Scenes from inaugural Large Cars & Guitars truck show

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Bryan Mann polishing his truck stack

Thursday, May 6, brought dozens of truck owners out to Kodak, Tennessee, to Smokies Stadium at Exit 407 on I-40 in Tennessee to set up for the inaugural Large Cars & Guitars truck show event put on by longtime trucker-songwriter Tony Justice, Evan Steger of Evans Detailing and Polishing and a large host of collaborators. The sunny set-up day would give way to storms coming into the area late into the night and Friday morning, and pretty well every owner I spoke to setting up was well aware of that. But it didn't deter the preparations of truck owners as they arrived. 

Frank and Ivonne TrujilloThese Florida-based owners of the F.T. Trucking small fleet of straight dump trucks and more -- Frank and Ivonne Trujillo, contracting with dozens of independents on a variety of projects in their area -- had their work cut out for them. They are showing a 2021 Peterbilt 389 outfitted with a 168-inch ARI sleeper.

2021 peterbilt 389The rig boasts a 362-inch wheelbase and loads of custom interior and exterior touches after order in late 2020, taking delivery fully outfitted with the sleeper in October last year. Frank Trujillo hauls the occasional longer-run flatbed load, some locally, with the rig. The build came to be after Ivonne's suggestion for ways to "get out of the office," as it were, from time to time. The ARI sleeper, electrified with a Cummins Onan generator, functions well as both rolling office and home.

Among the first custom trucks you'll see on arrival at Smokies Stadium is a specially-requested appearance of White Pine Paving's 1998 Peterbilt 379, outfitted with its original workhorse J&J dump body. Owner Bryant D. Mann has turned the unit into a memorial for lifelong dear friend Debbie Schaffer, who lost her life to breast cancer.

Bryant Mann and Kathy MannBryant D. Mann and his wife, Kathy Mann, own and operate the White Pine Paving business out of Hampstead, Maryland, doing contract paving and other work for state and local governments and other customers throughout Maryland and surrounding states.

The rig is christened "Ribbon Runner," and following the work put into it, Mann and his paving and hauling business, based in Hampstead, Maryland, have expanded out the memorial mission to remember everyone they cross paths with in their personal and professional lives who've been touched by cancers of all kinds. 

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Ribbon Runner Peterbilt hood with names of people who have lost their battle to breast cancerMann has added names of those lost over time to the hood of Peterbilt.

'Ribbon Runner' 1998 Peterbilt 379 dump truckThe "Ribbon Runner" 1998 379 dump is in high demand around the region where White Pine Paving sits, said owner Bryant D. Mann, appearing at parades and shows nearly every weekend some points through the year.

2000 Kenworth W900L daycabThe "Ribbon Runner" Pete wasn't the only White Pine rig showing out at Large Cars. This 2000 Kenworth W900L daycab is the project rig, begun about eight years ago, of White Pine owner Mann's son, Bryant A. Mann. With some over-the-road work in his past, Mann's put an unbelievable amount of detail work into what he calls "Change Order," a nod to the route the W9 took toward what it is today, with extensive airbrush work and custom cut-outs in the grill, breathers and more featuring the paving and construction equipment the business relies on.

The breast-cancer awareness theme is a special one for show organizer and trucker-songwriter Tony Justice, given his wife, Misty, and her long battle with the illness. The Large Cars event itself is on the whole neither only a showcase of working trucks and their owners, nor a chance to hear a variety of trucker-songwriters' music, but a benefit to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, dedicated to breast cancer. 

Saturday afternoon, the event features a Convoy for a Cure around the region collecting donations for the foundation, among other events. The truck show is a non-judged event, but for a Best of Show award based on the votes of children in attendance. As Justice told me earlier this year, that Best of Show comes with quite a special trophy -- an electric Fender Telecaster "custom-designed to match the winning truck," Justice said. He hopes it's "something they can put in their living room and look really cool," and of course play if they're skilled on a six-stringer.

Find a full schedule of events, including performances Friday night by Overdrive's own "Long Haul Paul" Marhoefer and past Trucker Talent Search winner Taylor Barker, and Tony Justice himself Saturday night, via this link. 

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