Regardless of how much you love a show, good events always seem to come and go. We're sure many enthusiasts remember an annual event that disappeared after years of money issues made the promoters conjure up new ideas to raise their beer funds.
About three years ago, a mini-trucker decided that shows should be organized differently. He decided that mini-truckers should be treated with more respect and that they should be able to have a show held on their own terms. Who better to do it than a mini-trucker? With this in mind, Ashton Harwood set out to build the framework for what would become the East Coast Nationals. Held in Richmond, Virginia, he used many of the tricks that lure mini-truckers to shows across the United States, but he made sure that he delivered on his promise of fair judging, equal treatment, and the most fun-for-all weekend he could orchestrate.
This past season, Harwood put on his third Annual event. He tried to nail down a new location for his show, but after plenty of arguing with NASCAR, he realized that, unfortunately, the move to bigger digs would have to come next year. As it turned out, he and his staff wished that their dream of moving to larger accommodations had come true since they had to turn vehicles away from the event this year for the first time in the show's history.
Those lucky enough to enter the show saw almost 1,000 custom rides, including plenty of never-before-seen customs that had all of the photographers from about five magazines jumping on top of one another to get to it first. Needless to say, there was plenty to see and do at the ECN, making it one show where you are likely to see plenty of killer rides and magazine personnel shooting for years to come.
If you're looking to make a statement with your ride and live anywhere on the East Coast, you don't need to travel to the Midwest or the West Coast (even though we'd love to see you). The ECN offers just about everything you could want in a show, including the most awesome Best of Show Award we've ever seen. The most coveted prize was a 3-foot-tall, custom billet trophy made for the event by Billet Accessories Direct of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Not to let anyone feel left out, Harwood had two of these beauties made, one for the Best of Show Car and one for the Best of Show Truck (our favorite).
For information on the next East Coast Nationals (slated to be held at the Richmond International Raceway on July 26-28, 2002), please contact Ashton Harwood at (804) 966-2043, or on the Web at www.eastcoastnationals.com.
Who Was There?
ECN's vendors included: Drop'em Wear?; Auto Add Ons; Custom Cruisin; Showcarz; Ronnie's Automotive; Pro Grafix; SugarLoaf; Hanover Tire East; Showcase Photo; Pizza Hut; The Dyno Shop; Budget Fire Extinguisher; G&T Enterprizes; Kolors Unlimited; DJ's Automotive Accessories; Line-X of Richmond; Advanced Window Treatment; and Car Toys.
Best Truck -- Johnny Ventura -- Billet trophy and $500
Best Car -- James Fitzsimmons -- Billet trophy and $500
Best Interior -- Shane Craighead
Best Paint -- Steve Smith
Best Graphics -- Jeff Zion
Best Engine -- Randy Bolt
Best Undercarriage -- Jason Fletcher
Best Display -- Derek Gilley
Club Participation -- Wicked Intentions
Longest Distance -- Larry Vaughan, from Los Angeles, California
Most Illegal Car -- Cris "Momo" Hatch
Most Illegal Truck -- Maria Clark