When it rains in Dallas, it's usually beautiful in Fort Worth. This was certainly the case for the weekend of March 4-7, 2004. After we picked up our '04 Ford F-150 Extra Cab courtesy truck at the John Eagle Lincoln-Mercury dealership in Dallas, we aimed her up the I-30 Northbound toward downtown Fort Worth just in time for a mini tornado, bringing with it several inches of rain. This was the trying start of our weekend attending the 30th Annual Fort Worth Rod & Custom Car & Truck Show.

By the way, we forgot to thank Dallas Region Ford Public Affairs Officer Harold Allen and his staff for the vehicle loan. How did he know we needed a 4x4 to get through the flash flood? He must be psychic. With local rock station KZPS cranked up, we forged past Arlington, Texas, where the clouds parted and the sun appeared.

Thursday was set-up day at the 30th Annual Fort Worth Rod & Custom Car & Truck Show. The Amon G. Carter Exhibit Hall at the Fort Worth Showgrounds was packed. However, with inclement weather conditions in surrounding counties, the entries slowly but surely came in.

By midnight the exhibit hall was packed to the rafters with 300 plus of the area's finest cars and trucks. Suffice it to say, the cleaning towels and car polish concessions probably made enough money to send their kids off to college.

All kidding aside, the Texas Show Car Association-sanctioned and Christian Classic Cruisers-hosted 30th Annual Fort Worth Rod & Custom Car & Truck Show (sponsored by Painless Performance Products) was one of the best-attended indoor events of the first calendar quarter. This is Texas, where trucks typically figure high in the equation -- about 40 percent -- and at the end of Sunday, various winners included Tim and Dorothy Cimbanin's (Cimtex Street Rods) candy tangerine Pro Touring '55 Chevrolet Stepside. So impressed were the crowd and judges that the Cimbanin's awesome angle-chopped '55 captured both Outstanding Early Truck and People's Choice. In the late-model sector, Scott Clark's Magnusen-supercharged candy pearl orange '02 Escalade/Silverado won Outstanding Late Truck honors along with capturing First Place in the Contemporary Pickup Full Custom class. This was apparently the year for orange-colored trucks. Other big winners included Ricky Sanders' just-completed '56 Ford F-100 small-window, which captured First Place in the Post War Pickup class, along with nostalgic vehicles such as Chuck Nixon's '29 Model A Ford Huckster, which won Outstanding Antique honors and captured First Place in the Antique & Restored class.

There were many big winners in the truck classes, and if we could, we'd show all of the trucks that came to show off at Cowtown. Here's CCT's hot-rod haulers at Cowtown 2004. CCT