When there were no limos to be had for Tulsa, OK's, busiest prom night, it was no problem for 17-year-old Adam Gobbo. He took his date to the prom in a 460-horsepower, black-cherry Mack Vision.
Adam got the idea from a family photograph taken by his grandfather, who started Mack Truck Sales of Tulsa. "I had always seen this picture of my grandpa, who had taken a prom couple to their dance, back in the 70s I think, so when the opportunity arose I just seized it."
The ride was a total surprise to Adam's prom date, Catherine Cilker, who flew in from San Jose last Friday. She was curious about why he was wearing a microphone, and really got suspicious when there was a TV camera in the baggage claim area, but nothing prepared her for the sight of a big truck waiting at the curb.
Adam's uncle, Rick Harper, who is president of the dealership, acted as chauffeur for the truck that night and Saturday, when the couple left for the prom. TV crews were there to film Catherine climbing into the Mack in her prom dress and to film their arrival at the prom. "We had all the Christmas lights on, the air horns going," Adam says. "We were having a good time."
A number of Adam's friends formed a welcoming committee, and many wanted their photos taken with the truck, as well.
"Not many people can say they went to prom in a Mack truck," says Adam. "A lot of people were renting limos and things like that, and here I am sitting up about 10 feet taller than everybody. The Vision has the bunk beds in the back, it was like a motorhome on wheels."
"We got a lot of publicity, got preferential treatment, I guess the big dog really did push its way through. It was really awesome." The couple was featured on two of the local TV stations, as well as the Tulsa newspaper, the Oklahoma City paper, and a local radio station. The Associated Press picked up the story, as well.
Adam's family has been astounded and pleased by the publicity. Not only does it make for great memories for a graduating high school senior, it's also not bad for business at the dealership, which has been in the family since 1960.
"We're just thrilled with [the publicity]," says owner Barbara Harper, Adam's grandmother. "We've had numerous calls, so I would say it's really helped. Since this is Mack Trucks' 100th birthday year, I think it's great."
As for Adam, he doesn't plan to go into the family business - at least not right away. A week after he graduates next month, he ships off to boot camp in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he plans to fly the F-18 Hornet. Trucks are great, he says - he even has his Class B license - but he just never got past his love of planes. However, he doesn't rule out getting into trucking when he's a little older, maybe joining the family dealership and working his way up through the ranks.