The automotive aftermarket industry and the shows that go with it is chock-full of friends, competition, and beautiful women. More and more, we see ladies getting into the industry and still others who show the fruits of their own labors. At many of the shows we attend, there is a good percentage of females taking trophies from the guys. On more than one occasion, we've walked up to vehicles and started talking to the guy cleaning the truck about his ride only to be informed that it was the lady working under the hood who owned the truck. Nowhere was this more apparent than at the Southern Showdown, presented by Cool Cars at the Butler County Fairgrounds in Kentucky. The grounds are located just south of Louisville, Kentucky, with plenty of hotels and restaurants nearby. This is Cool Cars' second annual show, with the number of registered vehicles doubling from last year. The droves of spectators entering the gates were quite astonishing.

Saturday was full of excitement, starting off with the Cool Cars' bikini contest that crowned a hottie named Beth from Ohio as the official Miss Showdown. After the crowd cleared the stage and the arena area, it was time for the hydraulic competition, which brought to town some of the big dogs from across the country. Cool Cars brought out its competition vehicles for exhibition only this time; they figured that if competitors were going to drive the distances from Michigan and Florida, then they can compete on their own for all the cash. Some of the competitors included Glenn Stricklin, Darian Johnson, and Jake Burton. The thrashing of pure steel and spraying of hydraulic fluid was quite a show in and of itself, but the performance Jay Marchese gave with his '88 Mazda was awesome. Jay took his CCE hydraulic-equipped Mazda and got some major air time and ended up slamming it onto its side. Once the vehicles cleared the arena, Mob Style recording artist Bukshot and his crew took the stage. The evening was full of guest appearances from many talented performers who kept the crowd fully entertained. Later in the evening came the icing on the cake: The CCE Miss Naughty contest. We don't even need to explain the rules for this competition; there were none.

On Sunday, it was time for the ever-so-familiar trophy presentation. More than 50 classes and several specialty awards meant that there were plenty of shiny show mementos to be handed out to those most deserving. To say the least, many participants left Southern Showdown with trophies. Some of the top winners this year included Edward Buerger, Matt Helson, James Reeves, and several ladies new to the scene. Watch out, guys; the ladies you brought with you to shows a few years back are tired of helping you clean your truck and are building their own these days.

For information, contact: Southern Showdown, (502) 969-7600, www.coolcars.org.