A ‘Legacy’ Continues

As the industry began to say a bittersweet goodbye to the idea of buying a new Peterbilt 379 in 2007, Peterbilt did not disappoint by producing 1,000 Legacy Model 379s in their last year of production. For some, obtaining one or more of these rare rigs was purchasing a part of history. Legacy models can be easily identified by their badge on the grill of the truck and the numbered plaque on the dash – and this one featured here, now owned by Kary Bryce of PMI in Sibley, Louisiana, is #995.

Terry Price of Price Trucking, Inc., at that time located out of Sussex, WI, had already ordered a few of the Legacy Peterbilts, but he wanted to try to get #1000. He ordered another truck in the last order placed for the Legacys with Clint Moore at Kansas City Peterbilt, with hopes but no guarantee of what number he would get. He ended up with #995 – close but no cigar! If you aren’t familiar with the number, most will recognize its “Color of Money” name. This truck would be the last truck, for a number of years, to get metallic chassis paint from the factory.

When asked what color he wanted, Terry said some shade of green. Clint went back in the archives and found the code for a seafoam green color called Green Effect, which was only painted on one other truck by Peterbilt. A similar but different version of Green Effect was applied on the frame. Terry had wanted factory stripes, but only the outline. Some think it isn’t a factory stripe, but this exact striping scheme was actually featured on a Peterbilt flyer back in 1974, so it is. The color of the outline is a white base with 25 grounds of #1009 Pearl added to it.

This truck was set-up with all the bells and whistles, but the interior remained the way it came from the factory. Being a Legacy, Terry wanted to preserve that. “Color of Money” came from the factory with a 48-inch sleeper and a 300-inch wheelbase. Also, from the factory, was the 625-hp C15 Cat under the hood, an 18-speed Eaton Fuller, 3:25 rear gears, a car-hauler front end and low pro 24.5s.

What most don’t know, but assume they do, the name “Color of Money” was not given to this truck by Terry Price. It actually originated with a couple of the drivers, and Terry just let it stick. The truck was part of Price Trucking’s fleet of beautiful semis. After a large contract was completed, Terry opted to sell all the semis and continue with the business that has always been his mainstay – quad axle dump trucks. Clint Moore at Kansas City Peterbilt was a formidable part in the sale of all those semis.

In Sibley, Louisiana, there is a trucking company that looks more like a small truck show when you drive onto their property. All the equipment is maintained, washed and polished in-house. You can quickly see there is a love for Peterbilts, more specifically, well-kept and still-working 359s and 379s, there. Owners Kary Bryce and his wife Sharon, who were married on September 3, 1988, built this company from just one truck and a vision as Bryce Transport, later adding another company named PMI.

Together, Kary and Sharon have three children – Nataly (28), Jared (23) and Kara (17). Sharon has always been involved with some aspect of bookkeeping in their companies since the beginning, even to this day. She currently works full-time in the financial office for Webster Parish Sheriff’s Office. Nataly is Vice President of PMI and is in charge of office operations. She also has her own trucking company, under her own authority, called Signature Transport. She purchased her first truck used, and then in 2017 bought and setup her first brand new truck – a nice Peterbilt 389. Jared is going to college for Industrial Engineering and works for the company when he is home, while Kara is a senior at Glenbrook High School.

Kary obtained his Chauffeur’s License at the age of 18 in 1986, but in his family, he was the least likely expected to have any interest in trucking. However, when the opportunity presented itself, Kary took it. His dad previously owned a trucking company, so the stories and a passion for trucks was instilled in him at a young age, but Kary didn’t completely embrace that passion until he was a young adult.

The first truck Kary owned was a 1977 daycab Kenworth A-Model that he ran in the early 90s. Later, he sold that truck and went to work for a freight company, but it was always in the back of his mind that, at some point, he would go back to owning a truck and driving for himself. Fast forward to 1994, when he found a Rosewood-colored 1986 Pete 359 in Arkansas. After driving that truck for a while, he sold it and slipped into a white 1986 Peterbilt 359 with blue fenders. This second 359, truck #69, was repainted twice. Now retired, Bryce Transport still owns that truck today. With an unmistakable paint scheme and matching trailer, “Smoking Section” is known by many. Last year, PMI found and bought the Rosewood 1986 Pete 359 Kary had sold way back when, and now have plans to restore her back to working condition.

The company (Preferred Materials Inc.) you see today is the product of hard work, strong family ties, a great foundation and qualified drivers who take pride in the rigs they operate. All the equipment is kept at the high standard which Kary had set in place from the beginning. He wanted to maintain nice-looking equipment and provide a service unparalleled to anyone else. As the name signifies, his company wants to bring to their customers the look and service that a “Preferred” carrier can provide.

In the beginning, the horseshoe wasn’t in the original PMI company logo. It started out as a rite-of-passage, so to speak, when real horseshoes were mounted on the sleeper of the trucks. You didn’t just get one when you started driving there, it had to be earned. It seems odd to some, but for drivers who cared about their trucks, work ethic and pride in what they did, that piece of metal was a big deal. Drivers were truly honored when they earned that mounted horseshoe. Since then, the actual horseshoes have been removed and replaced with a picture of one on their current company logo.

Talking with the people who work at PMI, be it the sales, shop or office staff, everyone says roughly the same thing – they are proud to work there and that it is a true family environment. Today, PMI is authorized to run in 48 states and two provinces of Canada. Currently, their main travel area is the south central and southwest portions of the United States. Running around 125 trucks, along with approximately 13 owner operators, they operate four locations, including the main location in Sibley, LA. As far as what they haul, 60% is what can be hauled in their pneumatic and liquid tankers, and the other 40% is what their flatbeds, step-decks, vans and refrigerated trailers can haul.

Originally, Kary wanted to have Legacy #68 because his first rig, the aforementioned Rosewood-colored 1986 Peterbilt 359, was #68, and he was born in 1968. Kary asked the salesman what it would cost, and they said they could make it happen. That attempt failed, so the salesman said to pick some more numbers, and Kary chose #50 or #100. As it came in, Kary was to get #64, which he was content to buy, but when the color came back completely wrong, that deal fell through, as well. At one point, the pace of the Legacy sales stalled, so Kary thought he had plenty of time to order another one. But then, sales suddenly picked back up, and Kary failed to get his order in by the last order date.

A couple years later, Kary received a call from Clint Moore. Clint knew Kary was always looking for something unique and told him there was a truck he needed to see. After sending pictures, Kary made sense of it when Clint told him it was Legacy #995. Kary is a numbers guy, and since his first company, Bryce Transport, received its authority in October of 1995, the number seemed to fit. Kary loved the color and, basically, sight-unseen, said hold it, because he was coming up to get it. On November 14, 2009, Kary took a one-way flight to Kansas City, signed all the necessary paperwork, started up “Color of Money” and drove her home to Louisiana, where she still resides today.

The truck wasn’t purchased to show, but to be included as one of the working trucks in the fleet. Kary originally purchased the truck for himself and made many runs to Alabama with it. Eventually, he stepped out of the truck and put driver Jody Mayo in the seat, who played a contributing factor in the care of this truck. These days, “Color of Money” is dedicated to hauling a pneumatic tanker. In August of 2016, at almost 10 years old, the truck was shut down for refurbishment. Kary got together with 4 State Trucks in Joplin, MO to restore the truck, being careful to maintain its original look as much as possible. Cody and Drew “Stick” Ditz in 4 State’s body shop played formidable roles in the entire restoration and refurbish process of the rig.

Due to the rarity of the color, it was very important that there was no deviation from it during the restore. Kary wanted to maintain the same profile and just clean-up the stripes. When the Chrome Shop Mafia “boyz” got their hands on it, the truck quickly turned into something of a masterpiece. Kary didn’t want anything exotic, but the refurbish included almost everything except for the already-beautiful paint scheme.

Complimenting the color, 4 State added a painted-to-match visor, fuel tanks, sleeper and cab panels, frame covers, striped rear full fenders and a sleeper shock cover. Also, on the exterior, the stacks were replaced with 7-inch straights, nine bullet-style cab lights (with amber to green LEDs) were added on top, the front bumper was upgraded, and the rear got a T-bar bumper.

The engine compartment and interior of the truck received a complete makeover, as well. The interior features painted-to-match floors, door and dash panels, along with Bostrom Wide Ride seats, not to just look good, but to make the ride more comfortable going down the road. Sticking with a more traditional old-school theme inside, an ivory-colored retro steering wheel and custom ivory shift knob were installed to keep the interior colors coordinated.

After the rig was restored, it was unveiled as a bobtail at the 2017 Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, KY. Later that year, 4 State Trucks also built a sharp, painted-to-match 2000 Wabash 50-foot spread-axle reefer trailer (for show), which was unveiled with the truck at the Great American Truck Show in Dallas, TX. Finishing the truck show season, the last stop was at the 4 State Trucks “Guilty By Association Truck Show” in Joplin, MO. At that show, as a bobtail, “Color of Money” earned a spot on the 4 State Trucks’ 2018 calendar.

As previously stated, the truck is a work truck. After being taken out of work status for almost a year, beginning in December 2017, “Color of Money” and its driver, David “Mudflap” Heldreth, went back to work on her local run, pulling its dedicated trailer – a matching 2014 MAC pneumatic tanker. “Color of Money” only stays looking clean because of driver care and regular washes. Unbeknownst to most people, the truck gets dirty, especially driving in and out of its regular loading location, which has a long and dusty gravel driveway.

I asked Kary, “If someone said they wanted to buy a truck, what advice would you give them?” He thought about his answer and then said, “Pray about it and make sure your family is behind you 100%. Start with some working capital prior to buying, because you never know when you will have a breakdown or something unforeseen happen. Be resilient – there will be bad days, but they will get better. With your service, always make a great first impression, and be willing to provide a better service than the other guy.” That’s great advice, coming from a man who knows what he’s talking about!

Special thanks go out to Kary Bryce’s aunt and uncle, Raymond and Benita Bell, for the use of their property, which you can see in the centerfold photo. Thanks also to Hunt Powell and his family for allowing photos to be taken at their ranch, which is where the cover photo was shot. Thanks to John May, a driver for PMI, who was kind enough to move “Color of Money” around to the various locations, and the entire cleaning crew at PMI for making sure the rig was clean every day during the lengthy photo shoot. Last, but definitely not least, thanks to Kary and Sharon Bryce for your time and conversation, and for allowing me the honor of writing this story, your story, and giving me the opportunity to photograph this beautiful truck, which is one of my personal all-time favorites.

I have been following this truck since my good friends Terry and Karla Price first bought it. I guess one could say that I’m “emotionally attached” to this truck. As some may know and understand my addiction for trucks, they may also know how some moments are memorable and life-altering. “Color of Money” was the first semi that I actually sat in the driver’s seat – not a big deal to some, but it was the beginning seeds of my passion for trucks. Once Terry and Karla sold the truck, I lost track of it, but while getting to know more and more people in the trucking industry, I was able to track down the company that now owns it. That was back in 2014.

Back then, I sent an email to a dispatcher at PMI, and they were kind enough to get me in touch with the owner, Kary Bryce. We maintained communication through the years, and after many missed opportunities of crossing paths at shows and such, I was able to make my way to Louisiana to not only get up close and personal with the truck, but to meet some of the people that work there, and have their driver, John May, move the truck around for me. Meeting Kary and Sharon was a real joy, and am privileged to now consider them good friends.

This rare rig already has a very “colorful” history, and it was exciting to learn about all the things she has gone through over the years since Price Trucking let her go. But, Kary Bryce and his “Color of Money” aren’t done yet, as this hard-working limited-edition Peterbilt 379 and its owner still have a lot of loads to move and a “legacy” to continue. As always, to all the drivers out there doing the deal, truck safe.

About Stephanie Haas