With more than 90 trucks in competition, the trucks in the Paul K Young Truck Beauty Championship had a bling-packed parking lot behind the West Wing. Whatever your favorite brand or style, it was likely represented there. Antiques and cabovers, big hoods and sloped noses, everyday working trucks, and exceptional examples of imagination and creativity – there was something for everyone.
Clean and sparkling in the sunlight, polished to a mirror shine and painted in places you wouldn't expect – every inch of these trucks from the tips of their stacks to the tiniest nut or bolt was meticulously detailed.
After five years of competing at MATS, OOIDA member David Foster once again brought his 2005 burgundy Kenworth W900L to the show. A soft-spoken, hard-working family man from Joplin, MO, Foster was visibly moved as his name was called for Best of Show Working Bobtail.
Chad Berry brought out his 2012 black and purple Peterbilt 386, pulling a 2017 MAC curtainside trailer. The crowd cheered as he was awarded Best of Show Working Combo.
Longtime OOIDA member Bob Harley has become a familiar face at truck beauty competitions over the past year. His 1972 deep purple and gray Peterbilt 358A has been a knockout on the show circuit. Over the winter he painted his motor in the antique white that was common at the time his truck was first built. It was the icing on the cake as he and his "Bad Attitude" were awarded Best of Show Limited Mileage Bobtail.
Another well-known member of the show truck community, OOIDA member Brian Davis (Owensville, Ind.) brought out his sparkling white, blue and green 2014 Peterbilt 386 pulling a newly dressed up 2016 Wilson hopper trailer. From a gleaming painted interior to the detailed pinstriping that follows from outside to inside and all the way back across the deck plate, this truck rocks. Of course that might have something to do with the mega-watt stereo system that could make your heart beat a little faster. Brian and his brother Tom were all smiles as their "Buzz Kill" earned Best of Show Limited Mileage Combo honors.
Best of Show Working Dump Combo was awarded to Jon Donadio at his green on green 2003 Kenworth W900 pulling a 2017 East stainless dump trailer.
People's Choice is one of the most coveted awards for any show trucker. And this was no exception. Recognizing his truck, "Band of Brothers," as well as his military service, OOIDA member Sean McEndree's 2006 military-muralled purple Peterbilt 379 received a great ovation, as well as a beautiful custom-built trophy.
Special recognition and the Jake Eilen Pride In Your Ride Award went to Rich Hart of Pierpont, Ohio, and his blue 2015 Peterbilt 389 and 2015 MAC dump trailer.
New at PKY this year, the Randy Rebillard Integrity In Iron Award recognized a truck and driver who exemplified good sportsmanship, a willingness to mentor others, as well as a meticulously detailed and admirable truck. This prestigious honor went to Clay Snider of Queen City, Mo., and his "Dad's Last Truck #3," a red and white 2007 Kenworth T600 hooked to a 2016 Western rolltop trailer.
Recognizing absent friends who have had a huge impact on the trucking community, Toby Young, president of Exhibit Management, paid special tribute to Karen Zander, Jerry Jeffries, Michael Raines and Randy Rebillard. For all who knew them and those family members who came to memorialize them there was no one left unaffected as they were remembered with loving care.
April is National Autism Awareness month, and OOIDA member Michael Manuel wanted to debut his 2015 blue Peterbilt 389 and 2016 Mac curtainside trailer at MATS to help raise awareness about autism. His truck is covered in puzzle pieces and the phrase "Autism One of Many," which references the broad spectrum of issues surrounding this condition. While people like Mike's daughter Kara may have social interaction difficulties, communication challenges, and a tendency to engage in repetitive behaviors, the symptoms and severity can vary widely. Manuel received a 4th place trophy in Limited Mileage Combo, but his efforts to focus attention and raise awareness has already reached thousands.
For those who took home trophies and the others who "only" received the admiration of the thousands of truck show attendees who circulated through the parking lot during the three day event, there were no losers. They'll be back hauling freight in the blink of an eye, moving the country forward one load at a time.