One premier model-car event in the U.S. is the Western N.N.L. Nationals, held each January in Sunnyvale, California. This one-day event is important to the hobby, as it is the largest model event on the West Coast. And as the first event of its type to exceed 1,000 cars back in the '90s, the Western N.N.L. Nationals has continued to grow in size and prestige.

The event for 2005 was held January 29th-during my tour at the registration table the entries hit 987, and that was before noon. As I began my examination of the display tables, searching for interesting models to photograph, I was struck by the proliferation of trucks this year. Even in the event theme, "1955" (anything built in 1955 was eligible for the Theme Table), there were trucks galore. Those who remembered my past column, regarding the many truck kits available, obviously paid attention-there were several very nicely built '55 Ford and Chevy trucks on display.

Of special interest were sedan deliveries. Always a favorite of mine, they are making an impressive comeback. When AMT re-released the excellent '40 Ford sedan delivery kit, it sold fairly well. Now, this out-of-production kit is bringing good prices. Several were marked over $50 at the N.N.L. swap meet.

As for color schemes and styles, scale-model builders tend to follow the 1:1 hobby. This year, greens and purples were popular. Flames, panels, blends, and scallops were the colorful graphics seen along with high-impact colors that looked great when standing alone.

One favorite was a '55 Chevy turned into a wrecking-yard torch wagon. Only the cab had faint clues of the vehicle's origin. This model brought back memories from my youth, when my friend's dad would grab something that had come into the salvage yard and use it to cut parts from. The model displayed here replicated these vehicles perfectly and demonstrated a good deal of creativity

Other sights from the N.N.L. would fill our entire magazine, and must be experienced to be appreciated. And it's not a competition! The premise is simply the display of scale models. There are a few private awards: People's Choice and a Celebrity Pick or two, but the idea is to come and show off. There's typically an overflowing 30,000-square-foot swap meet where everything from out-of-production kits to the latest aftermarket accessories are sold.

N.N.L.s are held at various venues around the country, and all have experienced remarkable growth. Check with your local model clubs or hobby shops for information on one near you. I promise you'll enjoy attending. Here's a small sample of the wonderful trucks present at this year's Western N.N.L. Nationals.