Several of my truck customizing friends have contacted me about the upcoming Mid-America Truck Show (MATS) in Louisville, Kentucky. Despite the huge down-turn in the economy there’s still a number of owner-operators and corporations who see the Paul K Young Memorial Truck Beauty Show, which is a part of MATS and a part of our own magazine’s Pride & Polish tour, as a chance to shine.
And while the snow is still piling up and winter storms push across the country, custom truck shops from coast-to-coast are secretly pushing hard to get their customer’s special custom rigs ready for their MATS debut.
I know Continental Tire and Freightliner have their rigs in the hands of the Boyz at the Chrome Shop Mafia in Joplin, Missouri, getting custom work done in time for big splashes at Louisville. The same holds true for the folks at Elizabeth Truck Center in New Jersey and Regional International in Upstate New York, each working on some really special rigs. And I’ve heard of the California customizers making a push to get some new custom rigs to the show.
Then there’s those Big Rig Build-Off guys who spend a ton of time and money going after the kings-of-custom accolades. I heard there will be at least three all-new rigs in this year’s Build-Off shootout and a number of past winners should be on display.
I can’t wait to be there as well. Attending MATS and our own Pride & Polish truck beauty show allows me to see the newest innovations and creations, and to talk in person to all those who love trucks and customizing.
I’m already cleaning camera gear and trying out some new video equipment so whatever I see, whatever I hear, can be captured and shared in future issues of Custom Rigs (and on our website) with those who didn’t have the opportunity to be there.
If you do attend the 2009 MATS, be sure to look me up so we can talk! I’ll be hanging out around the custom rigs. — Bruce Smith / Editor