It’s not often that a company reaches the 75-year milestone, but Peterbilt just did. And to celebrate, among other things, they had a big Peterbilt-only party in California – not far from where the company started in 1939. But this event was more like a family reunion than a truck show! After over 20 years of attending, exhibiting and covering trucking events, none of them have ever had as many of our friends, readers, advertisers and cover truckers as this one did. We couldn’t walk ten feet without being stopped by someone we knew – it was cool.
Held on October 24-25 at the San Joaquin Fairgrounds in Stockton, Calif., this event featured 400 Peterbilts of all types, new and old, custom and classic, from every decade. There were also some old Fageol trucks (the pre-cursors to Peterbilts), as well as the very first chassis to ever roll down the Peterbilt line in Oakland after T.A. Peterman formed the company. Before the first Peterbilt was made, six chassis were sent down the line to “test” the system. It was thought that all of these trucks were gone, but one of them, the very first one, was found at the Fremont Fire Dept., not far from Oakland. Although not technically a Peterbilt, this old 1939 fire truck (known as Chassis #1) with a Diamond-T front end, built by the Challenger Fire Equipment Company, is an amazing piece of preserved history, nonetheless – and it still runs!
Friday was the official setup day, and the show crew worked hard all day, from 6:30 AM to 10:30 PM, registering and parking the trucks. Show producer Rick McClerkin and his right-hand-man Eric, along with help from Bud Farquhar and his staff (which included Jason Alt, Lindsay Anhalt, Isaac Aguilar, Ron Huey, Cheri Kimball, Debbie Peterson and four others), worked tirelessly to ensure that everyone got in and got parked in a good spot. They all did an awesome job!
While the rigs were being parked on Friday, the vendors set up their booths – and there were quite a few. We at 10-4 were proud to have our bright red party tent book-ended with two sweet Peterbilts – on one side we had a brand new Anniversary Edition Model 579 owned by our friend Ryan Hooten of Ryan’s Feed in Weatherford, Texas, and on the other side was the last 379 ever produced – Legacy Edition #1,000. This rig, owned by Victor Tomas of Platinum Enterprises in Riverside, Calif., looks like a simple red truck, but in reality it is a very special Peterbilt. We would like to thank Jeff Miller of Ryan’s Feed for bringing out the 579 and Joe Delgado of Platinum for bringing out the 379.
Friday’s weather was perfect, but such was not the case come Saturday morning. Although desperately needing some rain to help ease the ongoing drought in California, it would figure that this would be the day that the sky decided to open up and let some water loose! Thankfully, it only rained for a few hours. At around 11:00 AM, the rain stopped, the clouds moved out, and the sun came beaming down. By noon, pretty much everything was dry and it was already starting to get hot. The rest of the day was fabulous.
With plenty of trucks to see and things to do, the one-day show, which had about 5,000 spectators, went by quickly. Peterbilt brought out a special anniversary display trailer, pulled by an Anniversary Edition Model 579 (like the one next to our booth). Filled with all sorts of displays, historic artifacts and interactive kiosks, this “rolling Peterbilt museum” was a big hit. There was also an auction, live music, and a Peterbilt Employee Reunion (this fun get-together included past and present engineers and employees from all four of Peterbilt’s production plants). They also raffled-off a 1976 Peterbilt 359 Ext. Hood, with all the proceeds, raised throughout the year at various events, going to help fund breast cancer research. The lucky winner of the truck, C. Marshall of Livermore, Calif., was not present, but he was excited when they called him on the phone from the stage.
All of the awards given at this event were decided by the people at the show. With four categories – Antique Cabover, Antique Conventional, Modern Bobtail and Combination – each class was awarded a large trophy for first, a smaller trophy for second, a large plaque for third, and then small plaques for 4th through 10th. The 1st Place “Best of Show” trophies, 70-pound beauties made by Rockwood Products featuring the Peterbilt 75th Anniversary logo on the top, were the finest trophies we had ever seen – and the heaviest! And the winners were:
ANTIQUE CABOVER: 1st Wayne Newhouse; 2nd Donald Bourgeouis; 3rd George Van Dyke; 4th Gary Berrington; 5th Jim Dobbas; 6th Carlton Hill; 7th (there was no name – just truck #112); 8th Frank Bell; 9th Harm Speerstra; 10th Rito Rodriguez.
ANTIQUE CONVENTIONAL: 1st Juan Gonzalez; 2nd Melvin Maggini; 3rd Fremont Fire Department; 4th Hal Hays; 5th Bob Harley; 6th Leroy Bracelin; 7th Neil McIsaac; 8th Carlton Hill; 9th Hal Hays; 10th George Cape.
MODERN BOBTAIL: 1st Guy Schorno; 2nd Forestt Noble; 3rd Michael Dusi; 4th Jessie Maggini; 5th Jeff Barnes; 6th Eric Garcia; 7th Phil Miller; 8th Kevin Van Hulzen; 9th Eddie Caballero; 10th Charles Patterson.
COMBO: 1st Ray Rodriquez; 2nd Chris Hasty; 3rd Jerry Mies; 4th Mike Maggini; 5th Bill Rethwisch; 6th Hector Santana; 7th Roel Hofstee; 8th Ray Rodriquez; 9th Dan Mognaga; 10th Ken Joiner.
One day was not long enough to see and do everything, but we did our best. With a lot of after-hours fun with friends, a little time in the Cow Trailer Bar & Grill, and 400 of the finest rigs to ever grace the road, it was a weekend to remember – and a special show we will never forget. What a great way to close out the 2014 truck show season!