The latter were displayed indoors for the first time, taking up an entire exhibit hall, and all were cleaned and prepped for the final Stars & Stripes Truck Beauty Show competition of the year. There were so many entries this year, some contestants had to park their rigs in an adjacent exhibition hall and more were parked outside.
Roger Sherrard, whose Foster City, Calif. company, The Truck Show Latino, puts on the event, said about 4,750 attended this year's show.
"The buyers turned out for Truck Show Latino & Construction Expo in spite of the industry slow-down," Sherrard said. "Exhibitor enthusiasm for the quality of attendees was high and commitments for next year's show (Oct. 18-19, 2008) was nearly universal."
A record number of participants entered this year's Stars & Stripes event, which keeps growing each year. Competitors included trucks owned and shown by locals, many of them Latino truckers, as well as equipment owned by Southern California trucking and construction companies.
This resulted in more local participation than at any other Stars & Stripes events, offering a diverse group of trucks in competition.
Stars & Stripes organizers said there was a definite "West Coast look" to the designs of the competing trucks, probably because of the Latino influence. Judges commented on the great attention to details and classic trim pieces applied in interesting ways by many of the contestants. Noticeable items included spinner wheels; brass and glass headlamps off a classic era coupe; moldings taken from 1950s cars, and classic-look wire wheels.
Hector Santos of Riverside, Calif. took back-to-back wins in the Best of Show - Bobtail division in his blue and white 1999 Peterbilt 379. Hector said he was delivering bails of hay just hours prior to arriving at the Pomona Fairplex to clean up his truck.
With a name that sort of speaks for itself, "Pimpin' Ain't Easy," owned by veteran truck show participants Maggini Trucking, garnered the top Limited Mileage trophy. The vibrant yellow and green flamed 1998 Peterbilt 379 daycab was minus the usual set of stainless lined doubles that Maggini use to haul hay during the week.
A third hay- and produce-hauling rig took top honors for Central Valley Transport of Bakersfield, Calif. The Pounds family brought two of their rigs, both sporting custom-built double flatbeds, and painted to match their flashy mauve purple flamed-out tractors. Both trucks were detailed for the show by the teenaged sons.
Their 2001 Freightliner Classic conventional rose to the top and took home the crystal Best of Show Working Combo award. Both boys had won trophies in the Stars & Stripes beauty shows earlier this year.
Local trucking companies that sent trucks to the competition included American Wrecking of South El Monte, Bridgestone/Firestone of Ontario and Sandvik Trucking of Escondido.
Sponsoring companies of the show truck series are Chevron Delo, Peterbilt, RoadStar Magazine, Rockwood, PPG, Truk Rodz, Freightliner, International Truck and Engine Corp., Volvo, Firestone, Howes Lubricator, Alcoa Wheels, Roadworks, Meritor, Valley Chrome Plating, OOIDA, Panelite, Holland, 10-4 Magazine, Hendrickson, Donaldson, Chrome Country, Midnight Trucking Radio and Hood Express.