Blue Star still making use of classic bobtail

December 20, 2012 By    
Robert Hobson, a Blue Star service technician, takes the bobtail to car shows throughout the country and dresses up as Santa Claus this time of year to showcase it.

Robert Hobson, a Blue Star service technician, takes the bobtail to car shows throughout the country and dresses up as Santa Claus this time of year to showcase it.

Blue Star Gas got more than 1 million miles out of the International Loadstar 1600 bobtail it purchased in 1966. Blue Star finally retired the bobtail in 2006 after 40 years on the road, but the company is getting a few more miles these days out of “Old No. 44,” as Blue Star calls the bobtail, yet in a different capacity.

Today, Blue Star exhibits its classic bobtail at industry trade shows alongside one of its brand-new bobtails to demonstrate the evolution in bobtail technology.

“Old No. 44 has served us well, even in retirement,” says Jeff Stewart, a third-generation Blue Star owner. “The truck’s longevity and performance has been remarkable.”

Robert Hobson, a Blue Star service technician who takes the bobtail to car shows throughout the country and dresses up as Santa Claus this time of year to showcase the bobtail, finds the differences in past and present technology remarkable.

“It’s interesting to see the 40-year evolution in technology when we display the classic bobtail truck side-by-side with an updated one,” Hobson says. “There have certainly been advances in convenience and safety, but not many vehicles today can match the durability and craftsmanship of this workhorse propane truck.”

The bobtail was refurbished in 2007 by JARCO, which first designed and built the International Loadstar 1600 with a propane autogas-powered engine.

Another restoration

Basin Propane Systems, based in Vernal, Utah, is another retailer with a unique bobtail restoration story. Find out how owner Scott Sowards pieced together a 1951 International truck and a 1939 Butler Corp. propane tank to create a parade vehicle that promotes his business.

Kevin Yanik

About the Author:

Kevin Yanik is the senior editor of LP Gas Magazine. Contact him at kyanik@northcoastmedia.net or 216-706-3724.

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