Don't let the scary title fool you. This event is 90 percent fun, and it has become one of the largest club-sponsored events in the Sunshine State. The February Blooddrag gets the season rolling for lots of drivers in the East, some arriving with evidence of snowstorms still hiding the shine on their custom paint. The car washes were busy in West Palm Beach, but the sparkle returned quickly as Northern drivers detailed their rides and stashed their parkas behind the seat.
While the event may be 90 percent fun, the other 10 percent reflects a sobering point in the club's history. Blooddrag started six years ago to assist a club member with life-threatening injuries from a motorcycle accident. Members and friends donated blood, and the initial event raised money for medical expenses. Their efforts helped speed his recovery and the show became an annual event the following year. Those first years, the percentages were reversed, with just enough fun involved to call it a show. Now with everyone healthy, this bad turned good experience has reversed again, with fun now dominating the event. The club still maintains a category for the Most Club Donated Blood as part of its historical awareness and community ties.
The South Florida Fair Grounds in West Palm added to the entertainment with its sprawling facilities capable of containing this year's thousand or so vehicles, while still offering plenty of spread-out room. Rolling stock of every size and description provided a treat for the huge crowds as judges from Xtreme Lowz evaluated each one. From lowriders and Euros to slammed minis, fullsize, and lifted trucks, there was something for everyone. Lots of new trucks debuted, making it a treat for the photographers from a dozen different magazines covering the event. Dozens of ecstatic drivers left the show with visions of automotive centerfolds dancing in their heads.
Continuing those same flights of fancy, the $1,000 bikini contest, sponsored by Sassy Kat Lingerie, got everyone's attention, and you could feel the already warm Florida temperatures rise when the ladies took the stage. Fifteen Southern beauties competed for the tiara, bouquet of flowers, crowd applause, and fat check. As it turns out, the check was probably larger than the combined pieces of the winner's bikini, so you know the boys in the front row had an especially good time. Multiple bands entertained with live music, the Extreme Audio sound-off gave the stereo-types an outlet for their talents throughout the weekend, and Steve Mendez from Reds Hydraulics in Miami wowed the crowd by standing his pickup truck on its tail during the Hydro demonstration.
The award ceremony saw more than 250 trophies heading home with proud new owners. No matter what you drove, with 60 automotive classes, First and Second, Mild and Wild in each class, along with a dozen Xtreme Specialtyz Awards, your odds of packing a shiny-gold event-reminder in the pickup bed were very good. Acrophobia took home the Club Participation Award and Dave Shulman captured Best Truck in Show with his radical Catch-22, a body-dropped '98 Ford F-150.
President Eddy Cebreco and the Xtreme Lowz chapter members from West Palm Beach, Tampa, North Carolina, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles breathed a sigh of relief as the last vehicle exited the fairgrounds, knowing that they had at least a week or two of relaxation before beginning the planning phase for Blooddrag 2005. Great sponsors added to this year's success, such as Scrape-N-Customs, Tops Auto Upholstery, Drop 'Em Wear?, Godfather Customs, Line-X, Maguires, and Toyo Tires. Check out the club Web site for details on next year's event at www.blooddraginc.com, or e-mail the guys at email@example.com. We'll be lookin' for ya.