It may be true that March comes in like a lion and out like a lamb, but we didn't see any wild felines or gentle sheep in Santa Maria, California, the second weekend of the month. There were, however, plenty of mouse motors and Rat engines!
That's right, the 21st annual Chevy/GMC Truckin' Nationals-the West Coast's largest GM truck event-moved south to Santa Maria this year, and the roar of rodent engines could be heard throughout the valley all weekend. More than 350 GM-based trucks crammed into the Santa Maria Fairpark, proving that nobody minded the move from Paso Robles or the fact that the show wasn't held on its traditional weekend, but was instead pushed up a week to March 8-10. This year also saw a renewed push to get more cars involved in the All Chevy Nationals, held simultaneously in the same location. The result: A wide assortment of Bow Tie classics and muscle cars to divert your attention when you weren't checking out the trucks.
The Chevy/GMC Truckin' Nationals has always been a fun, relaxed way to kick off the outdoor show season, and that reputation remained intact in the new locale, a city of about 100,000 residents that seems perfect for an event this size. Entrants vied for awards in more than 40 classes sponsored by Classic Parts Depot. Coolest of all was the innovative form of the new first-place trophies-Classic Coolers, which are Genuine Chevrolet ice chests with a '50s style design.
As always, the event's swap meet (open to anything automotive) offered plenty of interesting parts and even some potential projects. Manufacturer's row was also inviting, with companies like No Limit
Engineering, Classic Performance Products, Classic Parts Depot, and others offering their wares. All in all, it was a winning combination of elements-just check out the photos if you need proof. And speaking of winning combinations, show promoter Horse Power Promotions will be returning to Santa Maria August 16-18 for a Chevy/Ford Showdown in conjunction with the annual F-100 North/South event. For details on that event or next year's Chevy show, contact Horse Power Promotions (805-686-2007).