Spirit spinning

Instrumental group Mannheim Steamroller has hooked up with fictitious country singer C.W. McCall to produce a musical tribute dubbed “American Spirit.” According to their label, American Gramaphone, the disc features the first major new recordings of such patriotic favorites as “America the Beautiful” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” in nearly 30 years. It also includes Steamroller's version of “The Star Spangled Banner” and the title song, in which C.W. McCall (who in actuality is an ad exec named Bill Fries) talks about the meaning of the Fourth of July. And there's a digitally recorded new version of C.W. McCall's 1975 smash hit “Convoy” to boot. For more details, go to www.amgram.com.

Big dog day

The 2,000th Mack truck assembled at the New River Valley plant in Dublin, VA, rolls off the NRV South line on May 19th. The Vision DayCab was built for R+L Carriers out of Wilmington, OH.

“Let's get the show on the road”
— motto emblazoned on trailers of Clark Transfer Inc., Harrisburg, PA.

Beautiful beast

The animated movie was nominated for an Oscar in 1991 and the live Broadway version was up for six Tony awards in ‘94 but we think the truck and trailer hauling Disney's “Beauty & the Beast” extravaganza on its national tour deserves recognition, too. It's got to haul the show to no fewer than 26 cities this year.

Bail bonds included?

According to a report posted on USAToday.com, hip-hop mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is planning to market customized “Sean John” (named for his clothing line) Lincoln Navigators. Combs is certainly familiar with the luxury SUVs, having attempted to evade the police in a Navigator after a much publicized nightclub shooting in the Big Apple back in 1999. The tricked-out Navigators will be painted black and boast “Sean John” emblems as well as big wheels, tinted windows, satellite radios, multiple DVD players and screens, and heated and vibrating front seats. At $85,000 a copy, Combs expect to sell 100 of the modified trucks through select Lincoln dealerships.

Road trip

Peterbilt's new Model 379X, the special-edition truck that was introduced at the Mid-America Trucking Show and goes into production in the fall, is on tour visiting industry events. “The debut of the Model 379X at Mid-America generated a great deal of excitement and enthusiasm,” says Nick Panza, Peterbilt gm. “We're taking the Model 379X on tour to help spread that energy at truck shows and other events throughout the United States and Canada.” He notes that two Model 379Xs are touring, one of which is pulling a trailer with special graphics. Peterbilt will begin producing the Model 379X in September.

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