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Still More Chrome

by Jim Park

Who says southern Ontario has the truck-show game sewn up?

It seems that 'Mad Trucker Disease', otherwise known as truck-show fever, has spread from southern Ontario to Atlantic Canada and back again to the nation's capital this year. Truckers across the land seem to be trading their logbooks for polishing rags, and the spectators don't mind a bit.

With Moncton, N.B., in the grip of an early summer heat wave, the Atlantic Truck Show recently opened its doors to thousands of drivers, their families and friends - plus a whole pile more people who were just plain curious about the big rigs they see on the road every day.

Linda Mitchell and her sister Glenda were in town to check out the equipment, saying they'd both thought about a driving career but weren't too sure what the trucks were like.

"We've been thinking about going to work as team drivers," said the younger of the two Summerside, P.E.I. natives. "We thought this show would be a good time to see the trucks up close, talk with some other drivers, and maybe talk to a driving school."

Linda warmed up to a black Volvo VN770 on the show floor, while her sister admitted a preference for a Peterbilt 379, like Lloyd Charlton's 2001 model (shown below) that was parked outside for the Show and Shine competition. That was a first at Moncton, and it attracted some 30 competitors. Along with the show trucks, there were dozens more exhibits out there, mostly trailers that were just too darned big to bring inside.

It's too bad the Atlantic Truck Show happens only every other year. An event this much fun should be a monthly affair.

In Carp Valley...

Meanwhile, a week later and 20 miles northwest of Ottawa in Carp, Ont., the Carp Valley Fairgrounds were bustling with last-minute Show and Shine arrivals.

The event is officially called Strawfest, and it's a combination livestock show, farmer's market and truck show. The fairgrounds are ideally suited for a multi-function sort of event. Nobody gets in anyone's way but spectators can walk easily from section to section, and there's something for everybody to see.

Out on the grounds we found nearly 80 trucks on display, all polished to a shine. The antique trucks display featured two full-sized antique cabs, a B-model Mack and a W-900 KW, mounted on pick-up truck chassis just for fun. Tackaberry Construction had several of its older buggies out for the day and the crowd loved 'em.

The back row, where all the dump trucks and aggregate haulers were huddled together, featured some impressive machinery as well. Front and center was a stunning 2001 Peterbilt owned by Bob Sugrue, president of the Greater Ottawa Trucker's Association. Parked beside his brand new Pete - it was just three days old - was his previous ride, a 17-year old Ford Louisville. For the record, it also looked as if it had been driven off the showroom floor three days earlier.

"It took me 17 years to save up for that one," Sugrue said, motioning to the Pete. "I just hope it lasts as long as the Ford."

One of the more interesting entrants was Murray Kloosterman's 2000 Pete 379. He carted home the People's Choice award and the Overall Champ trophy for his trouble. If it wasn't the flame-trimmed fenders or the simple black-on-red color scheme that stole the crowd's heart, it might have been the replica of a 1948 Peterbilt nameplate he's used instead of the now-familiar red oval emblem. Kloosterman says he has an original 1948 nameplate at home, and he used a mold to cast the replicas that now adorn the hood of his winning entry.

But the really original piece of work on his truck is the reflecting monogram, located on the underside of his sleeper trim, written in a mirror image and reflected in straightforward order on the polished aluminum fuel and air tanks. His name appears under the sleeper, and under the cab just above the air tank he's written a simple 'Keep Off'.

"I've been reading the really old issues of Overdrive Magazine for tips on what they used to do years ago," Kloosterman said. "I like lights as much as the next guy, but I'm trying to do something a little different."

At the end of the day, the organizing committee of the Carp Valley show handed off more than $4000 to the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Most of the winners, to their credit, handed back their prize money to fatten up the donation.

There's still much more to come in the 2001 truck show season, and we'll have reports on central Canada's two biggest shows - in Fergus, Ont., and Notre Dame du Nord, P.Q. - in our next issue. We're sponsors of both those great shows, by the way. And after that we'll be reporting on the Black Gold Rodeo in Grimshaw, Alta., and Performance with Pride in Saskatoon (have a look at our August Shows article for details). Rolf and I will be out and about at the rest of this season's shows, so if you see us hiding behind our cameras, tap us on the shoulder and say hi. We don't bite!

The Winners

Here's a list of the rankings from the final shows of June, including the small but lively show and truck pull organized by the local Kinsmen Club in Minden, Ont. Sorry, but we only have space to publish class winners.

Atlantic Truck Show
People's Choice Award - Tony Brooks
Dump Truck - Tony Brooks
Dump Trailer - Daryl Blakney
Highway Tractor - Lloyd Charlton
Other Heavy Industrial - Jim Sherwood
Service Truck (tie) - Barb Charters & Charles Austin
Engines, Best Cat - Daryl Blakney
Engines, Best Cummins - Tony Steeves
Engines, Best Detroit - Lloyd Charlton

Carp Valley Show & Shine
People's Choice Award - Murray Kloosterman
Overall Champ - Murray Kloosterman
Highway Tractor under 150,000 km - Ron McKenzie
Highway Tractor more than 150,000 km - Phil Langevin
Highway Commodities Combo, New - Phil Langevin
Highway Commodities Combo, Older - Stan Shouldice
Highway Construction Combo, New - Cavanaugh Construction
Highway Construction Combo, Older - Bob Sugrue

Dump Truck, New - Ron McNamara
Dump Truck, Older - Bob Sugrue
Million Mile Club - Randy Langevin
Celebrity Pick - James Doel
Top Dawg Award - Bob Sugrue
Best Fleet Award - Glen Tay Transportation
Antique Division - Tackaberry Construction

Minden Kinsmen Show and Shine
People's Choice Award - Alf Kimble
Best Highway Hauler 2001-2002 - Mike Durkin
Best Highway Hauler 1997-2001 - Michael McDonald
Best Highway Hauler 1996-Older - Larry Hewitt
Best Log Hauler 2000-Older - Dwight Little
Best 2001-2002 Working Truck - Kim Hamilton
Best 1997-2000 Working Truck - Dave White
Best 1993-1996 Working Truck - Jay Anderson
Best 1992-Older Working Truck - Mervyn Cowan
Best Fleet, 5 or More Trucks - Larry Hewitt
Best Antique Truck - Tommy Britton

Minden Kinsmen Truck Pulls
Best Log Truck - Dwight Little: 352.9 ft
Best Tandem Dump - Jay Garbutt: 354.36 ft
Best Tri-axle Dump - Alf Kimble: 343.87 ft
Best Highway Tractor - Rob MacDonald: 350.55 ft

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