Record-setting run Racing against the clock, Mike Ryan, driving Freightliner Truck's modified Century Class racer, set a new record for single-axle trucks July 4th in the annual Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Ryan completed the 12.4-mile, 156-turn "Race to the Clouds" in just 13:39:02. That performance shattered the previous record - set by Ryan in another Century Class truck in 1998 - by 51 seconds. His truck was equipped with a special 1,200-hp. Mercedes-Benz turbodiesel, ZF Ecomat 5-speed automatic, Meritor rear axle and hydraulic disc brakes, and Michelin tires. "We had a great truck and a great team," said Ryan. "It all came together this year, and the mountain was good to us."
Green flag A fleet of 15 International 4700 Century tow trucks will be on hand at some 50 NASCAR races this season, ready to pull wrecks off the tracks quickly and safely. The medium-duty trucks - emblazoned with bold NASCAR insignia - will be offered for sale to motorsport-loving customers at season's end.
Truckin' with a heart Incurable romantics and truckers to boot, Steve Hobson and Frances Sykes - who drive for AWL International out of North Hampton, England - got hitched inside a cutaway T2000 at the Kenworth booth during the recent International Trucking Show.
The show, and hence the nuptials, took place in that wedding capital of the world, Las Vegas. Indeed, the couple was serenaded with "Love me Tender" by an Elvis impersonator, who also graciously gave the bride away.
"We've both been driving for more than 20 years - the last three as a team," reports the not-so-bashful groom. "I thought it would be fun to get married in Las Vegas at the show. Kenworth was very receptive to the idea. It kind of snowballed from there." Lucky for them.
Hang-up Hemmings Motor News, the self-proclaimed "bible of the collector car hobby" says its second most popular automotive wall calendar is: "Abandoned Trucks - A Timely Tribute to Terminally Tranquil Trucks." The publisher says "each month showcases the beauty of America's favorite old trucks, resting out their final days in prairies and woodlots across America." We can't vouch for that, since they only sent us the cover. But if hanging rustbuckets over your desk is appealing, check out their web site at www.hemmings.com.
Showing their Shine on the Strip For once, the neon glitter of the famed Las Vegas strip found itself out-shined - by truckers, no less. Sixty participants in the Show and Shine Truck Competition during the International Trucking Show in Las Vegas formed a half-mile long convoy and rolled down Las Vegas Blvd., home to the city's popular gambling casinos. The impromptu parade also proved, at least for one night, the old saying that "all that glitters is not gold."