Sunday, July 20, 2014

2014 Southeastern Truck Nationals proves that nice trucks are all over America

One of the events that I knew I was really going to miss when I moved from Kansas City to Nashville was the Midwest All-Truck Nationals. As an old truck owner, I always enjoyed the all-truck format, and the people that own old trucks tend to be fun to hang out with. My fears were put to rest this weekend when I drove my old heap to White House, Tenn., for the Southeastern Truck Nationals. This all-General Motors event had a lot of what I liked about the KC show, and I got to see a bunch of new (to me) trucks at a very nice city park. The skies were a little overcast, but that didn’t keep 85 trucks from making the show.

This 1970 Chevy CST/10 short bed really pegged the appeal-O-meter. It had everything most people want, including a 350 V8, factory air conditioning, and all the trim and full wheel covers. It was also original. I don’t mean that it was put back together original. I mean, this is all the stuff it came with from the factory in 1970. Even the Yellow Green over Dark Green paint was as-applied from the get-go. It still had a NASA Space Flight Center parking permit from Huntsville, Ala., giving us even more clues about where this truck spent its past life.

Here’s a ’67 C-10 long bed that was also surprisingly nice and original. As the first year for this series, this one has the more modern style of these trucks while still retaining some of the classic touches like the black-painted wood bed floor, which was in fantastic shape. The color was simply known as “Light Green,” which is a very pleasant sea foam green hue. And the aqua vinyl interior was just as exceptional as the rest of the truck. The only deviation from stock as far as I could see was the addition of chrome trim rings on the white-painted wheels. You have to wonder how something that was essentially designed as a work tool can be this nice after all these years.

Some of them had a slightly more modern take, including this ’68 GMC short bed. Sure, it has the large diameter Torque Thrust style wheels and hunkered-down stance, but it still retains much of its old-school charm. Under the hood you’ll notice a pristine, orange small block with aftermarket air conditioning that runs through the original dash vents. Inside, we’ve got black bucket seats and a console like what would have been in a Jimmy. I loved the chrome-trimmed pedals, and GM floor mats that were being used to protect … rubber mats. This truck took home the coveted "best of show" award. 

“Best original” went to this 1956 Cameo Carrier, one of the most desirable collector trucks of all time. Basically, Chevy took their stylish stepside pickup, replaced the rear fenders with high-tech fiberglass bed sides, and trimmed it out like a luxury car. These were the Corvettes of the truck world. This one stood out because it was largely in unrestored condition. The dings, chipped paint, and pitted chrome made this one arguably more interesting than the restored versions that you typically see. The bed had recently been restored, however, so little bits of that originality is slowing being chipped away.

They even had a celebrity in the house—at least among the truck crowd. Stacey David is probably best known for being the longtime host of Trucks!, which was a show about, um, trucks, on the Spike TV network. Now he’s on a show called GearZ, which is more of a general hot rod show on MavTV. He actually seemed like a really down-to-earth guy who genuinely enjoyed talking to people about cars. I talked to him for a bit when he was about to drive off in his big old Step Van. You can tell he’s a true car guy, because we had an enthusiastic discussion about that crappy van, a vehicle that would never appeal to a normal person.

Bullock’s Bodywerks is a local hot rod builder that specializes in custom trucks. They also made the class award trophies for this show out of things like old brake rotors, camshafts, spark plugs, and hand tools. Amazingly, the old Hover Motor Company ’63 Chevy managed to bag one of these super cool awards in the “Best Shop Truck” class. There were so many nice trucks there, I honestly didn’t think I had a chance at taking one of these home. I’m really happy that I did, though, because it might be the neatest award I’ve ever won.

There were 86 trucks at the show, and I managed to crack-off 294 pictures. As usual, you can see them in the slideshow below, or click this link for a nicer version.


  1. Hey bud,
    Congrats on the A-ward! Well deserved.
    I really appreciate your dedication to visiting even the not-so-local shows.
    Trust you and the fam truly enjoy this latest chapter in your lives, "down south, y'all"!!

  2. It was great you winning that trophy, really like your truck. Enjoyed talking to you about it and the model, great job on the site and thanks for posting the pictures of our truck! Hope to see you again at the next show.
    Gregg - SSR Fanatic