Gators in the Lone Star state? In southeast Texas there are. May 2-4, 2008, marked the fifth annual Gator Drag car and truck show. This year was the Texas debut for the historically Louisiana-based event. The Montgomery county fairgrounds in Conroe, Texas, proved to be a nice inaugural venue with plenty of parking. Participants and spectators alike also enjoyed live music, a variety of food, and pleasant weather.

In traditional Gator Drag fashion, a huge number of Texas and Louisiana's finest custom cars, trucks, and bikes came out for the show. This year's show awarded top 75 and top under construction. Specialty awards included best of show car, best of show truck, best paint, best engine, best interior, best undercarriage, and club participation. This was also the first year for the "best debut vehicle" award. Competition would definitely be fierce, as the quality of rides present was amazing. The judges really had their work cut out for them this time.

Some of my personal favorites were Mike Hurley's unique 2000 Silverado, as well as Jimmy Rodriguez's custom 1995 C1500. Mike's Silverado stands out at shows because of the distinctive airbrushed rust, along with remarkable pinstriping and flames and black interior. The illusion of rust gives a more classic feel to this unbelievable truck. This ride rests on staggered 20- and 22-inch Intro Oldies and lays frame on full custom air suspension and a three-inch traditional body drop.

Another show-stopper was Jimmy's Yamaha-blue Chevy truck. It boasts an Escalade front clip with a 2001 GMC front bumper. The interior has nice upgrades such as leather buckets, a wooden center console, three 7-inch Clarion monitors, PS2, two 12-inch Fosgate Punch Subs, Boston Acoustic mids. Other noteworthy modifications include the fabrication of 2001 Escalade handles into the doors, rhino-lined full sheetmetal bed, and smoothly shaved tailgate, roll pan, and stake pockets. This sweet ride is laid out on 24-inch KMC SS wheels, wrapped in 275/30/ZR24 Dunlop S2000 tires.

The fun certainly didn't stop at the fairgrounds. After the gates closed on Saturday night, the show's promoter offered an organized cruise leading to the after party. All in all, it was an enjoyable weekend filled with top-notch cars and trucks, good friends, and great sponsors. Gator drag is definitely a "don't miss" show for 2009.

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