Two trucks pulled out of a Bordentown, N.J., Petro in May with a little heavier load than when they pulled in.
The third annual Bordentown Truck Beauty Show awarded two contestants Harley-Davidson motorcycles.
“It was a goal we wanted to get, and we did it,” says Mike Duffy, who took home a Harley Sportster 883 for winning best-of-show bobtail with his 1989 International 9300. “I was a little choked up up there. This is the hardest show we’ve ever been to; it’s one of the biggest.” Duffy and his wife, Liz, live in Belle River, Ontario.
Liz and Mike Duffy astride their new Harley, courtesy of the Bordentown Petro for winning best-of-show bobtail with their 1989 International.
Duffy is no stranger to Harleys. He already owns an Ultra Classic, which is worth about $45,000, compared to the Sportster, which goes for about $10,000, he says. Duffy also won first place in engine, bobtail lights, custom paint graphics/bobtail and company truck/bobtail.
Tom and Tammy Little won best-of-show combination for the Hawaiian-themed “Almost Paradise,” which also won last year. The truck is a 1999 Kenworth, but the show-stopper is the 1996 utility reefer, which is decked out with neon lights underneath, a waterfall in the back, coconut-smelling smoke seeping out of it and a volcano erupting from the top.
“We weren’t expecting to win,” Tom Little says.
While the Harley goes to the truck’s owners – Marv and Barb Knight – the Littles say getting to drive the truck down the road is reward enough for them. “We get to drive it on the road – that’s our bonus,” Tammy Little says. “People pull over and take pictures. We get all the compliments.”
The Littles put 175,000 miles on the truck last year, though the trailer is used only for occasional local hauls.
“We’re very happy,” says Marv Knight. The Knights’ “Almost Paradise” is part of the fleet for their company, 77 Express, based in Howard City, Mich.
The Knights came up with the tropical design for the tractor-trailer because “we’ve always kicked around the idea of going to Hawaii someday,” Marv Knight says. They may get that chance later this year, he says. A man in Hawaii saw “Almost Paradise” in a Truckers News article last year and “fell in love with it,” Knight says. He has invited them to visit him. “He’s not a truck driver or anything. His wife owns a souvenir shop, and he just loves trucks. He said he’d love to meet us. I guess it’s people coming together through the magazine.”
The waterfall at the back of the trailer is supplied by two 55-gallon drums that run water into a pond and then shoot the water back up through a recirculating pump, Knight explains. The volcano is a fireplace burner on top of the trailer, fed by a 20-pound propane canister with a remote control. A fog machine inside the trailer blows coconut-scented air out of tubes over the throngs of show-goers who continually examine the trailer. The mural shows a blue lagoon with an old ship on the water. A ship’s wheel is bolted to the side of the trailer.
“It’s a true company truck,” Knight says. “All the drivers support it by buying little knickknacks they find on the road.” The tractor-trailer also garnered first-place awards in combination lights, custom paint mural/combination, and combination 1995 or newer.
Knight tips his hat to the Littles. “They’re fantastic drivers. They put a lot of work into the truck, and they treat it like it’s their own.” He also plans to be back next time. “It’s just one of those shows we won’t miss anymore. They cater to the drivers, and the local community is involved a good deal.” The show is held at the Bordentown Petro at exit 7 off the New Jersey Turnpike.
It’s not just the first-place winners who walked away from the show feeling proud. Brian Parker, who won a third in bobtail ’95 or newer with his 2001 Freightliner, said, “It felt real good. We were surprised. It was our first time here.”
The truck show has escalated its giveaways. At the first show two years ago, the Petro gave away $5,000 in prizes. Last year and this year it gave away $21,100 in prizes, including the two Harleys, says Stephen Grasso, event coordinator.
Brian Parker and his family celebrate a first trophy at the Bordentown show.
2001 Bordentown Truck Beauty Show winners:
Best-of-Show/Combination: Tom and Tammy Little, 1999 Kenworth W900L, 1996 utility reefer.
Best-of-Show/Bobtail: Mike Duffy, 1989 International 9300.
Combination 1995 or newer: Tom and Tammy Little, 1999 Kenworth W900L, 1996 utility reefer, first place; Kermit Gribble, 1997 Peterbilt 379, 1996 Ritenour Covered Wagon, second place; Joe Switzenberg, 1998 Peterbilt 379, 2001 Great Dane, third place.
Combination 1986 to 1994: Steve and Marge Linnekin, 1994 FLD Freightliner, 1994 Dorsey dropframe, first place.
Combination 1977 to 1985: W.L. Putnam, 1980 Kenworth W900, 1980 Dorsey van, first place.
Bobtail 1995 or newer: Bryan Swartz, 1999 Peterbilt 379, first place; John O’Rourke, 1998 International Eagle, second place; Brian Parker, 2001 Freightliner, third place.
Bobtail 1986 to 1994: Thomas Smith, 1990 Peterbilt 379, first place; John O’Rourke, Jr., 1990 Peterbilt 379, second place; Ronald Reed, 1986 Kenworth K100, third place.
Bobtail 1977 to 1985: David Murphy, 1984 Peterbilt 359, first place; Nicholas Saranzak, 1978 Kenworth W900, second place.
Bobtail 1976 or older: Sam Watson, 1974 Kenworth W900A, first place.
Company Truck/Combination: Ron Baird, 2000 Peterbilt 379, 2000 Heil bulk tanker, first place; Harbor House, 2001 Freightliner, 2000 Wabash reefer, second place.
Company Truck/Bobtail: Mike Duffy, 1989 International 9300, first place; Tony Boston, 2001 Peterbilt 379, second place.
Specialized Class: Jeff Boyd, 1995 Peterbilt 379 dump truck, first place.
First Show: Accurate Auto, Steve Sanchez, 2001 Kenworth W900/2000 auto trailer, first place; Richard Todd, 1993 Peterbilt 379, 1998 utility reefer, second place; Bernard Bowfen, 2001 Peterbilt 379, third place.
Antique Non-Working: Ronald Reed, 1970 Diamond Reo, first place.
OEM Sleeper: Ron Baird, 2000 Peterbilt 379, first place; Kermit Gribble, 1997 Peterbilt 379, second place; Mike Duffy, 1989 International 9300, third place.
Custom Sleeper: Thomas Smith, 1990 Peterbilt 379, first place; Bryan Swartz, 1999 Peterbilt 379, second place; Bernard Bowfen, 2001 Peterbilt 379, third place.
Custom Paint Graphics/Combination: Accurate Auto, 2001 Kenworth W900, 2000 auto trailer, first place; Kermit Gribble, 1997 Peterbilt 379, 1996 Ritenour, second place; Harbor House, 2001 Freightliner, 2001 Wabash, third place.
Custom Paint Graphics/Bobtail: Mike Duffy, 1989 International 9300, first place; Thomas Smith, 1990 Peterbilt 379, second place; Sam Watson, 1974 Kenworth W900A, third place.
Custom Paint Mural/Combination: Tom and Tammy Little, 1999 Kenworth W900L, 1996 utility reefer, first place; Steve and Marge Linnekin, 1994 Freightliner, 1994 Dorsey drop van, second place; W.L. Putnam, 1980 Kenworth, 1980 Dorsey, third place.
Combination Lights: Tom and Tammy Little, 1999 Kenworth W900L, 1996 utility reefer, first place; Ron Baird, 2000 Peterbilt 379, 2000 Heil bulk tanker, second place; Kermit Gribble, 1997 Peterbilt 379, 1996 Ritenour, third place.
Bobtail Lights: Mike Duffy, 1989 International 9300, first place; Jeff Boyd, 1995 Peterbilt 379, second place; Thomas Smith, 1990 Peterbilt 379, third place.
Engine: Mike Duffy, 1989 International 9300, first place; Jeff Boyd, 1995 Peterbilt 379 dump truck, second place; Tom and Tammy Little, 1999 Kenworth W900L, 1996 utility reefer, third place.
Affected trucks include model year 2008-2018 Freightliner Cascadia and Western Star 4700, 4900, 5700 and 6900 trucks. DTNA says after hard brake applications, the brake light pressure switch may not activate the brake lights with the light application of the brake pedal.