Custom Rigs

2016 GATS Best of Show winner, Builders Bobtail: The next ‘Project’

The crew out of Triple R Diesel’s Texas Chrome Shop showed its latest highly custom build for the first time at GATS, culminating more than a year-long venture that Texas Chrome’s Roland Mendez says “sets a new bar” for the company’s show rigs.

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Wes Ezell’s 2017 Kenworth W900

The truck and its name, "Already Gone," are a tribute to Ezell's father, Robert S. Martin, who passed away in 2014.

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2016 GATS Best of Show winner, Limited-Mileage Bobtail: The Premier 359

Owner-operator Kary Bryce of Sibley, La., founded his fleet in 1988 with a single Peterbilt 359. He’s always had 359s running in his operation, now at 116 trucks, he says. What’s now Bryce’s most-famed 359 he bought in 1996.

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2016 GATS Best of Show winner, Working Bobtail: Equipment hauler’s dream

Boullion’s showed the Pete for four straight years at GATS, never thinking he’d pick up the coveted Best of Show nod. “It was a shock,” he says. “I still pinch myself. It’s something I’d never thought I’d even get.”

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Most dynamic interior award: Steve Hurley’s classic 1987 Peterbilt 359

Unique license plate floorboards

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2016 GATS Best of Show winner, Limited-Mileage Combo: Crème de la crème

Freddy Velasco’s 2003 Peterbilt 379 was given an overhaul before the 2015 Great American Trucking Show, perhaps highlighted by Velasco’s unique paint scheme of purple and “crème brule.” The rig’s “California Dreamin'” moniker was suggested to Velasco by, what else, the model year. It won’t be picking up produce out in the Golden State anytime soon, he says.

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2016 GATS Best of Show winner, Limited-Mileage Bobtail: Candice Cooley’s classically new 389

Candice Cooley wanted to build a truck with a vintage feel without having to restore an older model. She decided to take a 2017 Peterbilt 389 and custom build it from top to bottom to give it a classic finish while still being a newer model.

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More on the Kelty Farms 1976 International TranStar COE

Current owner Kyle Kelty tells the rest of the story around his restoration of his grandfather Jack Kelty's 1976 International TranStar cabover, a big part of the Kelty family for decades now.

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2016 Pride & Polish National Champion, Builders Class Bobtail: From ‘ratted out’ to rat rod

Following a few years off from the showing his small fleet’s trucks, Minnesota-based aggregates hauler Jonathan Eilen said he wanted to “come back and make a statement” on the Pride & Polish circuit this year. Just six weeks after qualifying, Eilen left GATS with his statement made and a National Championship trophy in hand.

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Jay Holsomback and his workhorse 1996 KW W900L

The truck is nothing short of a work of hardworking art, powered by a 550-hp Cat with an 18-speed transmission, 3:55 rears and a 305-inch wheelbase. Take a video tour through its modifications here.

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