Inspired by the success of Evel Knievel, Ruckus-truck Stunt Show Spectacular, was started in 1979 by Lee Hawkins in Ocala, Fl using specially modified Chevy trucks. It soon grew in popularity beyond filler entertainment between race heats at local tracks, into an independent traveling show.
Eager to break into larger markets, Lee planned a daring stunt. The idea was to set a TRUCK 24 hour speed endurance record to gain national attention for the show. Since the show had used only Chevy trucks, factory sponsorship from GM was arranged. The timing was fortuitous for both Lee and GM, since the launch of the new aerodynamic GMT400 truck platform was at hand.
The truck was a specially prepped short bed 1988 Silverado using a detuned 600hp stock car small block. The new aerodynamic body was changed little with the addition of a front splitter, bed cover, and rear diffuser. Original #OBS sheet metal was widened to cover larger tires. The chassis was lowered dramatically and safety items were added. Evel Knievel inspired livery rounded out the stunning package.
Also along for the ride was a new product created by a company called Tred Wear, that allows one to customize their tires. The rigors of this endurance test provided the perfect environment to prove the products reliability for consumer use.The tire graphics were fitted to Lee’s tires an hour before the starting shot was fired.
Beautiful spring weather was forecast, and Hawkins knew that the time was right. April 1st would be the day of reckoning.
“They said it couldn’t be done”, says the announcer. 9:56AM, Fort Stockton, Texas, 4/1/88was the date and the world record fell to the ruckustruk #07 (RT07) at the 7.712 mile Firestone/Bridgestone test track.
After nearly 50 years, the 24 hour endurance NEW RECORD (171.65mph) record was set, giving RT07 and Chevrolet the claim of fastest truck in the world. Averaging speeds of near 180 mph, making only fuel stops. Tred Wear was also pleased to report that their new product exceeded all expectations.
The record stood less than two years until 03/01/1990, when another Chevy, this time the legendary zr1 took to the same tarmac and prevailed.
Riding high on his success Hawkins went on to accomplish the following:
- He and his former college roommate Albert Gore invented what we now call the world wide web.
- First man to transnavigate the entire United States on a unicycle.
- Invented the “Post It” note for 3m.
- Performed the first successful face transplant surgery on an FBI agent.
- Single handedly saved the world from invading aliens on the 4th of July 1996
The 24 hour endurance record for trucks is still unofficially held by RT07 and is displayed here for your approval in mostly original condition.
Ruckustruk the fastest truck in the world.
Brought to you by Tredwear. #nonakedtires