International ProStar, Brian and Kim Landry of Verge Furniture Logistics

Combo New Truck Under 75,000 miles

1st: 2008 Peterbilt 389, John and Jandy Lee of My Car Carrier

2nd: 2007 Kenworth W900, Scott Hess of F.A. Nye & Sons Enterprises

3rd: 2009 Kenworth W900L, W.M. Gorman Jr. of K&W

Transportation Combo Company Owned

1st: 2007 Peterbilt 379 Legacy, Keith Bell of Muirhead Trucking

2nd: 2005 Peterbilt 379, Phillip Clayton of Priority Transportation

3rd: 2007 Peterbilt 379, Ronnie Johnson of Witte Bros.

Exchange Combo 2000 & Older

1st: 1997 Peterbilt 379, Bob Greiner of Aschenbrenner Trucking

2nd: 1996 Peterbilt 379, Ryan Hooten

3rd: 1993 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, James Davis

Combo 2001 & Newer

1st: 2007 Peterbilt 379 flat top, Tyler Muirhead

2nd: 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Brad Caton of Eilen & Sons Trucking

3rd (tie): 2007 Western Star Lomax, Les Sullivan; and 2007 Peterbilt 386, Cliff King of Castle Rock Transportation

Interior Cab Only
1st: (Tie) 2007 Peterbilt 379, Ronnie Johnson of Witte Bros. Exchange; 2007 Peterbilt Legacy 379, Chad Blackwell

2nd: 2005 Peterbilt 379, Tom and Daveda Reitz

3rd: 1995 Silver Peterbilt 379, Bob and Geri Martin

Interior OEM Sleeper
1st: 2000 Freightliner Classic XL, Robert and Shelley Brinker

2nd: 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Dallas McCord

3rd : 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Matthew McCord

Interior Custom After-market Sleeper

1st: 2008 Peterbilt 389, John and Jandy Lee of My Car Carrier

2nd: 2007 Peterbilt 379 Legacy, Doug and Kim Fisher of Transport N Service

3rd: 2007 Freightliner Coronado, Tom and Maryann Quick Custom Paint & Graphics/Mural Bobtail

1st: 2000 Freightliner Classic XL, Robert and Shelley Brinker

2nd: 1998 Freightliner Classic, Michael Most

3rd: 2007 Peterbilt 379 Legacy, Doug and Kim Fisher of Transport N Service

Custom Paint & Graphics/Mural Combo

1st: 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Brad Caton of Eilen & Sons Trucking

2nd: 2007 Peterbilt 379 flattop, Tyler Muirhead

3rd: 2002 Peterbilt 379, Dan and Cheryl Lubberts

Lights Bobtail

1st: 2005 Kenworth W900L, Bill Stout and Treasa Bartley

2nd: 2006 Freightliner, Lynn and Shelley Baxter of A&E Mann Trucking

3rd: 2007 Freightliner Coronado, Tom and Maryann

Quick Lights Combo

1st: 2008 Peterbilt 389, John and Jandy Lee of My Car Carrier

2nd: 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Brad Caton of Eilen & Sons Trucking

3rd: 2005 Peterbilt 379, Phillip Clayton of Priority Transportation

Diesel Dave’s Pick of the Litter Award
2000 Peterbilt 379, Ron Baird of Hoffman Transportation

Roadworks Best Use of Chrome or Stainless Award
2006 Peterbilt 379, Josh Lyles of Taylor Transport

Freightliner Run Smart
1st: 1998 Freightliner Classic, Michael Most

2nd: 2007 Freightliner Coronado, Tom and Maryann Quick

3rd: 2007 Freightliner

Coronado, Leonard Martin

Peterbilt Truck Awards
1st: 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Brad Caton of Eilen & Sons Trucking

2nd: 2007 Peterbilt Legacy 379, Chad Blackwell

3rd: 2007 Peterbilt 386, Cliff King of Castle Rock Transportation

Mobil Delvac Working Truck Engine
1st: 2000 Freightliner Classic XL, Robert and Shelley Brinker

2nd: 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Brad Caton of Eilen & Sons Trucking

3rd: 2007 Peterbilt 379, Ronnie Johnson of Witte Bros. Exchange

Mobil Delvac Best Limited Mileage/Non-Working Truck Engine
1998 Peterbilt 379, Bill and Marie Sandvik

Pride & Polish Pick for Best Limited Mileage/Non-Working Paint Bobtail

1966 Peterbilt 281, Warren Roosevelt

Pride & Polish Pick for Best Limited Mileage/Non-Working Paint Combo
1998 Peterbilt 379, Bill and Marie Sandvik

Pride & Polish Pick for Best Limited Mileage/Non-Working Paint Combo

2005 Peterbilt 379, Vinnie Diorio of Rollin’ Transport LLC

Truck Rodz Best Theme
2007 Peterbilt 379 Legacy, Doug and Kim Fisher of Transport N Service