Tow-Mater eat your heart out! This dude was the talk of the night at the Saturday night sh
Oftentimes, we try to come up with some clever, witty, and sly remark to paint a picture with words, but more times than not the same ol' clichés weasel their little heads into the picture. No matter how hard one tries, at some point it's time to give in and accept the unavoidable and stick with what works; with clichés being what work. We've said it before, and we'll say it again, when it comes to the titles of shows across this vast country, don't judge a book by its cover. Just because the name of the show may imply that the show is catering to a specified genre, the truth of the matter is what lies behind those spectator gates is much like ABC's Wide World of Sports, an immense variety.
When it comes to the KKOA (Kustom Kemps of America) Leadsled Spectacular, in Salina, Kansas, we can see why folks, mainly truck folks, may be confused and steer clear of the event. But the cold, hard fact is that leadsleds only make up for so much of the Salina Spectacular. The rest of the field stretches from hot rods to street rods to resto-mods to ... yes, you guessed it, trucks. Trucks of all shapes, sizes, genres, swagger, and so on and so forth crowd Thomas Park, home of the Spectacular. Luckily for us we had our lenses locked, cocked, and ready to rock while we attended the 29th annual event over the July 23-26th weekend.
Before we get to the vintage iron at hand, first we need to say a few words about what makes the KKOA show, well, spectacular! (Once again, why fight it. Give in to the dark side already.) For starters the show opens up Friday for registration, and right from the get-go the action begins. Each year famed customizer, Bill "The Leadslinger" Hines and hired gun Brad Masterson, begin chopping a vehicle smack dab in the middle of the shindig (this year the donor car was a '46 Ford coupe). Spectators, exhibitors, vendors, and innocent bystanders get to prop themselves up in bleachers for front row seating to watch the lid of a car get lowered. At 6 o'clock the show moves across town to an abandoned airstrip for some "Run What Ya Brung" heads-up drag racing (unfortunately a bit of car trouble kept this lens from attending Friday night's extravaganza), which is complete with a state-of-the-art flag man Christmas tree and two official line judges an 1/8-mile down the way. The best part is the drags are open to all vehicles registered in the show. No tech inspection, no driver's training, no classes, no safety Nazis ... basically all that's needed is the know-how to mash the go pedal.
Continuing on to Saturday the show is filled with over 1,000 vehicles in attendance, numerous bands performing, vendors hawking anything and everything, pinstriping, and meet-and-greets with some of the biggest names in customizing. This year included George "King of the Kustomizers" Barris, Darryl "The Bubble Top King" Starbird, Bill Hines, John D'Agostino, and various other top-notch craftsmen. Come Saturday night a good majority of the show migrates over to the host hotel, which is conveniently located a stone's throw from the venue, for more or less a massive parking lot ho-down. Amid all that, Jerry Titus (Founder of the KKOA and show promoter) holds a Johnny Carson style Tonight Show at the motel Saturday night where he interviews famed builders and various other folks, which once again is open to all registered vehicles. All in all, the Leadsled Spectacular is a cavalcade of good old down home car show fun in every way, shape, and form. When the show closes down Sunday afternoon there isn't a disappointed attendee in sight, due to the fact the Salina show is every bit of the word spectacular. For info on next year's go-around, log onto to www.kustomkempsofamerica.com.
Tom Pagano's '53 F-100 had us hook, line, and sinker the minute we crossed eyes. Come to f
Scott Piffe really nailed the look with his '60 Ford by coating the exterior in suede blac
In the world of trucks, we're pretty sure this is the definition of tall, dark, and handso
Anyone for Tiki's? Tiki artist Paul McNutt was hard at it all weekend long with his chains
Apparently vintage tin with matching make late-model drivetrains is the hot ticket. Raylun
We think we have a limbo winner folks. Jared Duerksen's '82 F-100 is as slammed as Lindsey