Beauty and the Bighorn
April 15, 2011 | by: Lucinda Coulter
Regina Meredith has been compared to the world’s most glamorous women, she was the first female broadcaster to co-anchor a network pregame show and, perhaps most important to truckers, she graced the hood, the cab and the fenders for beauty shots of the Dodge Bighorn, made from 1973-1975.
Promoting Dodge, Meredith (then Haskins) also posed for Overdrive’s May 1973 issue, shortly after Chrysler Corp. introduced the Bighorn. The rig she posed with is now being restored by Tony Youngblood, who has earned the moniker Mr. Bighorn from buddies, his son Kyle Youngblood says. Only 261 of the rigs were made during their two years of production and about 120 remain, “in collectors’ hands,” Kyle says. He administers the Dodge Bighorn Facebook page and the website, olddodges.com.
Unlike the Bighorn brand, the beauty is still going strong. Meredith’s early career stint as a model for Dodge happened because the right guy saw her picture at the right time, she says. She’d modeled for trade shows before, and a shot taken of her with a heavy-duty Chrysler ended up on the public relations’ director’s desk. He was impressed with shots like the one below, courtesy of Chrysler, with white go-go boots, yellow hot pants and a striped sweater Meredith remembers purchasing in Italy. Then only 21, she was wary of being immersed in the male dominated trade until her work started.
“It was a fabulous contract,” Meredith said in a telephone interview from her northern California home. “They paid us well. And everyone was very kind and very respectful, all the way from truckers to executives.”
In 1977, she co-anchored the NBC pregame show, “NFL” (formerly named “GrandStand”) with Bryant Gumbel. She missed California, where she grew up, and returned there to anchor local television news in Sacramento, Calif. By the late 1990s and early 2000s, she was producing shows for the Public Broadcasting Station and hosted the cooking show, “Regina’s Vegetarian Table.” For more than five years, she and her husband, Nic Meredith, have produced shows through the Conscious Media Network, the couple’s internet based venture. The site includes news and interviews on health, science and spirituality, among others.
Her advice about understanding a complex world is simple: “Having an open mind and listening to your heart” are important, she says: “Always listen your deepest feeling first, and unless there’s a plausible reason to say ‘no, then say ‘yes.’”
Meredith still appreciates the trucking community. She says that truckers have a quality many other professionals envy: “There’s something to that feeling to be free. It’s tantamount to a trucker to being a modern day cowboy – It’s a matter of following your dream.”