Luci to the rescue

Luci won second in its class at the 2006 Pride & Polish show.

A plain red Peterbilt 379, Calvin Long’s truck doesn’t jump out among its competitors. Yet it’s won at least 10 truck beauty show awards.

Flashy or not, the ’97 Pete is special to Long, whose Long Gone Express hauls produce and dry freight. One feature not immediately apparent is a redone interior (gray with a red ceiling) that’s a mirror image of the exterior (red with a gray roof). When Long got a new stainless reefer in 2006, he painted it red and gray to match the truck.

Then there are the special touches that are more personal, such as its name, Luci. “Well, it was red, and I just kind of thought about Lucille Ball being a crazy redhead,” Long says.

Like Lucy and Ethel, Luci and her pals in Long’s small fleet get more than their share of craziness. “One guy will either have to be there pretty quick, or he’ll have to have a whole bunch of drops and pickups, so we joke among ourselves about who’s going to wear the Superman cape this week,” Long says. Hence the phony logo displayed on the back fender during the 2006 Pride & Polish: Superman Produce Service.