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April’s Truck of the Month: Some Trim You Can’t Do Without

Posted: August 1, 2014 by Peter Carter

Photos by Grace O’Callaghan.

PALGRAVE ON — This 1986 Western Star 4964 was the first truck its owner Stephen Carano of Palgrave, ON., ever drove.

He was 11 or 12 years old.

Carano is younger than his truck by just a few months. (The build date on the Western Star is Aug. 10, 1985. Stephen arrived Oct. 17.)

“Yeah, I moved it around the yard when I was a kid. That’s when it still belonged to Joe.”

Joe is Steve’s older brother by 16 years. When Joe was about 26, he purchased the truck for approximately $27,000 from a previous owner who ran for Brookfield out of Truro, N.S.

The Brookfield owner babied the rig, the younger Carano brother reports, so when Joe took delivery, the truck was in virtual mint, and Joe Carano ran it for 11 years.

In 2006, he sold it to his kid brother Stephen for $7,500. Stephen was 21.  At the time, the engine had run about 2.5 million km. “It was tired,” he says.

“I ran it every day for a year and a half and worked on it on the weekends.” He also rebuilt the engine about 200K klicks ago.

In 2008, he purchased another truck, took the Western Star off the road and made it into a project.  

And now, he’s got another show-off truck project on the go; this one a 2000 Kenworth W900L, which he hopes to drive to Notre-Dame-Du-Nord, QC, for the Rodeo Du Camion next August.

Raised the youngest of three boys on a farm, Carano says he turns his hand to virtually whatever work needs doing on the trucks, and he wants to keep the Western Star practical. Even though he has raced it and used it in the occasional truck pull, he puts the truck to work during the warm weather.

Hence the serious lack of bling, save for a few items such as stainless-visor, stainless-steel air cleaners, aluminum steps and aluminum wheels on the rear. 

Inside, he refinished the upholstery but kept the dash and controls as close to original as possible, adding only an aftermarket fuel-pressure gauge.

“I also,” he says, “added six-inch exhaust pipes. I was 21 years old. I needed six inch pipes.”

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