Right from birth I'm a lifelong Californian, so getting on plane at LAX and then landing at JFK, picking up a rental car, and then driving to Syracuse, New York, for the Syracuse Nationals was a real contrast compared to the West Coast scene I grew up with – a really neat contrast I might add.

The folks on the East Coast don't waste one minute of summer, so it looked like everyone with a classic truck in New York, the surrounding states, and Canadian provinces was there. The first truck owner I spoke with was a kid called "New York John," he was driving a ¾-ton Chevy Custom Camper with a radical deep chop. I was thinking to myself how this is something you'd never see in California, when the kid told me he did the chop while he was apprenticing at Gene Winfield's customizing shop outside of Rosamond, California.

The crew at Gene's gave him the "New York John" nickname. As I was walking away from John's chopped Custom Camper, it was announced over the P.A. system Gene Winfield was in attendance, and this was the third year he'd be presenting the Winfield Award, a prestigious honor that includes a $5,000 check from the car crazies at Meguiar's.

One of the things I remember the most about the Syracuse Nats was the amount of really cool classic trucks and cars from Canada that we never got to see down here in the States. In addition to Ford trucks, there were Canadian-built Mercury M-series pickups, and going back even a little further, Chevrolet was known as Maple Leaf, and a Dodge was a Fargo. If one considers just how low production numbers were for Canadian models and the toll rust took on vehicles all the way from Ontario out to BC, they'd have a real appreciation for the dedication Canadian's have to preserving the classics.

Gee, I could go on and on about all the neat things that were happening at the Syracuse Nats, but that'd eat into how many truck photos we can run, so I'm going to end it right here.

"New York John's" Winfield chopped Custom Camper … Look for a chopped overhead camper on New York John's Chevy at the 2013 Syracuse Nats.

Rick Navanchak's chopped '79 Ford flareside from Warners, New York.

There's not dent in Ed Dingman's chopped Willys pickup from Spencerport, New York.

There was a little over 6,000 '56 Ford big-window pickups produced in the U.S. It makes one wonder just how many '56 Mercury M-100 big-windows like Matt McLaughlin's were made in Canada.

In search of poolside parking, this pretty little F-1 was spotted driving around the New York State Fairgrounds the entire weekend.

Here's a shot of Mike Kelly's small-window '56 Merc parked next to David Miller's '58 Chevy Fleetside. It's interesting to note Dave's '58 was chopped by CUSTOM CLASSIC TRUCKS' former associate editor Dakota Wentz.

Jim Crombach drove his '49 Chevy tow truck all the way from Phoenix … Phoenix, New York that is.

This Omaha Orange '71 C10 hails from Gasport, New York, a tiny hamlet named in honor of a flammable coal gas spring by Amos Eaton and Joseph Henry in 1826.

Calvin Breese of Waterloo, New York, chose Orange Julius Orange for the color of his super-clean American-magged '52 Chevy.

Bruce Leyburn of Cato, New York, bought this '59 Chevy shortbed Fleetside from a guy that bought it in Phoenix, Arizona. Bruce said he drives his '59 "anytime there's no snow on the ground."

Another '59 Chevy from Arizona. Ron Copp's Klondike Gold '59 Chevy Apache now resides in Maine.

Both Canadian trucks, Phil Matthews' Campbellford, Ontario-based '67 small-window Chevy is sitting next to his buddy's '57 Chevy panel. It's interesting to note Canadians have celebrated Thanksgiving Day in October since 1957.

The amazing thing about this slightly lowered '65 Ford F-100 shortbed Styleside is it's as rusty as the devil, but there's not one rust hole visible on it anywhere.

Sexy as a pair of orthopedic shoes describes Matthew Wendt's factory V-8-powered '63 Studebaker Champ pickup from Niagara Falls, New York.

It's not a truck, but this reproduction-bodied '40 Ford coupe built for STREET RODDER'S 2012 edition of the Road Tour has been such a great car it deserves mention.

They don't get much nicer than Adam Ellis' '65 Ford F-100. If original, the V-8 emblem on the hood indicates this truck came factory-equipped with a 352. The biggest engine available in a '65 Chevy C10 was a 283.

It could have made cover! I wish I photographed Richie Ooman's '46 GMC from Kingston, Ontario, for a CLASSIC TRUCKS feature.

Plentiful polished aluminum diamond plate and white-letter tires distinguish this pre-War Dodge from Ontario.

This chop-top '94 Ford F-150 shortbed Styleside proves there's more than one way to clear a low bridge.

Nothing makes for a grumpier-looking Hot Wheels-style pickup than this '57 Chevy low-cab forward from Union Vale, New York. For expanded photo coverage of the 2012 Syracuse Nationals please check out www.classictrucks.com.