Four Freightliners Get Fabulous Makeover

(left to right) Jamie Johnson, Ron and Marcia Shifflet, Brandi Yancey and Michelle Fester won first place for their beach-themed redesign.

The new interior is our second honeymoon – rather, it’s the first one we never had,” says Marcia Shifflet. Ron and Marcia Shifflet’s 1997 Freightliner FLD 120 won first place for Most Creative and Best Use of Budget categories in the Freightliner Big Rig Redo contest. The second annual event was held at the Great American Trucking Show in Dallas. The Shifflets’ beach-themed interior wowed the judges and impressed the Shifflets. “It’s just so romantic,” Marcia says. “It’s like going to the beach anytime we go on the road.”

Four lucky Freightliner owners were chosen to participate in the interior makeovers sponsored by Freightliner. Each truck was assigned a design team from one of two schools; each team had a $1,500 budget. The Art Institute of Dallas won a $2,000 scholarship for their redesign of the Schifflets’ truck. Students from Texas Christian University won the Team Spirit Award for their work on Troy and Amy Sampey’s Mardi Gras-themed truck. They were chosen for their group cooperation, attitude and leadership.

Bill Ater, an owner-operator from Arlington, Texas, chose a patriotic theme. His truck, redesigned by an AID team, placed first in Best Use of Theme and second place Overall. The fourth truck had a Kentucky horse racing theme. Judges based their decisions on criteria such as best use of space/definition, detail, organization, use of color, use of fabric, customized pieces, originality, overall impression and biggest bang for the buck.


Life’s a beach!

Owners: Ron and Marcia Shifflet
Truck: Purple 1997 Freightliner FLD 120
Theme: Beach
Awards: First, Best Use of Theme; First, Best Use of Budget; Second, Most Creative
Designers: Brandi Yancey, Michelle Fester and Jamie Johnson (Art Institute of Dallas)
The makeover: The team added a refrigerator, TV with DVD player, microwave, new bedding with pillows, romantic mural behind the top bunk, dolphin pictures and a pair of goldfish in a bowl. They installed sand-colored carpet, fish netting and shells on the curtains, hula skirt/raffia trim along the edge of the bunk and small palm trees throughout. A piece of driftwood displayed fish-shaped candles and shells. The students gave the Shifflets gift baskets filled with cameras, photo albums, beach towels and other beach items.
Reaction: “We both love the beach. Having the truck interior look like a beach is like being on a honeymoon destination. The show was fun and the students were wonderful to work with,” says Marcia Shifflet.


Party on Bourbon Street

Owners: Troy and Amy Sampey
Truck: Green 1997 Freightliner FLD 120
Theme: Mardi Gras
Award: Team Spirit Award
Designers: Kendall Hubbard, Megan Gover, Lindsay Killingsworth, Carole Ann Bowles and Chelsea Hempkins (Texas Christian University)
The makeover: The team recovered walls and ceiling, painted cabinets, added a TV and DVD player, new seats and a flexible light. The new bedding and area rug reflect the purple and gold Mardi Gras theme. Masks, beads and parade trinkets added to the festive look.
Why the Sampeys wanted this theme: “We are very involved in the Mardi Gras scene in New Orleans and even construct, ride and haul a float every year. This year we are using a ‘Keep on Truck’n’ theme and our float will resemble a Freightliner truck. The interior will really wow everyone,” says Amy Sampey.


Proud to be an American

Owners: Bill and Kathi Ater
Truck: Mariner Blue 2000 Freightliner FLD 120
Theme: Patriotic
Award: First, most creative; Second, Best Use of Theme; Second, Best Use of Budget
Designers: Angela Green and
Montanya MacRall (Art Institute of Dallas)
The makeover: The team added new bedding and flag-themed pillows. They reupholstered the seats and made a custom flag design out of leather to cover the wall above the bottom bunk. A custom mural uses sewn leather pieces to display American symbols of freedom, such as an eagle and stars and stripes. They installed custom flooring and new curtains.
Why the Aters chose this theme: “I wanted to brighten up the interior of my cab. It’s a Prime fleet truck and I’ve added another stack and some pinstriping,” says Bill Ater. “I chose the patriotic theme because I wanted to show my true colors – red, white and blue!” Ater, his wife Kathi and son Josh like to show their love for their country by wearing matching flag-themed attire.


Run for the roses

Owners: Walter Buckner and Carolyn Hamilton
Truck: White 1999 FLD 120
Theme: Kentucky horse racing
Designers: Stacey Berman, Colleen Gates and Veronica Escontrias (Texas Christian University)
The makeover: The team steam-cleaned the walls, attached blue gingham fabric to the blackout curtains and added new bedding and a red horse-blanket throw. They reupholstered the seats and embroidered “Pretty horses, fast women” on the seat back. They decorated with iron horse racing sculpture, framed posters and a horse-head shelf. They added a new refrigerator and green artificial turf flooring in the back of the cab.
Winning essay: “Walter Buckner has been a trucker for over 10 years and takes pride in his work. It was always his dream to own his own company. With the help of his partner Carolyn Hamilton, he now runs Triple “C” Trucking of Kentucky and owns three Freightliners. There’s not another man in the U.S. who takes more pride in being a trucker.”

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