This month’s creation was not built for anyone – it was the annual build we put together for our local farm show, and we always have fun with it. This year’s truck has been interesting, to say the least. From the day it showed up and the wrecker driver claimed it was the ugliest truck he had ever seen, to the mechanics teasing me, and the many on social media who did not like (that’s putting it nicely) the whitewall tires I put on it – but I had a vision, and I knew we were going to be build something special.
Each year, KC Pete takes a new truck to our local farm show to recruit new help. Over the years, we have either thrown something together with what we had on the lot or ordered something special. It’s exciting because the dealership lets me do whatever I want. I tease people all the time that I have more ideas than friends with money, but I am blessed that Peterbilt still lets me order a truck with all the things where I want them, and to have a great crew at KC Pete that never fails to amaze me with their skills.
This year we ordered a long hood 389 with a 44” bunk and a 280” wheelbase. Wanting this rig to have all the goodies, it was ordered with a 565-hp X15 with 2050 torque, a dual cylinder air compressor, an 18-speed, and low leaf suspension with full lockers. It also got an air-ride front with a car-hauler axle, 24.5 LP tires and round-hole Dura-Bright wheels. Inside, it has a Platinum tan interior, tan leather low back Peterbilt seats, a dash loaded with gauges and all the extras, and heat and A/C in the sleeper. I am turning 50 this year, so I went with a metallic gold that my friends at Axalta got Peterbilt to make an exception and paint the frame the same as the body.
My friend Tim Ahlborn of Tim’s Trucks helped me with the paint, getting me better pictures of the scheme, which I was looking for. I took those pics and my ideas to Pat the painter, and he mixed up 20 colors for me to choose from. We used two of them, and then he custom blended two more to get the look I wanted. It’s amazing how much paint changes with just a little more of this or a little more of that.
Believe it or not, the decision regarding the final paint layout was determined by a coin flip! Once that was figured out, Cathie gathered all the goodies, my dad changed all the standard bulbs to LEDs and built the breather light panels, Jake hung the fenders and welded the deck plate, and Charlie and Prayer hid the DEF tank and helped a lot, staying late to work with me.
All was going well until I dropped a surprise on everyone. Hanging on my office wall, for the last 22 years, is an old poster from 1980. On that poster, is a Peterbilt truck with whitewall tires, and those whitewalls have been haunting my thoughts for years. This year, I thought, maybe I should find some for the farm show truck. It was not easy, but I found a company on Instagram that makes rubber white lettering for car tires, so I emailed them and asked if they could make me whitewalls for my big truck tires. And, to my surprise, they were up for the challenge.
Opting to use real rubber, not just vinyl stickers, once they got to the shop, Pat the painter went to work. When the rest of the guys in the shop figured out what was going on, they were very vocal, and not in a good way. I sanded the hubs while the front wheels were off, and then Pat sprayed them gold. Lee decided that red center oiler caps would look sweet, so we grabbed a few off the shelf. I also installed old-style acorn nut covers. The next morning it was washed, and then off it went to the show.
I loved the way it looked, so I posted a couple pictures of it on Instagram and was surprised at the amount of negative comments the tires got. They obviously hadn’t been staring at a poster from the 80s every day for years, like me.
Not one person at the farm show walked by the truck without stopping and gawking at the tires. I told everyone they might not remember anything about the farm show, but they won’t forget those tires! Most of the farmers were floored, lots of people took photos, and we all had some good laughs. My wife and kids were extremely supportive of the truck, too, and kept it sparkling clean both days, Saturday and Sunday.
During the current COVID-19 crisis, our dealership has remained open to support our customers. Rubber gloves and masks are a common deal around here, now! Our parts department is hustling to fill orders, and now offers drive-up service – they fill the order and then bring it out to the customer. I am very proud of our family at KC Pete. If you are in the area and need parts or service, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Since the farm show, I have been hearing about how nice this truck is EXCEPT for the tires, so I finally took them off. If you think you got a case of “Gold Fever” and this truck is just the cure you’ve been looking for, please call me or your KC Sales Rep. We would love it to go to a good home, with or without the whitewall tires.