Last year’s top two finishers traded places for the 2004 Truck-Lite Trophy, the National Assn. of Show Trucks (NAST) championship.
This year first place went to Gary Patterson, Fredonia, Pa., who was last year’s second place finisher. He narrowly beat 2003 champs Shelly and Bob Brinker of Grayling, Mich. Gary Ragland, Jackson, Mich., placed third.
To be eligible for the Truck-Lite Trophy, a truck must be in regular service hauling loads, must meet minimum annual mileage requirements and must provide the bulk of the entrant’s livelihood. Trophies are awarded based on total points earned throughout the show truck season.
Patterson’s customized 1982 maroon International conventional, mated to a 2002 Great Dane Trailer, nearly swept the combination class throughout the 2004 season. The Pattersons make it a family affair as Gary competes with help from his wife, Janet, and their sons, Chad and Shawn. Their winning rig sports more than 350 Truck-Lite LED lamps.
The Brinkers’ 2000 Freightliner Classic XL, named Dragon On, has a unique mural covering the exterior. The hood has a dragon’s head with eyes airbrushed on the sun-visor. Reptilian scales are painted on the frame rails, while the sleeper has murals depicting dungeon scenes. The Brinkers defended their 2003 Truck-Lite trophy in 2004, but missed the top prize even though they added fenders and chrome and increased the number of lamps from 147 to 250. Bob drives full time, while Shelly, A CDL holder, shares the road with her husband when she’s not on duty for the Mich. Army National Guard.
Ragland took third place with Sercombe Trucking’s 2001 Freightliner Classic XL. He’s been with the company nine years and began by showing another XL three years ago. The current show truck has red paint with grey stripes and white pinstripes. The 84-in Condo sleeper balances the Freightliner’s extended hood. A 2000 Great Dane dry van trailer continues the tractor’s color scheme. This winning entry has 230 lights.
The original walnut and etched crystal trophy is kept at Truck-Lite headquarters in Falconer, N.Y., with names of top winners added each year. Truck-Lite also awards cash prizes to the three winners.
For more information on NAST show truck events, go to