Wow! What a Truck
by Jim Park
Boat owners will be familiar with the term "footitis", used to describe a mariner's desire to trade up to a larger and more luxurious craft. As best we can figure, Mike Duffy has lightitis. His 1989 International currently sports 389 LED lights. That's close to $6000 worth, and he's planning to squeeze a few more onto the truck before long.
Duffy owns a small fleet of 16 trucks, Mike Duffy's Trucking, in Belle River, Ont., near Windsor. He started the business with his pride and joy, but it was nothing special until one of his drivers blew up the engine back in 1998. He was bitten by the truck-show bug in 1999, when he decided to rebuild the engine, fix up the truck a little and throw on a custom - purple with ghost flames - paint job. He entered his freshly painted buggy in the 1999 Fergus Truck Show, finishing second in both the paint and conventional-with-bunk categories. He was hooked.
He removed the bunk, stripped the frame and rear ends, and repainted it in a two-tone purple: that earned him a third place finish in Louisville earlier this year, but it still wasn't good enough. He's since done a lot of detail paint work, painted the engine, added a pair of stainless-steel air cleaners, chrome brake pots, a set of locomotive horns, and a ton of other small but very clever touches.
He placed first in several major American shows over the summer, including Bordentown, N.J., Coldwater, Mich., and the Shell Super Rigs Calendar qualifier in Denver, Col. He also cleaned up at Fergus and Notre-Dame-du-Nord this summer, and walked away with several trophies at the Truck World 2000 Show and Shine in Toronto - Best of Show, Best Interior (non-sleeper), Best Company Bobtail, and second in both Paint and Engine.