Mike Vaters sounds tired as he recounts his life story, which is understandable given the circumstances, but a little sad, since it’s pretty much the most awesome life story this side of a guy from Seal Team 6. “By the time I got my monster truck I was 19,” Vaters says, telling how he tore apart a perfectly new 1982 Ford pickup truck and transformed it—TV in the dashboard, four-wheel steering—before the wondering eyes of his father, who ran the family farm near Hagerstown and worked the railroad. “Back then he thought I was crazy to throw all this money at a vehicle… but after a while he knew I wasn’t gonna change my mind. He knew it wasn’t a phase.” And so as the truck—Vaters named it “Black Stallion”–got taller, bigger, less and less street legal, “finally he says OK, you need some tires, let’s get them.” Vaters’ dad took him to an outlet that stocked tires for a factory-farm-sized fertilizer sprayer and shelled out $10,000 for the set for his 19-year-old son. This was in 1984. A couple months later “Black Stallion” joined “Big Foot” and the half-dozen other monster trucks on tour. On Friday Mike Vaters and […]
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