Art on Wheels

| June 05, 2009

Marcel Pontbriand and his wife Valerie had never been to a major truck beauty show before they rolled their 20-year-old Peterbilt and dry van into Overdrive’s Pride & Polish competition at the Kentucky Fair and Exposition Center in Louisville.

The couple wasn’t sure what to expect. Theirs was one of some 71 custom rigs that screamed for attention, and many were veteran winners of the show truck scene.

But in the end, it was neither an old-school regular among the circuit nor an upstart rat-rod that captured both Best of Show Working Combo and People’s Choice. It was what Pontbriand calls his “Little Train of happiness,” an eclectic mix of old-school features, wooden sculptures and detailed murals of a style typically not seen on show trucks.

The Canadian from Beloeil, Quebec, has a fleet of 20 rigs in his Owner Operator Systems fleet. But the Midnight Blue Peterbilt 379 pulling a muraled 1992 48-ft. Stoughton van is his baby.

Pontbriand’s Peterbilt is both a rolling diary of his life and his tribute to the trucking/transportation industry that has put bread on his family’s table for 35 years. Now 49, he started driving trucks on Canada’s ice roads at 14, following his father, who also was a truck driver.
Pontbriand spent thousands of hours hand-painting the murals, sculpting the wood carvings, customizing the cab and sleeper, and keeping his rig in top shape.

Each item on his truck has a special meaning, too. For example, the wooden train carving spanning the trailer’s flaps is made from a piece of wood he found while delivering a load in Virginia; the pistols used as the trailer door handles are from Tombstone, Arizona; and the railroad spikes on the trailer’s sides, which he had chromed, were found alongside a spur in California.

“I dreamt of having my own truck since I was a little boy,” says the soft-spoken Canadian. “Trucks are my life and my living. This is my way of honoring both, and it [the customizing] will continue to evolve until I breathe no more.”

Best of Show Working Bobtail went to Homer Schultz III’s 1993 Peterbilt 379 tow truck. No small wonder, as it looked more like the perfect model inside and out than a savior of broken-down highway rigs.

Dale Blevins’ 1942 Autocar, Big Bad John, took Best Limited Mileage Bobtail. It was literally brought back from a rust heap in 2007 and meticulously restored by the Truck Rods gang at Peterbilt of Joplin. Restoration included sliding a 2003 Peterbilt chassis under it, adding a drop-suspension from a car hauler, and hand-fabricating components to replicate unavailable parts to retain the Autocar heritage.

While Blevins’ Autocar catches attention because of its simplicity and old-school styling, Paul Stanchio’s combo car hauler, Hot Wheels, turns heads with its flames and brilliant orange paint scheme. The Peterbilt and Cottrell Car Carrier, both 2009 models, took Best Limited Mileage Combo.

Pride & Polish handed out a new tribute, the Take Pride In Your Ride award. It was created in memory of Jacob R. Eilen, a young owner-operator and avid truck beauty show competitor who died late last year. The plaque was presented to Todd and Beth Roccopriore of Portland, Conn., whose close friend, Charlie Shefcyk, died just three days before the show.

Shefcyk was the driving force behind the build of Chopped 93, the couple’s immaculate Peterbilt 379 extended hood and 2009 Mac dump trailer. Todd Roccopriore says Shefcyk’s last words were a request to promise him they’d make the Louisville Pride & Polish. That request was honored in grand fashion when the entry won a half-dozen awards.

PRIDE & POLISH WINNERS

BEST OF SHOW
WORKING BOBTAIL
Homer Schultz III, 1993
Peterbilt 379 tow truck

BEST OF SHOW
WORKING COMBO
Marcel Pontbriand, 1989
Peterbilt 379 and 1992
Stoughton van, Little Train

BEST LIMITED
MILEAGE BOBTAIL
Cory Stuefen of Joplin Peterbilt for owner Dale Blevins, 1942 Autocar, Big Bad John

BEST LIMITED
MILEAGE COMBO
Paul Stanchio, 2009 Peterbilt 388 and 2009 Cottrell Car
Carrier, Hot Wheels

PEOPLE’S CHOICE
Marcel Pontbriand, 1989
Peterbilt 379 and 1992
Stoughton van, Little Train

ROADWORKS BEST
USE OF CHROME
Todd and Beth Roccopriore, 1993 Peterbilt 379 extended hood and 2009 Mac dump trailer, Chopped 93

TRUK RODZ BEST THEME
Jeremy Graves, 2007 Peterbilt 379 and 2008 Mississippi Tank, Bucket List

WORKING BOBTAIL
2001 & Older
First: Bud Westhafer, 1995 Kenworth W900, El Patron
Second: David Wood, 1998 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Silver Streak
Third: Darwin Bratcher, 2001 Freightliner Columbia

WORKING BOBTAIL
2004 & Newer
First: Dallas McCord, 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Orange Appeal
Second: Matthew McCord, 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood 379
Third: Jeremiah Wolfe, 2007 Peterbilt 379, Let’s Boogie

BOBTAIL NEW TRUCK
UNDER 75,000 MILES
(NEW VENTURE AWARD)
First: Marty Marcum, 2009 Peterbilt 389
Second: Scott Ruwe, 2009 Peterbilt 386
Third: Dick Fisher, 2009
Kenworth T800 dump

BOBTAIL SPECIALIZED
First: Homer Schultz III, 1993 Peterbilt 379 tow truck
Second: Brad Sweet,
2007 Peterbilt 378 wrecker,
Dreammaster
Third: Nathaniel Mason, 1997 Peterbilt 378 tanker, Million Dollar Baby

COMPANY BOBTAIL
First: Vince Hogan, Schneider National, 2008 Freightliner Cascadia
Second: Barry Kasdorf, Jade Transport, 2008 Peterbilt 389
Third: David Brewster, Smith Transport, 2007 Peterbilt 379, 379 The Legend

FIRST SHOW BOBTAIL
(RISING STAR AWARD)
First: William Benjamin, 1998 Peterbilt 379
Second: Jim Langton, 2006 Kenworth T2000, Let Freedom Ring
Third: Rebecca Jo Marlin, 1987 Peterbilt 359, Tara II

ANTIQUE BOBTAIL
(GRAND ANTIQUE AWARD)
First: Todd Cox, 1975 Dodge 950, Big Horn
Second: Robert Downey, 1953 Peterbilt 350
Third: David Ratliff, 1970 Peterbilt 359

FIRST SHOW COMBO
First: Justin Steed, Henderson Heavy Haul, 2004 Kenworth W900L and 2009 IST Wind Blade

Second: Philip J. Mairer, 2007 Kenworth W900L and 2009 East Trailer
Third: Shannon Cain, 1999
Kenworth W900L and 1995 Wilson DW Hopper

WORKING COMBO
2005 & OLDER
First: Todd & Beth Roccopriore, 1993 Peterbilt 379 extended hood and 2009 Mac dump trailer, Chopped 93
Second: Phillip Clayton, 2005 Peterbilt 379 and 2007 Great Dane Super Seal, Nitro Express
Third: Marcel Pontbriand, 1989 Peterbilt 379 and 1992
Stoughton dry van, Little Train

WORKING COMBO
2007 & NEWER
First: Kevin Pascavis, 2009 Peterbilt 389 and 2007 Mac trailer, Rollin for Jake
Second: Cliff King, 2007
Peterbilt 386 and 2006
Wabash dry van
Third: Josh Lyle, 2007 Peterbilt 379 and 2008 Mac flatbed

INTERIOR, CAB ONLY
First: Todd and Beth Roccopriore, 1993 Peterbilt 379 extended hood and 2009 Mac dump trailer, Chopped 93
Second: Scott Ruwe, 2009 Peterbilt 386
Third: Josh Lyle, 2007 Peterbilt 379 and 2008 Mac flatbed

INTERIOR, OEM SLEEPER
First: Marcel Pontbriand, 1989 Peterbilt 379 and 1992
Stoughton dry van, Little Train
Second: Homer Schultz III, 1993 Blue Peterbilt 379 tow
Third: Kevin Pascavis, 2009 Peterbilt 389 and 2007 Mac trailer, Rollin for Jake

INTERIOR, CUSTOM
AFTERMARKET SLEEPER
First: Jonathan Kimball, 2005 Peterbilt 379
Second: Cliff King, 2007
Peterbilt 386 and Wabash
dry van
Third: Bill Gibson, 1997 Peterbilt 379 and 2006 Transcraft Eagle

MOBIL DELVAC
ENGINE CLASS
First: Marcel Pontbriand, 1989 Peterbilt 379 and 1992
Stoughton dry van, Little Train
Second: Homer Schultz III, 1993 Peterbilt 379 tow truck
Third: Todd and Beth Roccopriore, 1993 Peterbilt 379 extended hood and 2009 Mac dump trailer, Chopped 93

BOBTAIL CUSTOM PAINT
& GRAPHICS OR MURAL
First: Dallas McCord, 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood, Orange Appeal
Second: Matthew McCord, 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood 379 extended hood
Third: Bud Westhafer, 1995 Kenworth W900, El Patron

COMBO CUSTOM PAINT
& GRAPHICS OR MURAL
First: Todd and Beth Roccopriore, 1993 Peterbilt 379 extended hood and 2009 Mac dump trailer, Chopped 93
Second: Marcel Pontbriand, 1989 Peterbilt 379 and 1992 Stoughton dry van, Little Train
Third: Bill Gibson, 1997
Peterbilt 379 and 2006
Transcraft Eagle

BOBTAIL LIGHTS
First: Homer Schultz III, 1993 Peterbilt 379 tow truck
Second: Edward Black, 1987 Peterbilt 359
Third: Carl Ragland, 2007 Peterbilt 379

COMBO LIGHTS
First: Marcel Pontbriand, 1989 Peterbilt 379 and 1992
Stoughton dry van, Little Train
Second: Todd and Beth
Roccopriore, 1993 Peterbilt
379 extended hood and 2009 Mac dump trailer, Chopped 93

Third: Bill Gibson, 1997
Peterbilt 379 and 2006 Transcraft Eagle

LIMITED MILEAGE BOBTAIL
Second: Glen S. Page, 2007 Peterbilt 379 Legacy, Purpose Driven
Third: Isaac Aguilar, 1992 Peterbilt 379, Still Deliriouz
Fourth: Colin Stuart, 1984 Peterbilt 359, Working Class
Fifth: Jason Carello, 2008 International LoneStar

LIMITED MILEAGE COMBO
Second: Vinnie Diorio, 2005 Peterbilt 379 and 2008 Mac trailer, Picture Me Rollin
Third: Ronald Baird, 2000 Green Peterbilt 379 and 2000 Heil Tank, Hoffman’s Hotrod

MOBIL DELVAC BEST LIMITED MILEAGE TRUCK ENGINE
Bobtail: Isaac Aguilar, 1992 Peterbilt 379, Still Deliriouz
Combo: Jeremy Graves, 2007 Peterbilt 379 and 2008 Mississippi Tank , Bucket List

PRIDE & POLISH BEST
LIMITED MILEAGE INTERIOR
Bobtail: Isaac Aguilar, 1992 Peterbilt 379, Still Deliriouz
Combo: Vinnie Diorio, 2005 Peterbilt 379 and 2008 Mac Trailer, Picture Me Rollin

PRIDE & POLISH BEST
LIMITED MILEAGE PAINT
Bobtail: Jason Carello, 2008 International LoneStar
Combo: Paul Stanchio, 2009 Peterbilt 388 and 2009 Cottrell Car Carrier, Hot Wheels

PRIDE & POLISH BEST
LIMITED MILEAGE LIGHTS
Bobtail: Isaac Aguilar, 1992 Peterbilt 379, Still Deliriouz
Combo: Paul Stanchio, 2009 Peterbilt 388 and 2009 Cottrell Car Carrier, Hot Wheels

2009 MID-AMERICA
BIG-RIG BUILD-OFF

PEOPLE’S CHOICE WINNER: Outlaw Customs, 2000 Peterbilt 379, Vigilante.

INDUSTRY’S CHOICE
WINNER: S&J Truck Sales, 1981 Peterbilt 359, Big Red.

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