The show, put on by Nostalgia Productions, famous for their Muscle Car Mania show, is run by the National Assn. of Show Trucks. One of the high points of the show is the Parade of Lights over the Mackinac bridge. NAST spokesman Bob Guy reports 148 trucks were there, most of them from Michigan. There's even a special class for the 11-axle Michigan trains - and polishing all those wheels is a lot of work! If it weren't for the high fuel prices, Guy says, he believes they would have had a turnout of over 200 trucks.
Best of Show Bobtail went to Jim and Sue Muchler, for their 1999 white Peterbilt owned by 77 Express. The Muchlers have put their own money into this company truck, which features a fireman theme, with a fireman's prayer on the back of the bunk.
77 Express owners Marvin and Barb Knight also took Best of Show Combo with their rig "Almost Paradise," a 1999 Kenworth with tropical and undersea murals on both tractor and trailer.
The Muchlers and the Knights also took First Place Combo and First Place Bobtail in the first Stars & Stripes qualifying show last month at Newport's Truckerfest in Reno, Nev.
Mayor's Choice Combo went to Joe Cook's '89 International and 2000 Polar tanker. Mayor's Choice Bobtail was Butch Hammon's 1964 B model Mack.
The Mackinac Bridge Authority gets into the act, as well, picking their two favorite trucks from the Parade of Lights. The Combo winner was Almost Paradise, while the Bobtail prize went to Jerry and Janet Grills' truck, "Livin' in the '50s."
The Richard Crane Legend award went to Dallas Houghston's 1999 Peterbilt and 1999 Utility trailer.
During the awards ceremony, contestants raised several thousand dollars for the family of Carl Lahrke of Mondon, Mich., a trucker who was killed by a hit-and-run driver last month while riding his motorcycle. Lahrke was at the NAST truck show in June in Coldwater, Mich., and took home a second place trophy. An enlarged photo of Bob Guy kissing a mule (which was a stunt auctioned off for a previous charity fundraiser) was auctioned off for $3,400. In addition, a cowboy hat was passed around the crowd and came back full of twenties, fifties and hundred-dollar bills, Guy says.
For more information on the Richard Crane Memorial Truck Show, visit www.nostalgia-prod.com.