TORONTO, Ont. - Brent Kurtz is fussing over an immaculate 1968 Kenworth. By the look of the thing, you'd think this truck's hardly seen a day on the road, let alone floundered in a scrap yard for who-...
TORONTO, Ont. – Brent Kurtz is fussing over an immaculate 1968 Kenworth. By the look of the thing, you’d think this truck’s hardly seen a day on the road, let alone floundered in a scrap yard for who-knows-how-many years.
It took two years for Brent, his father, Brian, and their mechanics to restore the rig from a mud-caked condition to its glowing blue and white presence on the tarmac of Toronto’s Exhibition Place during Truck World 2000.
It has a 378-hp Cummins engine and an 18-speed Eaton transmission and has logged more than 2 million miles on its odometer.
“It’s a unique piece of work,” Brent said. Despite rolling off the manufacturer’s lot when the Vietnam War was at its peak and the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey was in theatres, Kurtz couldn’t confirm whether or not the truck might have toured with the Rolling Stones or maybe The Guess Who.
He was able to confirm that the antique truck spent some time working for the Hudson Bay Boat Company – an old registration certificate in the glove box confirmed it – and “had worked its way around the Great Lakes” before its last job hauling for a wrecking company in Cooksville, Ont.
Like the other trucks and trailers – and engines and interiors and trailers – Kurtz’s machine vied for top honors in Truck World 2000’s first annual Show and Shine contest. He clinched the award for Best Working Antique and also won the Public Choice Award.
Larry Dyck of Winnipeg took four awards for his green-and-orange Peterbilt 359 tractor and stainless-steel tanker, including Best Specialty, (“for the odd-balls,” he said); Best Engine, which is also orange and green; and fittingly, Best Paint – Non-Mural. He also got the nod from his colleagues, taking the Participants’ Choice Award.
The head-turning motif makes the rig look as though it just punched through a giant garish flag, with the remains flapping to shreds against the tanker.
It takes him about two days to get it ship-shape for a show. His wife and business partner Kim said it usually takes her about four hours to polish the stainless steel barrel with Windex.
“He let’s me out of the office long enough to do it,” she said after the awards ceremony Saturday morning, adding, “he’s a happy camper today.”
Steelcase Canada fleet administrator Karen Jennings-Caughell says her company’s two entries – both 2000 Peterbilt 379s, and both with more than 280,000 km already on the dials – are used to drum up market attention. “Our trucks are our advertising,” she says. Driver Terry Poll had run in five previous Show and Shines and won once. Driver Kenneth Spaeth had entered two previous contests, but won neither.
At this Show and Shine, Poll won for Best Combination, with Spaeth coming in a close second. n