Throwback: de Highway Hero van Auvinen

Throwback: de Highway Hero van Auvinen

Truckstars Throwback Thursday! On Thursdays we love to dive into our rich history. This time we go back six years and end up in the 2016 Supertruck Special. In it we find, among other things, the Mercedes Actros ‘Highway Hero’ from Auvinen Trucking.

This article is from the Truckstar 2016 archives. The information described and/or other items may be temporarily out of date.

When it comes to show trucks and super trucks, you don’t find many Mercedes. Why not? Mika Auvinen has proven with his Highway Hero that you can build a fantastic show truck based on the Mercedes Actros.


With Highway Hero which Auvinen launched in late 2014, he has shown that he has a keen eye for methods to win prizes at festivals and truck shows. Like a bird of prey diving for its prey, Auvinen pursues the grand prize. The bird of prey is also depicted on the front of the truck. In 2015 Auvinen won the Nordic Trophy with Highway Hero.

Highway Hero

Special Supertruck

The interior is decorated in the fifties style, note the gear lever designed to take the shape of an Elvis Presley microphone.

Mika Auvinen believes that if you are serious about pursuing your dreams, you will definitely make them come true. ‘Never give up your dream’ is written on the right rear view mirror. Auvinen admires people who do this unconditionally. Like Lisa Kelly, the female driver who became famous for reporting on her adventures on the icy roads of North America. His portrait is on the passenger side of the taxi.

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Finnish Tradition

Mika Auvinen is a transport operator from Tuusula near Helsinki. He puts all his passion, energy and money into the decoration of his truck. Every year he puts a new show truck on the road, trying to beat his big gig truck competitor, Ristimaa. And Auvinen tried to beat this in pure Finnish tradition by building as many additions as possible on, on and in the truck and spraying as much custom paint as possible on the body and chassis.

Mika Auvinen

No wonder Auvinen won the Nordic Trophy in 2015 with this truck.


Wheel arches, ladders, cladding and attachments are not standard parts, but are custom built for this show truck. The polished polished stainless steel now shines wherever you would normally find an inconspicuous air duct or matt standard joint. To give the front a more bird-like appearance, twenty slanted stainless steel frames were glued to the car, which was supposed to symbolize the springs. In addition to the sharp eyes of a bird of prey that airbrush artist Perttu Papunen has sprayed with matte paint on the center of the front, a polished beak has been added.


How did Auvinen get the idea for this truck? He said that somewhere on a Finnish highway he got the idea to give his new truck a ‘Highway Hero’ theme. He also wanted to show the relationship between his own country and the United States. It was a dreamland for him. Like Lisa Kelly, Auvinen admires Juuso Lahtinen, a Finnish racer who has fulfilled his dream of becoming a racer in the US. Juuso’s portrait is depicted on the side of the taxi driver, as Juuso quote: ‘Trucking is not a job, it’s my lifestyle.’ The large portrait at the booth was complemented by a photo of Johnny Cash and Fredrik Lundman, the Swedish singer.

Mika has spent almost a year thinking about a new truck and working on it every minute. It is estimated that he spent 1500 hours sandblasting, applying base coat, striping and clear coat. Furthermore, 1200 hours were spent on airbrushing. 1800 hours of cabin-only body and rear wall second conversion. Finally, another 500 hours were spent decorating the cabin. Electrical work, mainly for the lighting of the show, took 300 hours.

Text and photo: Ferdy De Martin