2018 GATS Best of Show, Limited-Mileage Bobtail: ‘Thunderhead’ gallops to glory

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This profile is part of a multi-part series in which Overdrive is publishing stories on the five Pride & Polish Best of Show winners from the 2018 Great American Trucking Show in August.

This 2018 Peterbilt 389 owned by Lonnie Ramirez picked up Best of Show honors in the Limited Mileage Bobtail category at the Great American Trucking Show Pride & Polish in August. (Photo by Jim Allen/365Trucking.com)This 2018 Peterbilt 389 owned by Lonnie Ramirez picked up Best of Show honors in the Limited Mileage Bobtail category at the Great American Trucking Show Pride & Polish in August. (Photo by Jim Allen/365Trucking.com)

Hobbs, New Mexico-based owner-operator Lonnie Ramirez recalls that his grandfather owned an American Quarter Horse named “Thunderhead.” It was almost the same color as the 2018 Peterbilt 389 that Ramirez bought in July, giving him the idea to name the truck after the horse.

After taking ownership of the truck in late July from Thompson Glider Kits in Memphis, Tennessee, he worked around the clock to prepare it for the show. Much of the work was done by Chuy’s Kustoms of San Antonio, which previously had built winning show trucks. Ramirez credits Chuy’s expertise for a large part of his success at Pride & Polish, his first truck show competition.

Ramirez had the Pete, originally a solid brown, repainted to add the black stripes with red accents, as well as adding more pearl and metal flake to the brown.

The build included painting the tanks, adding and painting the visor, adding a new bumper and stretching the wheelbase from 275 inches to 295.

He also added full fenders from Talladega Fiberglass, 9-inch side panels from Bad Ass Custom Truck Parts and more. The rig is powered by a C15 Cat 6NZ with an 18 speed and 3:55 rears.

Ramirez’s rig is powered by a Cat C15 6NZ with an 18-speed and 3:55 rears. He painted the engine to match the dark saddle brown color of the truck’s exterior.Ramirez’s rig is powered by a Cat C15 6NZ with an 18-speed and 3:55 rears. He painted the engine to match the dark saddle brown color of the truck’s exterior. The truck’s dash and steering wheel are also painted brown with red and black accents to match the rest of the truck’s color scheme.The truck’s dash and steering wheel are also painted brown with red and black accents to match the rest of the truck’s color scheme. Ramirez painted the floors brown and also added diamond-plate pedals.Ramirez painted the floors brown and also added diamond-plate pedals. The truck was originally painted solid brown, but Ramirez wanted to make some changes, so he sent it off to add the black stripes with red accents, while also adding more pearl and metal flake to make it pop more.The truck was originally painted solid brown, but Ramirez wanted to make some changes, so he sent it off to add the black stripes with red accents, while also adding more pearl and metal flake to make it pop more.
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