The first three days in October, we became acquainted with a small portion of the sprawling state of Texas and all of the Goodguys' Lone Star Nationals. Held within the infield of the eight-year-old, state-of-the-art Texas Motor Speedway in Ft. Worth, Texas, the venue provided an excellent backdrop for high-performance and custom vehicles up through 1972. At the Lone Star Nats, both the Truck of the Year Early (through '52) and the Truck of the Year Late ('53-'72) awards are presented. In addition to a commemorative cup worthy of any truck builder's trophy case, $1,000 in prize money goes to the winner in each classification.
Since Texas is the state with the most registered trucks in the U.S., the Lone Star state is the ideal locale to lure the best hot-rod haulers. Examples of vintage pickup precious metal (and fiberglass) were evident everywhere we walked throughout the three-day show. There were near-stock trucks that had retired Big Three autoworkers reminiscing about the good old days. For more custom-minded enthusiasts, polished billet and chrome as well as high chroma paint schemes adorned many prodigiously planned and executed pickups. Every time the ground shook and our eardrums ached, we knew we'd be treated to a drive-by from either a hotted hauleror some sort of American muscle machine. In essence, all five of our senses were entranced by custom automotive/truck nirvana the entire event.
From numerous vintage trucks, judges whittled the impressive field of entrants down to the Top Five Early and Top Five Late model pickups. On Saturday, the Truck Corral displayed all the contestants, while on Sunday the proverbial cream of the crop of custom classic trucks had both spectators and participants salivating. The Goodguys and presenting sponsor Eagle One are old hands at producing world-class events. By the start of the awards presentations precisely at 2:22 pm on Sunday, spectators, automotive journalists, and the duo of Top Five Truck contestants (or Texas Two Step, if you will) were all in suspense as to who would be doing the Texas Truck Step.
Not to be outdone by the show's producer and presenter, we won't disclose who won until you get to the end of the article, both in words and photos. That way, you can get a feel of the tension that must have been building for the pair of Top Five Truck owners. When you consider that the owners spent years of time, money, and toil perfecting their vintage custom pickups to make it this far, it's no small wonder none of the pickups' caretakers cracked under the pressure. Prior to announcing the overall winner in both the Early and Late classification, each owner was briefly interviewed. Like the Oscars or Emmys, every hot-rod hauler hobbyist mentioned they were honored to have made it to the Top Five. As you'll see from the following photos, any of the contestants in the Early or Late category could have legitimately claimed top honors. Getting to the dance and doing the Texas Truck Step is indeed the thing. Why don't you finish up that fine old Ford, polish off your sweet Chevy, make that International idyllic, shine the Studebaker, or dandy up that delicious Dodge. Make the junket to the big dance next year and compete in the Texas Truck Step. Remember your dancin' shoes for the 13th Annual affair. Until then, enjoy this year's dandies. Yee haw!