By Larry LeMasters Note: This feature is in the Sept. TT&C 2015 issue.
Pink Peterbilt 379 pulling a chrome food grade trailer that Clyde customized with stainless stack extensions, stainless exhaust cover, bow tie visor, Texas flat bumper, stainless half fenders, added teeth bug screen, Peterbilt emblem hood vents, chrome top on sleeper and black CB antennae. The black 379 Peterbilt is pulling a chrome refrigerator trailer that Clyde also customized. Photo courtesy of Sharon Pire.
Peterbilt 379 breast cancer awareness truck pulling custom B train trailers. Clyde built this truck for his wife, Jennifer, modeling it on the full-size truck she saw at the Mid-America Trucking Show in Louisville, Ky. Photo courtesy of Sharon Pire.
Red-and-black striped Peterbilt 379, pulling an East dump trailer. Clyde customized this model with a stainless steel bumper, rookie bars attached to bumper, red CB antennae with white tip and stainless half fender and visor. The black Peterbilt 379 TMC Transportation model is pulling a customized step deck flat bed with a steel I-beam load.
Clyde Coffey of Livingston, Tenn., has only built one truck diorama—to honor the memory of his grandfather, Clyde Cantrell, whom he called “Pa.” Pa recently passed away, so Clyde was eager to share some stories about him. “Pa drove trucks, hauling cattle primarily. Some of my earliest and fondest memories were riding with Pa. I rode shotgun on nearly every run he made to Memphis. Riding with him, I naturally fell in love with semitrucks,” he said. Pa always found time for Clyde, so it just seemed natural for Clyde to dedicate his first diorama to his grandfather. Clyde built the truck diorama as a Christmas gift for Pa in 2013. Clyde wanted to include all the things that were dear to Pa, so the diorama sports a ’55 Chevy Bel Air model, a Peterbilt 359 model, and a farm scene just like the ones Clyde and Pa used to see on their road trips. Clyde added, “I tried to add a lot of detail, including the hot pink lettering of his name on the door and the teal green color on the sleeper cab. The diorama is 1/64 scale and about 1 foot wide and 2 feet long. I used cotton for smoke, toothpicks for fence posts, and thread for electrical wires. I glued dirt and sticks in place and then dull coated them to preserve them. I had some trouble building the trailer for this scene. I could not find an existing model that replicated his trailer, so I scratch-built the trailer and customized the truck by adding a stainless Texas square bumper, a drop visor, stack extensions, styrene diamond plating for a deck plate and a toolbox.” Customizing comes easy for Clyde. Following high school and several years working in a local factory, Clyde attended machine tool technology classes at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Livingston. While there, he gained the skills needed to customize and build 1/64 scale models. He completed the building construction program, picked up some supplemental welding courses and an HVAC course, and obtained his Class A commercial driver’s license. He currently works for the city of Cookeville as groundskeeper/building maintenance. Clyde has about 200 models in his collection. Most of his models are DCP 1/64 scale models. “Naturally,” he said, “I started my collection with Peterbilt models like the truck Pa had. But over the years, I’ve added many Kenworths and a few Internationals and Freightliners. I also have Top Shelf Replica livestock trailers. Of the trailers, cattle wagons have always been my favorite, but I’m quite fond of MAC half round dumps, too.”
Want to read the rest of the story? It's available in the SEPTEMBER TT&C 2015 magazine! Download here: SEPT. TT&C 2015