For Love of the Game

| July 09, 2005

Fanatic? Maybe. But Neal says he learned everything he knows about proper pre-show preparation from fellow show truck enthusiast Victor Verret, owner of a 1994 Kenworth W900 named Blew By U. Because they help each other clean even if they are both competing in the same show, they’ve worked out a compromise. “If he wants to show his truck in a show, we both work on it,” Neal told Overdrive after Plum Classy won Best of Show Combination at the 2002 Pride & Polish in Dallas. “If we want to show our truck, then he helps us show ours.”

Russ and Debbie Brown’s American Thunder boasts a Harley-Davidson look inside and out.

The 1999 Freightliner Classic features 7-inch headlights from a Harley motorcycle, a hood pull designed by Russ to resemble Harley handlebars and stainless step boxes with Harley foot pedals. The interior has orange cabinets, stitched Harley patches in the upholstery and Harley emblems in the middle of the steering wheel and on the gauges. Curtains made of Harley flags hang on stainless shower curtain hooks. The transformation took a mere three weeks last year, just in time to compete in the 2004 Pride & Polish.

And the Browns are not necessarily finished – with this truck or the thought of more show trucks. “I think I’ve still got another truck or two in me,” says Russ, whose previous entries, Razors Edge and Pure Attitude, are among the classic Pride & Polish winners. “I’ve got ideas on a new theme, new truck, when I get bored with this one.”

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