David and Allyson Geer weren’t sure they would make it to this year’s Shell Rotella SuperRigs truck beauty show. David, whose truck placed well and made the coveted SuperRigs calendar in 2001, says his 5-year-old grandson is sick with leukemia, and the couple considered skipping the event.
Now his grandson, who loves the Geer’s maroon Peterbilt 379, has something to
celebrate. The Geers took home top honors for their combination, Marooned, at the 20th Anniversary Rotella SuperRigs contest in Ontario, Calif. The award follows winning Overdrive’s 2001 Pride and Polish contest at the Great American Trucking Show.
The Geers received high marks at SuperRigs for the truck’s dramatic tropical beach vista, a mural David Geer had redone in early 2002. The old mural was elementary school, David says. “This is graduate school.”
Truckers took home more than $20,000 in cash and prizes at the contest, held at the Ontario East TravelCenters of America. Trucks were scored on exterior appearance, design, detail and workmanship.
Contestants were also eligible for inclusion in the Shell Rotella SuperRigs 2003 calendar. The calendar features trucks in environments that complement their design. Trucks arrived early for the show in hopes of being picked.
Donnie and Diana Harper, whose Enduring Freedom finished second overall, made the calendar. “We’ve gotten millions of comments,” Donnie says of the truck’s patriotic theme. “It’s dangerous when we’re parked at fuel islands. Truckers will slam on their brakes to look at the truck.”
The Pete 379 commemorates Sept. 11 with images of the World Trade Center and a mural of Rudolph Giuliani and George W. Bush.
“We’d been designing this truck for a year when it happened,” Diana said. “We had to do something to commemorate the event.” So the couple mixed the 9-11 images with a wildcat theme they had planned. It shows predatory cats that, thanks to a holographic effect, appear to be slinking through the paint.
Donnie and Diana Harper’s Enduring Freedom finished second, but was voted best by other contestants.
The couple picked up the truck around Thanksgiving and already have nearly 100,000 miles on it – emblematic of the show’s core theme. SuperRigs is only open to working trucks.
Bill Pierce had his classic Pete shot for the calendar at a minor league ballpark in nearby San Bernadino, Calif. “I’m wound up like an eight-hour clock,” says Pierce, who was born in Cooperstown, N.Y., birthplace of baseball. “It was a perfect choice.”
Pierce, whose truck won first in the classic category, now lives in San Diego, where he hauls heavy equipment with his crimson daycab. Pierce took the 1.5-million-mile 1986 Peterbilt apart, and a friend helped him restore it and put it back together. He’s put nearly $60,000 into the single-drive-axle truck, which he’s had for five years.