Desert Lites

The Knezevichs’ truck is featured in the Overdrive 2005 Calendar, sponsored by Mobil Delvac, which highlights 13 repeat Pride & Polish winners. Calendars are available for $9.95 (shipping included) by calling Jennifer Lancaster at (800) 633-5953.

You want authenticity? Check out the 1998 Peterbilt 379 owned by Mike and Ruth Knezevich. The truck’s Southwestern Indian theme goes much deeper than its name, Desert Breeze.

“Even the material for the upholstery was hand-woven on a reservation,” Mike says of the colorful pattern, which also appears on the door panels. Mounted inside the truck are an original Indian bow, arrows with original heads and a war ax with an original head. Trim includes wood-burned Indian designs. “We just have this thing for the West,” Ruth says.

The Knezevichs also have a thing for lights. In recent years they had placed second and third in truck show lighting divisions, but the gold medal kept slipping away in spite of their knockout display.

Then they balanced the overall effect by putting a light and a light strip on each back fender of Desert Breeze. The result: First in two light competitions just before the 2004 Pride & Polish. “The judges told us: ‘Don’t put any more lights on it. It’s perfect,'” Mike recalls.

Pride & Polish judges found perfection, too, but in a category that reflected their exceptional interior. Desert Breeze won First, Original Equipment Sleeper.

Mike and Ruth Knezevich live in Astor, Fla., but are captivated by the Southwest Indian motif.