The inaugural O’Reilly Auto Parts Grand National Truck Show showcased more than 400 trucks, vans, and SUVs of every make, model, and style at the Pomona Fairplex in last weekend. The big prize was The World’s Most Beautiful Truck and fans went wild. Just like its sibling, The Grand National Roadster Show, it offers all the attractions of the old LA County Fairgrounds but with a bevy of custom hay haulers.
The event was organized by Rod Shows, renowned for producing the West Coast’s most extensive and longest-running hot rod shows. The Grand National Truck Show was a smash hit, with an overwhelming response from truck enthusiasts. The show featured a wide range of vehicles, including modified, restored, patina, lowered, and lifted trucks.
The show’s highlight was the presentation of the prestigious World’s Most Beautiful Truck Award to Greg Tidwell for his remarkable 1940 Ford pickup. The truck was built by South City Rod & Custom and boasts an impressive vintage-styled 450-horsepower stroker 383 engine from Smeding Performance.
We especially loved the smooth paint from South City Rod and Custom that needed no flames, devils’ heads, or anything else to stand out. The punctuation of red from the sombrero Cadillac hubcaps and the whitewalls was all the sea foam green beauty needed to pop. The execution was so smooth and flavorful, that if you wrapped it in a huge piece of wax paper, it would look like a gigantic piece of pistachio saltwater taffy.
It showcases exquisite custom sheet metal work, including a 1.5-inch chop, louvered hood, bed panels, sectioned front fenders, reshaped rear fenders, and a raised bed fitted with Claro Walnut wood. The exterior is finished with a glass-like coat of Glasurit Ornament Green paint by Compani Color.
Greg Tidwell’s truck triumphed over 17 other custom trucks, ranging from early Fords to late-model Chevys, to claim the coveted title. He was awarded a cash prize of $12,500 and a custom trophy presented by ARP Fasteners.
The event also honored Bob and Kent Matranga with the inaugural Truck Trend Setter Award for their significant contributions to the custom truck hobby. Select vehicles from their esteemed Matranga Collection were on display throughout the weekend.
The Grand National Truck Show was a testament to the perennial popularity of trucks among car fans. John Buck, owner of Rod Shows and producer of the Grand National Truck Show, loved the overwhelming response to the inaugural event. He promises to build on the inaugural event’s success and grow the show next year.
According to Rod Shows, “Bob and Kent Matranga with Matranga Collection received the inaugural Truck Trend Setter Award, recognizing their contributions to the custom truck hobby. Select vehicles from their collection were on display throughout the weekend. More than 200 trucks cruised into the Truck-In for the outdoor portion of the show on Saturday and Sunday and the weekend featured over 20 custom vans, many originally built in the 1970s and ‘80s. The popular Pinstriper Charity Auction featured some of the country’s best pinstripers creating custom art to be auctioned off for charity. Their efforts generated more than $25,000 for the Volunteers for Veterans Foundation.”