With more than two dozen awards handed out in pickup, van, panel, and delivery categories, the Grand National Roadster Show is a truck-friendly event and, as you can see, the custom classic truck participation is excellent and diverse.

At this year's 61st annual GNRS, many of the most impres-sive vehicles in the prestigious main hall were trucks. We don't really expect a pickup to win America's Most Beautiful Roadster, the top prize at the Grand National Roadster Show. Andy Brizio's "Instant T" was the last AMBR winner with a bed; that was 40 years ago. The George Barris-built "Ala Kart" pulled it off two years running, back in 1958 and 1959-and took another stab at winning the big trophy in 2008.

This time, Don Smith's glowing gold, traditionally influenced '32 represented the truck segment by earning a well-deserved spot among the finalists for the AMBR trophy. In addition to Don's RPU, the most prominent truck-maybe the most prominent vehicle-in the main hall was George Poteet's jaw-dropping '32 Ford pickup, influenced by Harry Miller's early race cars.

We didn't have to look far to find more great trucks in the Los Angeles County Fairplex's hallowed main hall, or in the eight other exhibit buildings that constitute the indoor portion of the GNRS. In addition to those participants, hundreds more showed up for the weekend to participate in the "Grand Daddy Drive In," the "show outside a show" that happens outdoors on the pavement between the buildings.