Representatives of New Paris, Ind.-based commercial vehicle builder Turtle Top and management personnel from Freightliner Custom Chassis Corp. (FCCC), Gaffney, S.C., did some serious tailgating prior to last Saturday’s (Oct. 3) Notre Dame-Clemson NCAA football game – a game that, unfortunately, resulted in a 24-22 loss for northern Indiana’s revered Fighting Irish.

“We’re standing in this picture in front of Turtle Top’s special Customer Appreciation Command Center, an amazing custom-designed tailgating trailer built by Turtle Top that’s equipped with it’s own bathroom, dishwashers, refrigerators, air conditioners, heaters and awnings all around,” reports one of the ND-Clemson gamers, BJ Thompson, president of BJ Thompson Associates based in Elkhart, Ind. “It had two generators, storage for food and beverages of all types. They (Turtle Top executives) carried with them their own self-contained deep fryer along with the grilling apparatus.” In fact, according to Thompson, that tailgating machine, along with the “fantastic” pork burgers, deep fried pickle chips and spiral potatoes cooked in it, was one of the high points of the day – certainly outweighing the game’s results, in Thompson’s view, as well as the threatening offshore weather posed by Hurricane Joaquin.

“Yes, there were quagmires in the grass parking lot,” recalled Thompson. “But the tailgate was successful, and enjoyable, I might add. Hopefully, they’ll (the Irish) do better today against Navy in South Bend.” In the photo (from the left): FCCC Director of Sales Tony Sippel; Thompson; FCCC Sales Manager, Commercial Bus, Ivan Roberts; Turtle Top Director of Manufacturing Matt Sausaman; FCCC Product Manager Gordie Taylor; Turtle Top CFO Tom Craig; Turtle Top President Rob Cripe and Turtle Top Director of Sales Timm Bledsoe.

by Sherman Goldenberg, RVBusiness