SHERIDAN — Along with dozens of special classic and vintage cars on display this weekend at the Sheridan Karz Club Rod Run Show, will be a one-of-a-kind truck that the owner says every Sheridan resident can appreciate.
The “Heroes Truck,” a custom configured and hand-painted 2005 Chevrolet Silverado, features detailed, painted scenes honoring military and public service officers.
Creation of the rolling piece of artwork took more than 50,000 hours of labor and five years to complete.
“It’s a tribute to our servicemen, wounded warriors, firemen and policemen,” owner and Casper resident Kent Lundine said. “Nobody in Sheridan has ever seen anything like this, I guarantee you!”
The truck was developed and built by Dale Ison, with artwork by well-known airbrush artist Mickey Harris of Tennessee, but after running into financial difficulties, he put it up for sale at the Barrett Jackson Auction in Phoenix, Ariz., where Lundine purchased it in 2012. Lundine collects classic cars as a hobby and saw the purchase of the truck as a unique opportunity.
“I don’t know how I ended up with it!” he said. “I collect cars and I was looking for some other cars. This came up and I talked to the guy and know a little bit about the history of the truck. I thought it was well worth the money.”
Lundine said it is difficult to describe the result of the work and effort that went into the truck. Every surface, including the interior, is covered with various patriotic, military and historic scenes.
“On the truck there is everything from Washington crossing the Potomac to Einstein to both Bush presidents, Lincoln, and the monument at Devil’s Tower,” Lundine said. “The Vietnam Wall is painted on there with a fellow holding his hand against the wall with a ghost soldier holding his hand back from the other side. The Twin Towers are painted on the back. The famous (WWII) picture of the sailor kissing a nurse is on the side. There is Colin Powell and Martin Luther King. All these faces you can recognize, the artwork is phenomenal. All the different war campaigns are represented — the Korean War, MacArthur, Eisenhower, Pearl Harbor. I see new things on it every time I look at it. You sit and look at it and you just keep on looking.”
Though the truck can be driven, it is transported primarily in a 45-foot enclosed trailer, which also has intricate artwork. It took 3,800 man hours and more than a year to paint.
“It all blends in together,” Lundine said. “It is hard to explain. It is wild. How they came up with this, I don’t know. They have some wild imagination, these guys. You will see all kinds of stuff hidden in the rocks and clouds, hidden ghosts and figures in the scenes. It is amazing how they do it. It looks like something that should be in a Harry Potter movie. It will touch everybody from kids to older people.”
After his purchase of the vehicle, Lundine was approached by a representative from the Wounded Warriors Program and asked if he would consider donating the vehicle to the group. He readily agreed and the truck will transfer to the Wounded Warriors program at the end of the year, making this weekend’s visit one of the last chances Wyoming residents may get to see the truck in person.
“No, it wasn’t,” Lundine said about whether it was a difficult decision to part with his new purchase. “I thought that would be a good thing to do. I just believe in supporting them (service members), especially the Wounded Warriors.”
The truck will go on tour across the country next year, accompanied by two soldiers, and raise money for the Wounded Warriors program. At the end of the tour, it will again be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to support the program.
The truck and trailer will arrive in Sheridan early Saturday morning and be on display throughout the day on Main Street. Lundine will also bring two other classic cars to enter in the weekend’s competition, hoping to defend his title of “Best in Show” from 2012.