I've always loved the Nats, and since my first Nationals back in '76 (in Tulsa, Oklahoma) I've done my best to make the show every year I possibly could. But, I have to admit that this year's gathering was a milestone to say the least, and what made it such was the fact that it was, for the first time, open to post-'48 vehicles! That's right! Finally we classic truckers with post-'48 pickups have a brand-new venue-one that consistently draws anywhere between 8,000 and 12,000 entries each year. (For those who've never attended, it's huge. Imagine over 300 vendors spread throughout 500,000 square feet of indoor exhibit area on top of the acres and acres of aforementioned cool cars and trucks on display).

In the past, the association's strict pre-'49 year cutoff pretty much disqualified a large portion of the truck contingent. Sure, there has always been a pretty darn good turnout of street rod pickups ('27 to '40), F-1s, and, of course, '47-48 Chevys but, in all honesty, it's been mainly the domain of street rods for the 50 or so years it's been held. But, as I said, this past season the NSRA has opened up the year break for the Nats up to and including 1980! Finally classic truckers and their pride and joys had the opportunity to be a part of one of the biggest and most fun events in the hobby, and though the classic truck turnout was larger than any previous gathering I'm hoping that the Nats will become a premier classic truck destination in the future.

That said, I wanted to give you a peek at some of the pickups that were there this past August to give you an idea of what's in store for those who add the NSRA Nationals to their event calendar in 2011. So take a look at a fraction of the pickups I ran across this past season, and then please consider making the Nats one of the events you choose to attend this year. Believe me, if you've never been it'll be an experience-show up once and you'll be hooked!

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