There is no denying it – California has great weather and a lot of cool trucks! This fact was evident as perfect weather and plenty of cool California trucks, along with a few beauties from some other states, made their way to Galt, CA for the annual Shriners Hospital Cool Truck Show on May 4-5, 2012. Hosted once again by Bob Hitchcock, owner of Cherokee Truck Parts in Stockton, the event, which was held at the Galt Market Grounds, was not only a lot of fun, but it raised money for a good cause, too.
For the past 11 years, Bob has hosted this truck and hot rod show to raise money for the Shriners Hospitals for Children. At the time this report was written, Bob did not know how much money the 2012 show had raised yet, but this event typically takes in between $5,000 and $10,000. And with a similar turnout this year as last year, the amount of money raised should fall right in line within that range. Last year there were 70 trucks and they raised $7,000, and this year there were about 80 trucks.
The show is always a lot of work to put together and each year comes with its own set of challenges, but this year Bob found himself struggling with a pretty serious medical condition that put him in the hospital for three weeks just prior to the show. In fact, Bob had just been released from the hospital on Wednesday, only two days before the show. Thankfully, he is doing better now and making a slow (but steady) recovery. Bob wanted to thank everybody who stepped up to help this year, including Jeff Fowler and Jeff Hubert (they flew in from Colorado to help), Kent Carpenter from Valley Chrome, Joe Liming from Hogebuilt, Raymond, Wendy, Doug, Billy and every other volunteer who helps make this charity event run smooth year after year. Bob also wanted to thank his wife Cheryl for all of her help – he even presented her with a special plaque at the awards ceremony.
In addition to the trucks, bikes and hot rods, a handful of vendors and sponsors came out to show their support including Dynaflex, Maxxima, Rockwood, Valley Chrome Plating, 10-4 Magazine, the California Highway Patrol and, of course, the Shriners. One of the highlights of the show every year is the live auction, where all sorts of truck parts and miscellaneous items are auctioned off for the charity. This year, one of the more popular items was a handmade solid wood Hope Chest that brought in $400.
This show does not hand out very many trophies – in fact, there were only four. Henry Seifert’s blue and white 1956 Chevy Bel-Air took the Best Hot Rod award, while Robert Hoff and his shiny black and chrome Harley Davidson Road King earned the Best Motorcycle trophy.
The Best Truck award went to Guy Schorno of Pleasanton, CA for his amazing cream and purple 1998 Peterbilt 379, which made its truck show debut at this event. This truck was built by the guys at John’s Truck Repair in Cotati, CA and featured, among other things, a 4” chopped top, shaved door handles, an electric hood opener, a custom tail plate, a 36” flattop sleeper (chopped to match the cab) with suicide doors, billet grilles all around, a custom interior with a BIG sound system, and plenty of other unique custom-fabricated pieces.
The most prestigious award handed out at this event is always the one chosen by Jeff Botelho and his family in honor of Jeff’s dad, Jim Botelho. This year, the “Old School Cool” award went to Harm Speerstra of Grandview, WA and his super-clean 1979 Peterbilt 352H cabover with only 56,700 original miles on it! Harm recently found the truck parked near San Diego, CA at National City Moving & Storage, where it had sat for well over 30 years. Equipped with a Caterpillar 3408 engine set at 450 hp and a 10-speed transmission, this truck was fully restored to its original splendor by Phil Callen at Callen Truck Restoration in Escondido, CA.
The 2012 Shriners Hospital Cool Truck Show was a great event, but we sure would like to see it grow. The venue can accommodate twice as many trucks, and we all know that California, Oregon, Nevada and Washington have plenty of awesome rides to make it happen. So, next year, let’s get it done! We’d also like to wish Bob a speedy and complete recovery – get well soon! Thanks to everyone who came out to Galt this year and helped make this show cool