Purple Pride’s Ride

Steve Vidrine’s LSU-themed Peterbilt 379 took second place in the Specialty division of the 2004 Pride & Polish show.

Steve Vidrine’s purple and white Peterbilt turns a lot of heads between Baton Rouge, La., and Los Angeles. But it gets its biggest roars of approval in bayou country, where Louisiana State University football fans love its “Geaux Tigers” theme – everything from the LSU blanket on his mattress to the miniature of Tiger Stadium under his bunk to the tiger mural on his rear window.

The 2001 Peterbilt 379 is Vidrine’s first show truck. “I did this because I’m proud of what I do and what I got,” he says. That pride comes at a price, considering the work required to keep up his Pete and his aluminum tanker when he’s driving 125,000 miles a year.

Vidrine reserves football Saturdays, however, for tailgating. He takes his RV to the stadium, cooks up gumbo and jambalaya, and serves beer by the keg.

When he’s on the road, hauling dry bulk catalyst for oil refineries, Vidrine gets a lot of positive feedback from LSU fans. Rivals, especially those from a certain school beaten by LSU in the 2003 national championship, are less enthusiastic: “Oklahoma fans have kind of been snubbing me lately,” says a grinning Vidrine.

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