This post was written by Wendy Parker.
When you think, “Truck Show,” images of gorgeous, buttery, high polished chrome and pretty iron maids in rows come to mind. You think of custom paint jobs, so beautifully intricate they belong on museum walls, with 8” stacks, stretching to touch the sky. You think of all the things old school trucking prides itself upon, but one thing you don’t think is, “Ratty.”
Everything changed at the Guilty by Association Truck Show in Joplin, Mo., with the introduction of a Rat Rod Class unto itself. Let’s just say the rat rods have my full and complete attention. And now they have a trophy at the 4 State Trucks/Chrome Shop Mafia truck show.
It’s so extra-cool to see the juxtaposition between the two definitions of “show truck” and have an opportunity to appreciate both ends of the artistic spectrum with their addition. As cool as they were, they didn’t “take the show,” they made the show better. Having a class of their own to compete in allows both extremes to shine in their own right and support one another, and I’m really looking forward to seeing the rods that will be entered next year.
And now for the things that go, “Vroooom.” Let’s talk about burnouts.
Jim Disher and the crew at Big Rig Burnouts did what they do best, and that’s torque an engine to the very edge of existence, that fine line where the turbo whistles like an unattended tea pot. They manage to release the power of giant, rubber-clad Krakens spinning hard enough to set asphalt on fire, right before imminent and catastrophic failure.
That’s right. They set asphalt on fire.
It. Is. Awesome.
It’s not just the smoke and fire, it’s the sheer beauty of raw diesel power, pushed to its very limit. It’s gritty, it’s a little bit scary, and it’s fun as heck. Hats off to Jim for another great show.
GBATS generally marks the end of show truck season, and it’s always a very positive farewell with the Special Olympics Convoy. The residents of Joplin shut Main Street (which is also Route 66) and truckers from all over the United States donate $100 each to participate. It’s not only a huge success for Special Olympics, it’s a sight to behold. 422 trucks participated this year, raising a record amount of money for charity at this annual event.
It’s time to hole up and run hard for the winter months. Spring of 2018 will bring the new show trucks and ideas to MATS, and begin the cycle all over again. It was a great show season this year, and we look forward to seeing new surprises in 2018!