East Coast Savior
The 2002 Carlisle All-Truck Nationals
Mini-truckers on the East Coast have it good. They can lay claim to having one of the single largest truck shows on the planet, right in their own backyard. They don't need to travel to Florida or Tennessee to have a good time with their trucks because the Carlisle All-Truck Nationals takes place every summer in Pennsylvania. East Coast clubs such as Exclusive Styles, Low Rollers, Pebble Pushers, and Landscrapers only have to drive a few hours to the fairgrounds in Carlisle to view more than 2,000 minis, fullsize trucks, SUVs, and 4x4s spread across the grassy infield of the fairgrounds.
Mixed between all of the custom steel, fiberglass, and upholstery is a monster truck exhibition and swap meet/vendors' area with more than 600 vendors selling anything that relates to custom trucks. Factor in the option to camp-out during the three-day event or stay on the strip in a hotel outside the show grounds, and this becomes an event of nationwide appeal. What more could a mini-trucker ask for?
This is a huge event that allows cruising, camping, and will even let you show your incomplete truck without competing against the trophy takers. It almost sounds too good to be true. This year's event provided all of the traditional Carlisle activities and boasted burnout demonstrations, the Carlisle RTI ramp -- which allowed off-road truck owners to test their mini's suspension articulation -- and Meguiar's 100-point show competition for the top trucks in attendance. The lowest-truck contest was entertaining as ever, and Steve Shartz of Newfane, New York, dragged his '94 GMC Sonoma to a First Place finish.
We spent three fun-filled days eating great food, making new friends, and eyeballing the finest minis the East Coast had to offer. Next year's event, which will take place the weekend of June 27-29, promises to be even better. Will you be there?