Not everyone needs to run around in a flashy show truck! This month’s “plain ole truck” was built for Pat Sykes (64) of Glendale, AZ. But this “plain” truck is actually pretty sweet – you just have to look a little harder to see the cool.
Pat is one of five children of Cecil and Dolores Sykes. Pat grew up on a farm in northern Iowa, and his dad farmed and had trucks. Pat’s dad passed away at age 48 in 1978 and his mom is still living and never remarried. Pat’s uncle, Lee Prentice from West Bend, Iowa, had dump trucks and Pat worked at his place when he was a teenager, changing oil and fixing tires.
When Pat graduated from high school, he purchased a 1972 C60 Chevy twin screw dump truck with a 366 gas engine, a 5×4 trans and a tag axle, and went to work. He said things got slow in the early 80s, so for the winter a few of them drove their trucks to the Phoenix, AZ area because they were building year-round there due to the nice weather. Then, in the spring, they would go home to work in Iowa all summer. In the fall of 1983, Pat decided not to go back and just made Phoenix his new home.
In Phoenix, they found a place to park the trucks on Deer Valley Road in the middle of nowhere. Across the street was a little bar called the Stagecoach Inn. They would work all day and then park and fix on their trucks, then drive their pickups across the street to the Stagecoach. The owner of the bar was a lady that didn’t put up with any nonsense. After a few visits, she noticed the plates on their pickups were from Iowa and come to find out she was originally from Waterloo, Iowa. This was the beginning of Pat’s relationship with the love of his life, Judy Taylor.
Judy was divorced and had two kids that were in their 20s when they met. Six months later, Pat moved in with Judy and couldn’t have been happier. She was great at handling money and Pat knew how to work, so they were a perfect pair. Owning a bar was like milking cows – seven days a week, and you had to like people!
In 2009 Judy was diagnosed with cancer and started taking treatments. About a year later, they closed the bar (it just became too much). She lost her battle with cancer three years later. Two weeks before she passed away, they actually got married after being together for 30 years.
Over the years, Pat owned some nice trucks. He bought a new daycab in 1994 and in 1999 he thought he needed a transfer dump. Six months later he realized he didn’t and sold it, buying a new 379 Pete with a 48” bunk to replace it. In 2003 he bought an extended-hood 379 with a 6NZ Cat, and in 2007 he bought a new 379 Peterbilt with a 625 Cat. Pat learned that if he took care of his trucks and kept them nice, he never had to look for a buyer – they were always looking for him.
I was lucky to sell him his next truck and make a deal with him on his 2007 Pete, and now a lucky farmer has it in his garage. Pat wasn’t in a hurry for his new truck, and originally thought he wanted a glider. But, as most of you know, they are getting hard to get, so he decided to just buy a new one.
Ordering the 2019 Peterbilt 389 with a 48” flattop, a 605-hp Cummins X15 with 2,050 torque, an 18-speed and loaded with all the goodies, he chose Black Cherry with a fire truck red frame. He said he just wanted a “plain ole truck” but the funny thing is, sometimes those are the hardest to pull off.
When the truck showed up, Tyler hid the DEF tank and then Leonard installed a stainless drop visor, a Texas-style bumper, extra grill bars, steer axle dumps and painted cab and sleeper skirts. He also added Shift breather lights (front and back), Shift rear full fenders and a flush-mounted painted Merritt deck plate with a V Box. The tanks were painted, Chad installed a wet kit with a short PTO tower, my dad chopped the breather screens and, at the last minute, we added lettering from our friends at Thunder Graphix.
Pat knows what he likes and really doesn’t worry about what everybody thinks – he just does what makes him feel good. This truck is just a “plain ole truck” and most people won’t even notice it. But the one’s that do, they will be like, “Yeah, right on!” This is a nice truck, but the owner, Pat Sykes, is an even nicer guy.