Aerodynamic … and cool

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We wanted to show that aerodynamic trucks can be cool, too.” –James Carello, general manager, Regional International dealership

To call “Mayhem” and “Bad Habit” eye-popping show trucks is an understatement – a BIG one.

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Yet these products of extreme imagination of Jim Carello and son Jason – dealer principle and general manager, respectively, of Regional International Corp., a chain of Navistar truck and Jerr-Dan equipment dealerships in upstate New York – aren’t just vanity projects. They were designed to prove a point – that aerodynamically-shaped trucks can be just as far-out and glamorous as any rig with a square hood, if not more so.

“Sure, we went to extremes, but we wanted to show off the possibilities,” Jason Carello told me by phone. “Because we believe the aerodynamic truck model – with its fuel economy advantages – is the wave of the future.”

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Headquartered in Rochester, NY, Regional originally started out in 1983 as Malcuria Brother Motor Truck Corp. under principle Sam Malcuria, who then sold it to a group of eleven investors in 1989 – the lead investor being Jim Carello – that renamed the company and expanded it to serve the western part of upstate New York along with five northern counties in Pennsylvania.

The genesis for these one-of-a-kind trucks came from Jim Carello’s desire to bring his enthusiasm for hot rods and motorcycles into the truck world – but not just as a hobby. In particular, he wanted to show the truck buying public that “aerodynamic” tractors – the kind favored by fleets for their fuel-sipping sleekness – can pack just as much “wow” factor punch as their classic, square nosed brethren.

“Our primary goal is obviously to promote our dealership, but what we also really want to do is show truckers out there that you can do just as much customization to an aerodynamic tractor as you ever did with a classic model,” Jason Carello told me.

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“Mayhem” (at right) is built off a Navistar International ProStar tractor – touted as the most fuel efficient truck in the company’s lineup – with a wheelbase stretched out to 340 inches and powered by a 500-hp Cummins ISX with a 13-speed manual.

Customized by Elizabeth Truck Center in Elizabeth, NJ, over the space of six months last year, “Mayhem” is as tricked out as you can get, with 8-inch chrome exhaust pipes, Lamborghini-style doors, cut-out wheels, and a 6,000 watt stereo system, among many other customized features.

But when the Carello family got wind of Navistar’s new aerodynamic LoneStar tractor, designed to appeal for the owner-operator market, so they decided to get one and perform work it over as well for the very same reason – showing off the “cool” factor of aerodynamic designs.

Dubbed “Bad Habit,” this LoneStar truck mirrors a paint scheme used on one of Jim Carello’s custom motorbikes. With a wheelbase stretched out to 315-inches, powered by a 600-hp Cummins ISX and equipped with an 18-speed transmission, “Bad Habit” took Elizabeth Truck Center four months to create – arriving at the Mid America Trucking Show this year for its grand debut with the paint almost literally still wet.

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James Carello said he’ll be taking both trucks on tour this year, from June through December, to participate in a bevy of show truck competitions from coast to coast this year shows – with “Bad Habit” mostly towing “Mayhem” across the long miles of the U.S. highway system.

Though it’s going to probably be a grueling adventure at more than one point [but not all uncomfortable, as the interior of "Mayhem" at left reveals], Jason Carello told me he can’t wait to see what the reaction is going to be to these trucks from the public and drivers alike.

“We’re excited at how these trucks turned out,” he said. “Now we get to find out what everyone else thinks about them.”

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