The Parts and Cash Summer Bash in Wilson, North Carolina, marks NAPA's first entry into the custom-auto show circuit. The nationally known auto parts retailer teamed up with Jaw Dropper Promotions to create its opening show -- a big-buck give-away that sent lots of drivers home with a bunch more cash than they'd started with. Competitors registered at 57 NAPA stores throughout North Carolina, and the top vehicles qualified for cash and prizes worth $12,500.
Held at the Wilson County Fairgrounds, the show was the first in a 10-city tour and points championship sponsored by NAPA, with huge NASCAR-style cash payouts going to the series winners. Show promoters Glenn and Mike Pilgreen were the perfect choice to head the promotion, having literally grown up in the car- and truck-show business and well-known for their multiple annual events in the Carolinas and Virginia. Their reputation for producing wildly entertaining shows, combined with the opportunity to win big cash, drew some of the top trucks in the area, eager to prospect for their share of "gold." Spectators enjoyed the opportunity for a close-up view, as hundreds of quality vehicles poured into the fairgrounds. They also enjoyed the rest of the excitement, including club games, a USACI triple-points stereo competition, hydraulics, a slammed-truck competition, 132 show classes, magazine coverage, low entry fees, and more. They also enjoyed the view when the bikini contest started, an event made even hotter thanks to a little twist. The $500 first prize already attracted quite a few of the area's finest ladies, but NAPA sweetened the pot by adding a four-day trip to Cancun for the winner. Although Ashley Robinson from Wilmington, North Carolina, wasn't quite ready to compete (her bikini was at home), she took a pair of scissors to her jeans, and within minutes, captured the crowd, cash, and trip.
The big winners at the show took home a bit of cash themselves.
In the Expert class, Bruce Suggs' radical '40 Ford was the overall winner, taking home $2,500 in cash and another $2,500 in parts. The bright-red Downs-bodied fiberglass truck runs a badass 350 V-8 and 671 blower, which cranks out 825 hp. Second Place went to the family built CJ-7 of Jackie and Bonnie Christian, loaded with a stereo and chrome, and winning $1,000 in cash and another $1,000 in parts. Third Place went to the Flamer, the radical Pro Street Mazda truck of Barbara and Chuk Burgess, who won $500 in cash and another $500 in parts. A dozen other winners in the Amateur class also took home cash and NAPA merchandise. It's no exaggeration to say the huge 4-foot-tall publicity checks added a whole new dimension (as well as a whole lot of smiles) to the awards ceremony.
In addition to the almost 400 trophies awarded and free T-shirts given to anyone who filled out a NAPA survey, Drop Jaw Promotions also gave away $4,000 worth of Audiobahn stereo components and another $4,000 worth of MA Audio components to a crowd of spectators that was already having a good time. Add to that the late-night after-party with 40 cases of beer and 30 large pizzas, free to invited guests, and you begin to understand why the Jaw Dropper Promotions' shows have become legendary. The staff's long-running commitment to give back to the competitors has now become even bigger and better. With NAPA's backing, Jaw Dropper Promotions plans to continue its time-tested technique of squeezing more fun into a weekend then it can hold. For more information on the upcoming NAPA series, contact: Mike, (252) 258-2643; Glenn, (252) 258-2524; www.jawdropperpromotions.com.