Something Old, Something New

For more than two decades, the Iowa 80 Truckstop outside of Walcott, Iowa, has proven that truck shows can be fun without being huge. This year’s Truckers Jamboree, on July 12-13, was no different.

In addition to the Super Trucks competition, antique truck display, pork chop cookout and live country music, the event featured Trucker Olympics and, for the first time, a pet contest in which entrants – all dogs this year – won prizes for doing tricks, dressing well or looking like their owners. Fred Forcelle of Montgomery, Minn., entered his large plastic wolf, Buck. Although the judges awarded him nothing for his effort, he was a favorite with the audience.

The Trucker Olympics was also a crowd pleaser. It included water balloon volleyball, tug-of-war and a strong-man truck pull that involved a 1928 International cement mixer, a rope and as much muscle as participants could muster. Several drivers were successful in towing the hulk a short distance, but most simply grunted and wondered aloud if the truck was loaded.

Heather DeBaillie, Iowa 80 Group marketing manager, says an estimated 25,000 people visited the 2001 Jamboree. “That’s about average,” she says. There were more than 150 antique trucks on display – the oldest being a 1910 Avery owned by the Iowa 80 Group – and about 150 exhibitors under the big-top tent and in smaller open-air tents outside. DeBaillie says the truckstop ordered 7,000 special-cut pork chops for the festivities, but that amount almost didn’t stretch across the collective appetite of those attending. Roughly 6,000 pork chops were prepared last year.

Part of the increase could be attributed to the weather. Although rain had been predicted for the first day, none appeared. In fact, sunny skies, mild temperatures and a constant breeze prevailed throughout the two-day show.

As always, the Super Trucks competition provided a wealth of Kodak moments, as local residents mixed with long-haul truckers to capture images of highly polished chrome, exotic paint schemes and brilliant light displays. DeBaillie says 65 trucks competed this year, about 20 fewer than in past years. Eric Harley of the Midnight Cowboy Trucking Radio Network announced the winners at the Jamboree’s conclusion.

The Super Trucks category winners pose with trophies.


Category Winners

Working Truck, Cabover: Hank Good, Monticello, N.Y., 1981 Kenworth, “Hank’s Highway Hilton”, first place; Doug Thompson, Woodstock, Ill., 1973 Kenworth, “Junkyard Dog”, second place.

Working Truck, 1999-2002 Conventional: Rod and Kim Grimm, Vinton, Iowa, 1999 Kenworth, “Illusion”, first place; Fred Forcelle, Montgomery, Minn., 1999 International, “Gray Wolf”, second place; Chris Hammen, Chipley, Fla., 2000 Kenworth, “MYOB”, third place.

Working Truck, 1992-1998 Bobtail Conventional: Ryan Avenarius, Dubuque, Iowa, 1997 Freightliner, “Significant Other”, first place; Scott Stuck, Belleville, Penn., 1992 Peterbilt, “Sweet-N-Low”, second place; Craig Tadlock, El Paso, Texas, 1998 Kenworth, third place.

Working Truck, 1985-1991 Bobtail Conventional: Ron Watt, Kentland, Ind., 1988 Peterbilt, “Hammer Down.”

Working Truck, 1977-1984 Bobtail Conventional: Larry Johnson, Forreston, Ill., 1981 Peterbilt, “Miss Kaitlyn.”

Working Truck, 1976 and older Bobtail Conventional: Keith Anderson, Forreston, Ill., 1969 Peterbilt, “Miss Eileen”, first place; Brian Kurtz, Breslaw, Ontario, Canada, 1968 Kenworth, second place; Bob Evans, Brooklyn, Iowa, 1975 Kenworth, third place.

Working Truck, 1997-2002 Combination: Curtis Christians, Rock Port, Mo., 2000 Peterbilt and 2002 Great Dane, first place; David Geer, Fruitvale, Texas, 1998 Peterbilt and 1998 Utility, “Marooned”, second place; Joe Switzenberg, Otsego, Mich., 1998 Peterbilt and 2001 Great Dane, “Footloose”, third place.

Working Truck, 1988-1996 Combination: Dave Marcotte, Momence, Ill., 1992 Peterbilt and 1978 Heil, “Liquid Chicken.”

Working Truck, 1987 and older Combination: Mike Brooks, Knoxville, Iowa, 1973 Peterbilt and 1992 Competition, “Gertrude”, first place; W.L. Putnam, Tunnel Hill, Ga., 1980 Kenworth and 1980 Dorsey, “King of the Road”, second place.

Custom Paint – Graphics, Bobtail: Scott Stuck, Belleville, Penn., 1992 Peterbilt, “Sweet-N-Low”, first place; Ricky Peterson, Lincolnton, N.C., 1999 Freightliner, “Tickled Pink”, second place; Bill Rucker, Billings, Mont., 1999 Kenworth, “Angle One”, third place.

David Grier’s ‘Marooned,’ a 1998 Peterbilt 379, illuminates the surrounding ground during light judging Thursday night. Dave won the Truckers’ Choice category.

Custom Paint – Murals, Bobtail: Fred Forcelle, Montgomery, Minn., 1999 International, “Gray Wolf”, first place; Tim Miller, Oelwein, Iowa, 1969 Peterbilt, “Pete’s Dragon”, second place; Shannon Brock, Monahans, Texas, 2000 Freightliner, third place.

Custom Paint – Graphics, Combination: Joe Switzenberg, Otsego, Mich., 1998 Peterbilt and 2001 Great Dane, “Footloose”, first place; Mike Brooks, Knoxville, Iowa, 1973 Peterbilt and 1992 Competition, “Gertrude”, second place; A.J. Leonhard, Byron, Ill., 2000 Peterbilt and 1998 East, “Shadow Dancer”, third place.

Custom Paint – Murals, Combination: Clarence Falk, Niverville, Manitoba, Canada, 1999 Peterbilt and 1999 Great Dane, first place; Ron Baird, Thorntown, Ind., 2001 Peterbilt and 2000 Heil, “March Madness”, second place; Larry Weaver, Andalusia, Ala., 2001 Kenworth and 1998 Utility, “Frankly, my dear…”, third place.

Polish and Detail: Dave Marcotte, Momence, Ill., 1992 Peterbilt and 1978 Heil, “Liquid Chicken”, first place; Ernie Vole, Vernon Hills, Ill., 1999 Peterbilt wrecker, “Showtime”, second place; Fred Forcelle, Montgomery, Minn., 1999 International, “Gray Wolf”, third place.

Interior – OEM Sleeper: Larry Weaver, Andalusia, Ala., 2001 Kenworth, “Frankly, my dear…”, first place; Hugh Bates, Germantown, Tenn., 2000 Kenworth, second place; Buzz Sweeden, Manville, Ill., 2001 Kenworth, “Simple Pleasures”, third place.

Interior – OEM Conversion Sleeper: Clarence Falk, Niverville, Manitoba, Canada, 1999 Peterbilt, first place; Bill Rucker, Billings, Mont., 1999 Kenworth, “Angle One”, second place; John Nance, Blue Creek, Ohio, 1995 (quarter-scale) Peterbilt, “Nancecar”, third place.

Interior – Custom Sleeper: Jerry Reese, Statesville, N.C., 2001 Kenworth, first place; George Eberly, Aurora, Neb., 1999 Kenworth, second place; David Geer, Fruitvale, Texas, 1998 Peterbilt, “Marooned”, third place.

Lights at Night – Bobtail: Buzz Sweeden, Manville, Ill., 2001 Kenworth, “Simple Pleasures”, first place; Fred Forcelle, Montgomery, Minn., 1999 International, “Gray Wolf”, second place; Ernie Vole, Vernon Hills, Ill., 1999 Peterbilt wrecker, “Showtime”, third place.

Lights at Night – Combination: Dave Marcotte, Momence, Ill., 1992 Peterbilt and 1978 Heil, “Liquid Chicken”, first place; Ron Baird, Thorntown, Ind., 2000 Peterbilt and 2000 Heil, “March Madness”, second place; David Geer, Fruitvale, Texas, 1998 Peterbilt and 1998 Utility, “Marooned”, third place.

Best Overall Theme: Buzz Sweeden, Manville, Ill., 2001 Kenworth, “Simple Pleasures.”
Show Class: Ernie Vole, Vernon Hills, Ill., 1999 Peterbilt wrecker, “Showtime.”

Truckers’ Choice: David Geer, Fruitvale, Texas, 1998 Peterbilt and 1998 Utility, “Marooned.”

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