Bright lights, hot wheels

The 300 6-inch oval LEDs on the trailer and head rack of Paul Stanchio’s rig don’t seem out of place among the nighttime attractions at Fair Park in Dallas, where Stanchio competed in the 2006 Pride & Polish.

“When I was a kid, I didn’t sleep with a teddy bear,” recalls Paul Stanchio. “I slept with Tonka trucks.”

Stanchio also was fond of building models and collecting Hot Wheels miniature toy cars, so it’s no surprise that he grew up to haul cars in an award-winning rig named Hot Wheels. The 10 awards he’s racked up include some for lights, thanks partly to their prominence on a type of trailer not normally exhibited in truck shows.

Stanchio hauls new cars for Fleetcar Carriers of Denver in his 2005 Peterbilt 379. His home is on Long Island in New York. He’s relatively new to the show-truck circuit, but not to shows, having won awards when he competed with wreckers years ago.

Owners of typical show-truck dry vans don’t know how easy they have it, compared to owners of trailers with every surface visible, inside and out, Stanchio says.

“These carriers are hard to show,” he says. “There’s a lot of moving parts. A lot of paint gets chipped.”

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