I'm tired of seeing dirty trucks at shows with the windows rolled up and the doors and hood closed. There I said it! What happened to actually washing your truck before a show? What happened to paint that you could count your freckles in? Hell, what happened to paint? Did we all get lazy? Did we all get broke? Do we not care anymore? Did we forget where we came from? What happened to opening the doors or taking the wheels off on one side to show the spotless underside? What happened in having some pride or showing off the details with a display? I'm not saying we all should build a gigantic turntable or load up 2,000 pounds of mirrors—I'm just talking about showing a few details.
Over the last several months the discussion of displays, decorations, and props at car shows have come up through several conversations with friends. As old photos from shows of the past continue to surface on various social media outlets, conversations continue to grow and sprout up revolving some of these elaborate displays that were often very common in the show scene.
Displays came in all shapes and sizes and can still be found in many hot rod or lowrider shows. It isn't uncommon to see a lowrider on three wheels with a floor full of mirrors underneath showing off the chrome. Extremely elaborate and quite costly displays can be found at such shows at the Detroit Autorama as cars compete for the coveted Riddler Award. Some vehicles in the street rod world have even been known to have custom displays made of billet and leather.
Displays varied from simple to elaborate. A simple display may have consisted of a few trophies and a photo album of the build up process scattered about. Some displays were as original as the truck itself with paint and graphic matched gas/oil/water cans. Stuffed animals often rode shotgun in a display while champagne glasses sat in the cup holders. The thing was to be creative and fun all while showing off your ride.
A show card often sat at the front bumper with the name of the truck, contributors to the build, a few specifics and some special thanks. It was like leaving a list of answers in case an attendee had questions while you left for a corndog. Maybe we should get back to those show cards as some owners tend to hide behind dark glasses and a cold beer beneath an easy up—don't be shy, get to the front of your truck and shake some hands and answer some questions. These people pay to see your ride, give them what they paid for!
Shows of the past would even award points for displays. I admit, they were tough to tote around and made for longer setups and teardowns, but to see the underside of a highly detailed vehicle was something special. You put in countless hours of detail and fab work, why not show it off?
Until next time—build it and show it.