California customs

| December 20, 2008

Mike Salinas’ 2007 Peterbilt 379, built from the rails up by John’s Truck Repair, hauled off top honors for best paint and graphics.

Mark Leekley smiles like a giddy kid holding the Christmas present he’d dreamed of finding under the tree. The third-year company driver for Hawthorne Power Systems in San Diego cherishes the Pride & Polish trophies he picked up at the fall 2008 Truck Show Latino in Pomona, Calif. – a Third in both Working Bobtail 1990-1996 and Interior Cab Only. Not only do they mark his first truck competition, but the day before the show opened, his working-class Freightliner FLD was axle-deep in fire ash as he delivered emergency generators to a remote water pumping station whose power lines were felled by a forest fire.

Leekley’s truck was one of nearly three dozen rigs that rolled into the Los Angeles County fairgrounds to be part of the competition held in conjunction with the annual Truck Show Latino and Construction Truck & Equipment Expo.

Among those was Mike Maggini’s 1998 yellow-and-green-flamed Peterbilt 379, Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy. Maggini, a perennial trophy collector on the West Coast circuit, laid claim to the Limited Mileage Truck Interior title and a Third in Limited Mileage Bobtail class. But Maggini & Son Trucking’s quest for Best of Show was thwarted by Sandvik Trucking’s Still Deliriouz, shown by driver Isaac Aguilar. The ’92 Peterbilt 379 claimed Best of Show Working Bobtail and Mobil Delvac Best Working Class Engine awards, among others. The truck took Best of Show in its class in August at the 2008 Pride & Polish in Dallas.

Aguilar, who hauls tile and granite slabs through Arizona, Nevada and California with the immaculately detailed burgundy truck, gives credit for its winning looks to his coworkers. “Everyone in our shop has a specialty, and when a team like ours comes together, this is the result,” he says.

The show-on-Sunday, work-on-Monday mentality also applies to Working Combo winners Ryan Hooten and Mike Salcido. Hooten’s custom hay-hauling 1995 Peterbilt 379 combo won its class, and Salcido’s water tanker-towing ’07 Freightliner Columbia snagged the 2003 & Newer Bobtail trophy, in addition to Seconds in Best Interior, Cab Only and Best Paint/Graphics.

But the talk of the show focused around the Best Limited Mileage Paint winner – Mike Salinas’ black, orange, and blue-flamed, 2007 Peterbilt 379 extended hood. It was shown by Jeff Davidson, one of the owners of John’s Truck Repair, in Cotati, Calif., where the truck was built. The JTR crew spent nearly 4,000 man-hours building Salinas’ chop-top Pete from the rails up. The artistry in this entry shows how the high-dollar California builders are successfully blending old-school and new-school ideas.

2008 Truck Show Latino Pride & Polish awards
Best of Show Working Bobtail
Isaac Aguilar, Sandvik Trucking, 1992 Peterbilt 379, Still Deliriouz

Best of Show Working Combo
Ryan Hooten, 1995 Peterbilt 379 and 1994 custom flatbed hay trailer

Best Limited Mileage Bobtail
Jeff Davidson, John’s Truck Repair for owner Mike Salinas, 1997 Peterbilt 379 extended hood

Best Limited Mileage Truck Interior
Mike Maggini, Maggini & Son Trucking, 1998 Peterbilt 379, Pimpin’ Ain’t Easy

Best Limited Mileage Engine
Bill and Marie Sandvik, Sandvik Trucking, 1998 Peterbilt 379

Best Limited Mileage Paint
Jeff Davidson, John’s Truck Repair for owner Mike Salinas, 1997 Peterbilt 379 extended hood

Truk Rodz Best Theme
Sherry Martinez, Jessica Martinez Trucking, 1990 Peterbilt 379

Roadworks Best Use of Chrome or Stainless
John Mundall, Mundall Trucking, 2009 Kenworth T800 Superdump

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