Located off I-75 in Wildwood, Florida, 75 Chrome has been the place to go for 18-wheeler chrome accessories since 1990. The store combines all the facilities of a modern truck stop with service bays, a CB shop, showers, laundry facilities, and even a game room. More importantly, owners Debbie and Billy Farkus created the 75 Chrome Pride and Polish Annual Truck Show to give drivers a venue to display their customizing talents. Now in its tenth year, the event is known nationwide and truckers come from around the country to participate. The astonishing part of the competition is that many of these painted, chromed, and neon-enhanced rigs are genuine working vehicles that were back on the highway hauling freight after the show, with their trophies tucked neatly in the sleeper of course!
"Doodle" Blizzard owns this '90 Peterbilt work truck. Headquartered in North Carolina, he
Show Trucks Roll InThe competition was divided into four classes and included Working Combination, which were truck and trailer combinations that work for a living. The second was Working Bobtail (working trucks minus the trailer). The third category was Non-Working Combination (show trucks with their trailers). Finally, there's Non-Working Bobtail (show trucks minus trailers). Without the classification signs in the windshields, however, it was hard to tell working rigs from non-working rigs. They were that clean.
International AttractionTrucks from as far away as Canada participated in the Florida event and truckers from as far away as Norway attended the gathering. Forty show trucks lined up in 75 Chrome's huge parking lot. Spectators trolled the rows of trick trucks for hours, appreciating the time and attention lavished on the over-the-road giants.
As evening fell and the lights in the parking lot were extinguished, everyone marveled at the brightly lit big rigs. Neon lights in a kaleidoscope of colors decorated the trucks from top to bottom. For even more fun, country western singer Matt Coleman performed an evening concert that was free to the crowd.
Complete with a display that included miniature cotton bales, this '01 Peterbilt 379 named
High Fuel Prices?During the two-day show, we spoke to lots of drivers, like Texan Truett Novosad, about rising fuel prices. He's owned an '01 Peterbilt 379 named High Cotton for seven years and it has 660,000 miles on it. The fuel crunch wasn't bothering Truett like most drivers, since he's able to pass the cost on to his customers as a surcharge. That's important because the cost to fill up his tank was around $650 last year, and now it is around $1,000, with a fill-up occurring about every other day or so.
What was unique about the situation was the number of drivers participating in the event. Even with a difficult national economic situation, they sidelined their trucks for the several days necessary to detail them for the judges and to participate in the show itself. If you find yourself in central Florida around the end of April next year, this is an event you really won't want to miss. Get all the details at 75chromeshop.com.