2016 GATS Best of Show winner, Builders Bobtail: The next ‘Project’

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Updated Mar 24, 2017

This profile is part of a multi-week series in which Overdrive is publishing stories on the six Pride & Polish National Championship winners — crowned in August at The Great American Trucking Show — and the five best of show winners from the event. Click here to see more profiles.

ruizThe crew out of Triple R Diesel’s Texas Chrome Shop showed its latest highly custom build for the first time at GATS, culminating more than a year-long venture that Texas Chrome’s Roland Mendez says “sets a new bar” for the company’s show rigs.

“Project TOC,” a 2000 Kenworth W900, rolled out of the company’s shop and into the Great American Trucking Show, where it picked up a Best of Show trophy in the Builders Class Bobtail category.

“Every truck is different, but we wanted to try to raise the bar,” Mendez says. “We wanted it to have stuff no one has seen before,” he said, referencing the truck’s one-off painted steel bumpers, the truck’s array of “sunken” features and the ornamental filigree that runs throughout the rig’s paint scheme and metal parts.

The rig’s owned by horse hauler Omar Ruiz out of San Antonio, who turned the Kenworth over to Texas Chrome in mid-2015 for the custom rebuild. Ruiz’ kids are the inspiration behind the name: T, O and C are the first letters of their names.

Mendez and his crew incorporated filigree detailing in the rig’s paint scheme and in fabricated metal parts. The truck’s front bumper has a unique rolled look, and Texas Chrome fabricated all of Project TOC’s wheels with the filigree ornamentation. Mendez made use of four different blues in the truck’s paint scheme.

Texas Chrome has taken home several Pride & Polish Best of Shows in year’s past, including the Best of Show, Limited-Mileage Combo for its 2009 build “Project One.”

Click here to see the full list of winners from the 2016 GATS Pride & Polish show.