Western Star Under Glass? This Truck Has Not Been Waxed In 10 Years, Looks New, And Is Encased In Glass – Seriously

Western Star Under Glass? This Truck Has Not Been Waxed In 10 Years, Looks New, And Is Encased In Glass – Seriously

(Photo Credit: Dick Theberge) – Bill Kolias’ truck is so special that he keeps it under glass. Literally.

His 2003 Western Star 4900 EX and its matching custom RV trailer are covered in painstakingly applied layers of glass that protect the garnet-red finish and graphics. And it works. Kolias hasn’t waxed the truck since it was glassed in 10 years ago.

“It’s one sexy truck,” the 62-year-old driver said.

When it rolls through a construction zone, workers stop and stare. When it’s at its winter home at an RV park in Punta Gorda, Fla., passing drivers exit the highway and circle back to take a look. Wherever it’s parked, people delay their errands to walk around it and gawk.

“I can’t begin to tell you the fan club I have in south Florida,” Kolias said.

The trophies it’s won at truck shows fill a case. It even gets invited to custom car shows in Florida

Kolias began driving in New Hampshire in 1977, forming a company with his brother. Since his wife retired in 2006, he and his rig lead a dual existence — winters in Florida basking in the sun and summers in New Hampshire, hauling building supplies to wholesalers.

When he bought the truck in 2005, his first Western Star, he had it redone with aircraft paint that costs $800 a gallon and added orange-and-yellow star graphics. To protect his investment, he had the tractor, including the inside door panels, dashboard gauges and all the chrome, aluminum and stainless steel parts, covered in thin layers of glass, a process that took two men 33 hours to complete.

The glass bonded with the paint and “nothing sticks to it,” Kolias said. All he does to keep it clean is hose it off. The glass also keeps the paint from fading in the Florida sun, he said.

And the improvements aren’t limited to the paint. Kolias’ additions include chrome wheel covers with gold-leaf touches, chrome running boards, LED lighting and captain’s chairs, hardwood floors in the cab and sleeper, satellite radio and so on. When he and his wife became snowbirds, he added the 38-foot recreational trailer and gave it the same paint-under-glass treatment.

Kolias says the $50,000-plus he has spent improving the truck and trailer is a worthwhile investment in a job he still loves.

“I do this more for personal enjoyment than I do for making money,” he said. “I’ve met too many people who go to work every day and they’re not satisfied. They’re always longing for the weekend and vacation. For me, every day is a vacation,” he said.

“It’s really the truck of my dreams, the truck I always wanted to have,” he said.

A truck that turns heads is a reflection of Kolias’ passion for trucking. So is the professional image he projects by wearing a uniform with a brass name tag and spit-shined boots. “I now have a reputation to uphold,” he said. “If I pull into a delivery with dirt on my boots or on my rig, there’s no end to the ribbing I get.”

And, for all the graphics and add-ons, it is a working truck for half the year, with a Caterpillar C15 engine, 18-speed, double overdrive transmission and 550,000 miles.

“You run this truck down the road at 70 mph and it’s as smooth as a luxury car. It’s a fun truck to drive; it doesn’t fight you,” he said. “It’s big and flashy and it’s comfortable. I go to work and I have nothing but fun.”

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6 thoughts on “Western Star Under Glass? This Truck Has Not Been Waxed In 10 Years, Looks New, And Is Encased In Glass – Seriously

  1. Chevy Hatin' Mad Geordie

    This drop dead gorgeous beauty is actually bigger than some trailer parks I have seen in the UK!

  2. SSNOVA427

    Nano glass coating…a high grade poly coating applied to the paint. Applied like a wax product, it bonds to the surface giving UV and chemical protection. Much like RainX bonds to glass.Went to a training class at Daubert Chemicals in Chicago in 2004 and saw the science behind this. Coating lasts 2-3 years before you need to reapply it.

  3. SSNOVA427

    Incidentally, during that visit to Dauberts laboratories, we were shown engines in test cells that had run for 10+ years non stop that showed NO wear whatsoever. Bearing coatings and lubricants that make engines and gear cases last forever. We were told the technology was not “economically advantageous ” to manufacturers. Mostly developed for the military clients.

  4. SSNOVA427

    Google automotive nano glass coatings..probably 20 or so manufacturers out there. I`ve used Liquid Glass and Kamikaze..both products work and apply good. Key note here is they only protect the finish. To get a killer finish you must have a quality paint finish and properly buff and polish before you seal it.This guy obviously spent some big bucks at the paint shop.

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