In 1991, my brother and I got the chance to ride with my father up to Montana in the Kenworth he was driving at the time. From the sleeper section of the cab, we got to see more states than we had seen at all up to that point in time and got the very rare chance to see what Robert did day in and day out when he was on the road. I remember many things from that trip…the bag of snacks, being sleepy all the time thanks to the hum of the diesel…but one thing I remember vividly was being kind of disappointed with the actual speed aspect. I know now that back then, the company he drove for had limiters on the trucks, but I expected more from a Kenworth than the acceleration that barely rivaled the Ford Tempo we were accustomed to at the time. It sounded great, sure, and we were hauling a box of…something, but still, this was a big rig…where was the power?
I’m not saying that eight-year-old me could’ve ever seen something like this coming, because I didn’t see anything like the trucks that you’ll see here until after I was in the military and got introduced to the Bandag Bullet Kenworth in one of the first Australian burnout videos I ever watched. But I will say that this is the kind of grunt that I was hoping to see out of a fleet truck KW as a kid. Now, whether or not Dad would’ve ever done anything like this is out of the question. Robert always played it safe and sane on the roads, even more so in the trucks. But there’s a part of me that wonders if he ever did something he never told me about. Maybe he cut some donuts in the snow while waiting to hook up to a trailer, or maybe his last International was something to behold. Until then, just sit back and enjoy the stompers that showed up at the Great Lakes Big Rig Challenge. Happiness is a semi truck that’ll burn rubber like that Firebird from your high school parking lot.