Trevor Gray is the first to admit there will be other, more polished pieces of vehicular art at the upcoming Smokin’ Hot Car Show and BBQ Cookoff.
He rattles off his issues with Trigger, the name he’s affectionately given his 1989 Toyota pickup.
“There are a few dings and scratches,” he said, “and some of the original pinstriping has started to peel slightly. But the interior is still good.”
For a vehicle that has been used regularly first by his grandfather, then his father and now Trevor, Trigger has become a cherished family heirloom.
Saturday’s event highlights the opening weekend of the 121st Allen County Fair. Both the car show and cookoff begin at 8 a.m. at Iola’s Riverside Park. They’re sponsored by the Iola Rotary Club.
THE MAROON pickup was fresh off the assembly line when Yates Center’s Virgil Gray — Trevor’s grandfather — bought the vehicle from a Texas auto dealer.
“It was pretty much an everyday vehicle,” Trevor said. “He pulled it behind his motor home to Texas each summer.”
Virgil kept the truck for more than 15 years before handing it off to his son, Travis — Trevor’s father.
“Dad had it for three or four years, again for everyday use,” Trevor recalled. “That’s when he handed it down to me in 2010.”
TREVOR has enjoyed keeping the truck in tip-top shape.
“It’s still almost completely original, with a few things I’ve added to change it up a little bit,” he said.
He recently replaced the entire exhaust system, while adding some cosmetic changes.
Perhaps most notable is the vinyl lettering on the windshield and back window noting the name Trigger.
“The name was just something I came up with,” he said. “Some people think I’m crazy.”
Trevor handles most of the repairs himself.
“My fiancee tries to help when she can,” he added with a laugh. “She hasn’t worked with cars too much before.”
So far, so good. Trigger still purrs like a kitten. Its 4-cylinder engine gets about 29 miles to the gallon.