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8/5/2009 2:00:00 PM
Jefferson Monster Truck 'Crushstation' Ready To Make Debut
Crushstation puts the finishing touches on destroying a boat during her practice debut July 31. (Paula Roberts photo)
Crushstation puts the finishing touches on destroying a boat during her practice debut July 31. (Paula Roberts photo)
By Paula Roberts

Greg Winchenbach's Monster Truck "Crushstation" is turning a lot of heads in Maine, and across the country, as pictures of his lobster-looking truck begin to circulate. Winchenbach, of Jefferson, has spent the past 10 years building the truck from the ground up, intensifying his efforts over the past year and half.

The variation in spelling of "crustacean" in the monster truck's name came about because "we crush cars for a living," Winchenbach said. When he competed on the monster truck circuit, people always asked him where he was from because of his accent. When he told them Maine, they would say, "it's really cold there," and "you have a lot of lobsters."

That gave Winchenbach the idea to build a lobster-looking monster truck. He presented his idea to Broad Bay Tooling, in Waldoboro, and they went with it. A year later, Winchenbach had the shell for his truck.

Newcastle artist Glenn Chadbourne brought the shell to life with realistic painting and scary eyes. "The detail in the body really makes it," Winchenbach said. "It's an all-Maine truck. Everything was made in Maine as much as possible, although we had to buy some parts out of state."

Winchenbach got hooked on monster trucks while in high school in 1996. Dave Richards, of Vassalboro, did some training with Winchenbach and introduced him to people in the business. Winchenbach crashed in 1997 and took a few years off, before driving for "some other guys" all across the country and in Canada. "I raced for a couple other guys and drove three or four other trucks. It wasn't me. Me was to have my own truck."

Winchenbach built his automotive shop, Mountain Road Repair, on North Mountain Rd. in Jefferson, and began dreaming of owning his own truck again. "I've done it so long it's in my blood," Winchenbach said of racing monster trucks.

After wrecking his first truck by rolling it twice when he was out west, Winchenbach started from scratch. "I was doing pretty good on the East Coast, then I went west and rolled over, fixed it up and rolled over again," he said. "It was too beat up to start over. Instead of rebuilding, I decided to build a completely brand new one. It cost $250,000 plus the cost of the trailer."

He reserved one side of his shop for building the Crushstation and slowly began to assemble her. "A buddy of mine from China (Maine) helped me with the welding."

Crushstation has a 1200 horsepower, 512 cf alchohol/methanol powered Chevy engine. It has the latest shock design and other specialty features. "The body sells the whole truck," said Wichenbach.

He towed it down to Friendship Days, put the big wheels on and said, "the feedback has been pretty good." He plans on displaying it at Olde Bristol Days on Aug. 16 for the Lobster Boat races, and on the Jefferson Village School lawn on Jefferson Day on Aug. 15. Chadbourne designed a t-shirt logo, and Winchenbach hopes to have them available to sell at Olde Bristol Days.

He submitted one photo to, and they immediately asked for more pictures and want to do a feature article on Winchenbach and his "Crushstation".

The indoor race season runs from January to March, and the outdoor season starts in June. Winchenbach hopes to get in a few races before the outdoor season winds down. He is the only owner and driver of a Monster Truck in Maine.

Keeping with the lobster theme, his company name is Bottom Feeder Motor Sports Inc. "A lot of people think it's a hobby, but it's a job. You have to build 90 percent of them, that's the hard part," Winchenbach said of his sport.

Monster Truck racing has evolved since its first car crushing stunt show in 1981 with Bob Chandler. Competition is drag race style, with one truck pitted against another.

Typical racing is in a straight line, where monster trucks go over a four foot mound of dirt, drag race to a set of cars then jump over them. New courses feature horseshoe and figure eight shapes. In horseshoe shaped racing, the truck goes over a set of cars, over a bump, turns a corner, hits a second set of cars and finishes by jumping the first set of cars again.

Of his lobster truck creation, Winchenbach said, "I'm trying to represent Maine. The claws have big yellow bands. I'd like to promote someone's business on them. Go back to old school advertising. There are 65,000 people at the stadiums. I'd like to give away key chains or bottle openers" with their business logo and information on them.

"Who knows, maybe they will go home and have a special occasion coming up and look at them and say we should buy some Maine lobster. If I could get 100 out of 65,000 people to buy lobster, it would help the industry. There are 50-60 shows a year. Maybe I can get them to start buying Maine lobster and increase the price a few cents. With old school advertising I could put a name in front of them. That's my plan, to find a co-op to help me out a little bit and I'll help them."

Winchenbach is also hoping to get a contract with Hot Wheels to build a toy Crushstation Monster Truck.

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