With a parking lot full of tall rides and near-record temperatures in the 90s, this year’s Shriners Cool Truck Show was hot in more ways than one. Held again at the Galt Market Grounds in Galt, CA on May 3-4, all of the money raised at this event goes to the Shriners Hospitals for Children – a network of non-profit hospitals that treat children with orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate, regardless of the patients’ ability to pay. Hosted by Bob Hitchcock of Cherokee Truck Parts in Stockton, Bob and his volunteer crew once again put on a fun, laid-back event and raised quite a bit of money for the cause, too.
With almost 100 paid entrants, about 85 rigs ended up on the lot (because it is a charity event, some people just pay to register their truck, whether they plan to attend the show or not, as a donation to the cause). Along with this good group of trucks and their owners/drivers, there were also a few vendors on-hand, as well as representatives from Shriners. Friday night featured a live band playing classic rock music and a light show, while Saturday’s highlight was a live auction. With donated items up for bid like polished fuel tanks, a homemade cedar chest, fenders, stacks, LED lights and more, the auction raised thousands of dollars for the charity.
After the live auction, the awards were announced and the trophies were handed out. Looking to keep costs down and keep the show simple, there were only four trophies – Best Hot Rod, Best Pickup, Best Interior and Best of Show. And there were no judges – all of the winners were determined by people’s choice votes. Jess Kerekes of Lodi, CA and his 1956 Chevy Bel-Air earned the Best Hot Rod award, while Guy Harris of Meridian, CA and his 1931 Model-A took the Best Pickup trophy. The winner of the other two beautiful trophies (made by Rockwood Products), Best Interior and Best of Show, both went to Brent McGrath of Brent’s Custom Trucks in White City, Oregon, who built and was showing Leroy & Joanie Bracelin’s highly-customized, bright red 1968 Peterbilt 358.
In addition to the award-winning trucks, there were a lot of other nice rides, including Erick Witham’s red and white car-hauler, Moe Whitchurch’s two-tone green International, FCT’s blue and black Peterbilt, and a bunch of neat cabovers (including an old Freightliner hooked to a rusty cattle trailer brought out by Hummer Trucking) – there was even a pimped-out red hay squeeze with white flames! We met a lot of nice people and had a great time chatting with them at the show, and look forward to seeing many of them again next year. But in the end, it all comes down to raising money for the charity.
At the time of this writing, Bob did not have exact totals yet, but he estimated that the show grossed well over $12,000. And after paying the bills to produce the event, Bob hopes to write a check for $7,000 or $8,000 to Shriners. Not a bad donation, just for getting some friends and their trucks together and having some fun! Thanks for all your hard work, Bob – and for allowing 10-4 Magazine to be a part of it all.