Photo: Aaron Marsh/ Fleet Owner
Peterbilt SuperFan Contest Awards

Ultimate Peterbilt SuperFan: California trucker with lifelong passion for the brand

March 24, 2018
Peterbilt Motors Co. announced Rick McClerkin of San Jose. CA as the winner of its SuperFan contest at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

LOUISVILLE. That's one sure way to command attention in a huge crowd made up strongly of owner-operator truck drivers: give away a brand-new, screaming red and custom-chromed Peterbilt Model 567 Heritage. And this was no ordinary truck — it's the one-millionth built by Peterbilt Motors Co., a piece of history in and of itself.  

The company's SuperFan contest drew more than 1,500 entries. Just five were chosen as finalists, and the winner and top SuperFan announced at the Mid-America Trucking Show today was truck driver and lifelong Peterbilt devotee Rick McClerkin of San Jose, CA. Peterbilt General Manager Kyle Quinn presented the keys to the grand prize.

"We're blown away by the response and each of the amazing stories that each of you shared with us," Quinn said. "For many of you, Peterbilt is truly a way of life."

"I've been empowered by that red oval all my life," McClerkin said after he'd hopped in the prize truck with his new fiancée, Kathy Cantaloube. This makes for quite an engagement gift, you'd think, and "I'm going to keep it shining," McClerkin said. But his first trip in a shiny new Peterbilt was as a child around five years old.

He's been smitten ever since. Not counting this new 567 Heritage, McClerkin owns two Peterbilts he uses for his trucking business as well as four other Peterbilt trucks in his collection. He's also got seven trucks built by Fageol Motors, the predecessor company Peterbilt acquired in 1938. McClerkin has a museum dedicated to the brand and has compiled more than 50,000 drawings and schematics of the trucks that are shared with enthusiasts and restorers.

With trucks in his collection dating back to 1918, McClerkin's truck showcase now spans a century. Specifically, the grand prize he claimed was a Model 567 Heritage equipped with a PACCAR powertrain including MX-13 engine, PACCAR Automated Transmission and PACCAR 40k rear axle. Custom chrome finishing was done by Chrome Shop Mafia in Joplin, MO.

Courtesy of Chevron, this Model 567 gets free oil changes appropriately up to a million miles, among the additional prizes McClerkin picked up. But meanwhile, all the SuperFan runners-up got a check for $10,000 along with $625 to redeem for parts at Peterbilt dealerships.

Check out each of the finalists' stories: 

Cathy Bauder

Josh Hainstock

Rick McClerkin, winner

About the Author

Aaron Marsh

Before computerization had fully taken hold and automotive work took someone who speaks engine, Aaron grew up in Upstate New York taking cars apart and fixing and rewiring them, keeping more than a few great jalopies (classics) on the road that probably didn't deserve to be. He spent a decade inside the Beltway covering Congress and the intricacies of the health care system before a stint in local New England news, picking up awards for both pen and camera.

He wrote about you-name-it, from transportation and law and the courts to events of all kinds and telecommunications, and landed in trucking when he joined FleetOwner in July 2015. Long an editorial leader, he was a keeper of knowledge at FleetOwner ready to dive in on the technical and the topical inside and all-around trucking—and still turned a wrench or two. Or three. 

Aaron previously wrote for FleetOwner. 

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