Monday, 05 February 2007 04:12

Model truck customizing competition not child play

Written by Michelle DeCrescenzo
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Active ImageOnce a year, members of the East Bay chapter of the CAA hone their customizing skills and airbrush elaborate designs or conjure up creative themes to personalize identical, all-white model trucks. Done in the name of charity, the finished works -- some embellished with fish tanks, dvd players and more-- are auctioned off and the funds are donated. '



In 2006, 14 trucks were customized and $4,000 was raised. Magnussen’s Car West in Dublin, California customized the winning model. It boasted of a flawless gold and black paint job with glowing reddish orange flames that glimmered across the top of the truck. This year will mark the tenth anniversary of this event.

“When I suggested this contest almost 10 years ago, I had no idea it would grow into such a large and exciting event,” said Mike Govette, former CAA East Bay president. “Our first contest had 100 people present, which was about 3 times the size of our typical meetings. Now our bi-monthly meetings regularly reach 60 to 80 people and the truck contest has reached close to 350. This meeting showcases the positive side of the autobody repair industry, and it is still growing.”

Govette is a current board member and web designer for the association. He said he looks forward to the annual event, where three winners are chosen from the entries. The first place winner goes home with a trophy, and more importantly, bragging rights.

“The way it started, we were just going to have a little thing for camaraderie,” Govette said. Now the event has grown leaps and bounds.

Trucks are provided to any member in good standing that wants to participate. Two months later the finished trucks are put on display and bidding begins. The money raised is donated to Toys For Tots and local charities in need. At the annual meeting where awards are given, a toy drive is held and scholarships are given to several colleges and R.O.P. programs.

Recently, the Sacramento chapter of CAA held their second truck-customizing contest, and two chapters in southern California plan to hold their own competitions this year. Govette said he hopes to hold a State Championship contest comprised of the winners of the chapters.

Pictures from the previous East Bay contests can be viewed at www.ebaanow.com under the model truck customizing competition link. Those interested in hosting a similar contest may contact Mike Govette at, wgovette@pacbell.net.