From 'Career Gambler' to 'Triple Seven': Familiar 389 remade to fit new owner's style

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Transcript

Gary Jones, the owner of Lawson, Missouri-based SPB Trucking, is well-known on the truck show circuit, having shown numerous trucks through the years at shows across the U.S.

Jones’ 11-truck fleet pulls RGNs across the country hauling oversize specialty freight -- “the big, the bad, the ugly,” as he puts it. 

“Business has been great; we’ve been busy,” he said. “There have been ups and downs with the industry, everybody’s feeling it a little bit, but we’re doing OK. We’re staying busy. Being in oversize and stretch freight, it’s opened doors that not a lot of people are in, so we’ve stayed pretty busy.”

On top of that, “we’re still building trucks,” he said at the Mid-America Trucking Show in March, made clear by the new-to-him 2018 Peterbilt 389 he was showing as part of the PKY Truck Beauty Championship. Jones earned a fourth-place trophy in the Limited Mileage -- Bobtail with No Miles class at the show.

Gary Jones' 2018 Peterbilt 389Regular readers may recognize the unit, though it’s a little bit different from the last time it appeared in Overdrive. The truck was previously owned by Arizona-based Dean DeSantis and was then known as the “Career Gambler.” DeSantis sold the truck to Jones in December 2023 when he retired from the road.

“I bought this truck and I met a buddy of mine, Jacob, at a truck stop,” Jones said. “I climbed down out of it and he said, ‘Man, that’s a nice truck, but it’s not Gary Jones.’”

The following week, Jones said he and his team “tore everything off of it and we made it Gary Jones.” The most noticeable change is in the paint scheme. “We had to keep the red and white,” he said. “It’s kind of my deal, my signature these days.” He had Thunder Grafix in Joplin, Missouri, add white vinyl stripes over the maroon stripes that DeSantis had painted on the truck.

As for the overall theme of the truck, Jones stuck with the gambling theme and renamed it “Triple Seven.”

“[DeSantis] had so many custom sevens on the truck, I wanted to keep some of it out of respect for him,” Jones added. “He’s a super nice guy and kept really good care of this truck.”

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Some of the other changes Jones made to the rig are more subtle. He added Talladega Fiberglass fenders and accessories -- staples in Jones’ fleet. He also took the truck to One of a Kind Customs in Iowa, who did paint work and changed out the lights with Trux Dual Revolution bulbs that switch to red. One of a Kind also did what Jones said was one of the most challenging things he’s ever had done to a truck -- add a back glass to a big-bunk sleeper. “They have them, but they’re not very common because of the structure” of the sleepers, Jones said.

Back glass of Gary Jones' 2018 Peterbilt 389The glass on the rear of the 124-inch ARI sleeper lights up “777.” Jones said adding the glass “was a chore,” but the One of a Kind Customs shop “did a great job” getting it done.

As for the interior, “[DeSantis] left the inside blank, just a blank canvas, so I went in there and did my thing,” Jones said.

Interior of Gary Jones' 2018 Peterbilt 389Jones’ “thing” included an EZ Pete Interiors kit, custom airbrushed dash (airbrushing is another staple on many of Jones’ trucks) done by Jones Custom & Collision in Excelsior Springs, Missouri, and much more.

[Related: ‘Career gambler’ Dean DeSantis and the aptly-named 2018 Peterbilt 389 with 124-inch ARI sleeper]


Find plenty more views of the rig in the video up top, and for more videos and custom-equipment features delivered to your email inbox, subscribe to Overdrive's weekly Custom Rigs newsletter via this link.

Transcript

Gary Jones: My name's Gary Jones. I'm based out of Lawson, Missouri. We pull RGNs nationwide. We pull oversized loads. That's what we specialize in. The big, the bad, the ugly.

Man, this is a 2018 Peterbilt. I picked it up out of Arizona in December. It was red and maroon when I picked it up. It had maroon fenders and maroon stripes and it didn't match my fleet, of course. So we took it down. Actually, I'll tell you a funny story. I bought this truck and I met a buddy of mine, Jacob, at a truck stop, and I climbed down out of it. And he said, "Man, that's a nice truck, but it's not Gary Jones." So that next week we tore everything off of it and we made it Gary Jones. So now you know it's mine. It's got a 314-inch wheelbase with 124[-inch] ARI sleeper, and it's got about 330,000 miles on. It's got a Paccar for a motor with 13-speed, 3.36's, so it does the trick.

I'm the second owner of this truck. This was Mr. Dean DeSantis's truck out of Arizona. Teresa with the 359. Well, this was Mr. Dean's and I purchased it from him when he got out of trucking in December. He actually retired.

Matt Cole: Okay. Yeah, good deal. So this was the Gambler?

Gary Jones: It was the Career Gambler, yes. And I changed the name to Triple Seven and changed the whole theme of the truck. He kind of left the inside blank. It was just a blank canvas. So I went in there and did my thing. It's pretty cool on the inside. I ran it for about two months and then I ran it off and on as we were doing things to it. And I went down and of course I only use Talladega Fiberglass fenders and accessories as you can see.

So we did that first and then we went back up and I used One of a Kind Customs out of Iowa over there. And those boys did my paint work and they changed all my lights to dual revolution, so this truck turns red. And it took maybe, it was about a month and a half process to get it to this from where it was. And we did a lot. I mean, believe it or not, everybody really can't see the big difference, but there's quite a bit of work that went into this old truck in two months.

I went to Thunder Grafix in Joplin, Missouri, and I had them do my stripes in white. The previous owner had them painted and I just did vinyl over the top. And then after we did that, we went and I have Trux Accessories lights, and I did all my lighting with Trux Accessories, interior, exterior, everything is done in Dual Revolution. Everything turns red. We did a new exhaust system from Dynaflex, and that was a chore in itself because it's a DPF truck, but we got that handled.

And on the back, the best part of it that I like the most that we did that was custom, and it was the hardest thing to handle, was we put a back glass in a big bunk. They have them, but it's not very common because of the structure. So there's a back glass in the back that lights up 777, and that was done at One of a Kind Customs, and that was a chore. We got her handled. But they did a great job and I can't say enough good things about those folks.

We had to keep the red and white because that's kind of my deal. It's my signature these days. So the inside of it, we did all with EZ  Pete Interior out of up north and they did a great job. It's got a custom airbrush dash from Jones Customs and Collision out of Excelsior Springs, Missouri. So there's a lot of little touches. I don't think we've got enough time to go over all of them.

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