According to the old proverb, good things come in threes. Now in its third year, the Southeast Showdown was all good with a huge collection of custom trucks, great weather, and the expansive facilities of the Anderson County Fairgrounds. Of course, when you add savvy show promoters to the mix, the outcome is even better. Jon and Alison Fulmer live the minitruckin' lifestyle and know what their audience wants. Both have had cover vehicles in the past, and they were hoping to debut their latest pair of custom S-10s but deadlines were just too close. Stay tuned for more on that story soon.
There were no deadlines, however, when it came to the show itself. The laid-back atmosphere and easy organization of this event are what bring drivers back year after year. More than 2,000 spectators came through the gate and 400-plus vehicles were on display, with all the pre-registered entrants scoring free event T-shirts. After checking out the rows of brightly colored rides and meeting old friends, drivers and spectators were treated to scheduled activities that began with the Saturday afternoon bikini contest. Ten of the area's finest ladies looked to take home the cash and seriously entertained the crowd in the process. The Stereo Sound Off followed with audiophiles lining up to crank out the baddest SPL numbers. Tint Plus sponsored the event and presented trophies to the winners.
Saturday evening continued the fun with a smokin' burnout contest in which drivers fried their tires for the crowd's enjoyment. Each contestant started out with a simple burnout and progressed to some truly impressive freestyle doughnuts. Many of the drivers were so enthusiastic that they disappeared in their own smoke. The railin' contest followed and even though a light rain fell, minitruckers lit up the night sky with an unending shower of sparks. The rest of the Saturday night fun came courtesy of the boys from Drop Jaw, known throughout the Carolinas for their evening entertainment. Mike and Glenn Pilgreen hosted the event with Mike as emcee. Under the covered pavilion of the fairgrounds, the crowd enjoyed the Big Belly Dance Off, Boys Versus Girls Beer Chug (and the girls won!) and a wet T-shirt contest that rounded out the late-night fun. The after party continued well into the evening and camping onsite made it a short trip home.
Arriving at the show from around the country, the huge team effort from AcrophobiA got everyone parked and all the cars judged for the Sunday afternoon awards ceremony. Drivers in 80 different classes took home 269 trophies along with several specialty awards, which went to the top customizers. The happiest of this year's group was Greg King from Hickory, North Carolina. His '94 Toyota pickup truck was slammed on 19s and boasted about 70 different shades in the paintjob. The concave diamond-plate bed made it even more distinctive. For his creativity, Greg took home the Best Mini Truckin' Trophy and $250. The Mini Truckin' Editor's Choice went to Lee Farmer's beautiful '86 Mazda B-2000, our June '06 cover truck. Lee also captured the Best Interior Award. Craft Motorsports added $500 to its treasury, capturing the coveted Club Participation Award with 34 vehicles.
In a somewhat more solemn vein, John Jackson, president of the North Carolina Chapter of AcrophobiA, presented a pair of memorial awards commemorating two fallen club members, Danny Rowe and Paul Bullis. As the festivities came to a close, Jon and Allison continued their tradition of personally thanking drivers as they left the fairgrounds, wishing them a safe trip home. New for the 2007 event is the $1,000 Best Debuting Truck Award. If you're building something new, bring it out to the Southeast Showdown. If it's the best, we know the extra cash will put an ear-to-ear grin on your face and we will have our cameras ready!
If you'd like to learn more about this late July favorite, check out www.southeastshowdown.com for details. The dates are July 20-22, 2007. The Fulmers are already working on next year's event, adding twice the indoor space and a host of other activities. Special thanks to this year's sponsors, Allgood Wheel and Tire and Tint Plus, along with Gary's Custom Cable.