TWENTY-three year old Joseph Inserra had spent all Saturday washing, cutting and polishing his pride and joy, a mint 1995 Kenworth T900 with 14 litres and 600 horses of Detroit's finest under the bonnet.
The reason? Joe was off to the Alexandra (Victoria) Truck Show the next day to vie for top honours against other trucks in this annual Pride and Polish showdown.
In the wee small hours of Sunday, Joe headed off from his Sunbury home to gain a coveted Main St spot.
As winter in Victoria would have it, the rain belted down and by the time he arrived at 5am, the Kenny was covered in water and mud.
"I had a hose, but no fitting," said Joe.
"So I scouted around town to find one. I was giving up hope when I spied a hose reel neatly wound up in someone's front yard. With silent apologies to the owners, I nicked it!"
Joe's crime paid off because at 4.30pm his Kenworth won, not only best in its category, but also Truck of the Show.
"I only bought the truck off dad recently. He'd entered it in many competitions but had always come up just short of taking out the big one. He was constantly improving on what was always a beautiful rig and it's finally paid off - FOR ME!"
Dad, Domenic, didn't mind in the least.
"It's fantastic that Joe's won. He's put as much work into the truck as I have . As far as I'm concerned it's all in the family and I'm really proud of the effort he put
in to get it ready for today's event."
The Alexandra Truck, Rod and Ute Show this year attracted 147 entrants in the truck section alone.
From its origins 16 years ago when it took up only half of the 700 metre main street, the show now stretches for well over a kilometre and spills out into the side roads as well.
An estimated crowd of 12,000 turned up on what finally turned out to be a beautiful winter's day to see everything from log trucks, that had no right to look as pristine as they did, to makes and models of every description.
Major sponsor Adtrans arrived with a magnificent old Peterbilt and a fully refurbished trailer (lounges, fridge, beds, TV's, desks, computers, etc), that had been a mobile library in a past life.
Sales Director Dave Larson: "We get involved in a number of shows in NSW and Victoria, and with our new outlet in Brisbane we'll look for opportunities up there as well.
"Given that the staff put a lot of time and effort in, it only seems fair that they can do it in some comfort. It's also a great billboard for the company and for our favourite charities, Kids With Cancer Foundation and Kids with Autism."
For those who don't wish to freeze on this, the official opening of the snow season, Alexandra was a fantastic place to head to on the Sunday of the Queen's Birthday weekend.
PS: Joe returned the hose fitting to its rightful owner who is none the wiser of the part they played in his success.
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