The resort town of Panama City, Florida, is already known for its beautiful beaches, sunny skies, and Spring-Break action. Add a huge collection of custom trucks to the mix and you have the perfect party combination. Vital Signs Car and Truck Club has been creating its particular brand of weekend fun for almost a decade. This was the organization's 15th year together as a club and ninth annual Spring Fling. The mid-March event attracted vehicles from throughout the Florida Panhandle, as well as truckers from Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia, the Carolinas, and more. All arrived for the weekend get-together ready to check out the huge collection of custom rides that always gathers at this event. More than 550 show vehicles joined the party this year in the Frank Brown Park, just a few minutes drive from the sandy beaches of the Gulf of Mexico. With more than 30 acres of grassy display space, everyone had plenty of room to examine the collection. Judges were active all day Saturday, evaluating the contenders in 40 classes. Spectators checked out vendors row for the latest accessories to beautify their trucks, watched or participated in the double-points IASCA competition, and swung by the food court when tanks were running on empty. Live music played throughout the day, the Hawaiian Tropic girls signed calendars for their fans, and the famous Panama City club scene kept the party going late into the night.

Sunday activities began with an auction of donated automotive parts that raised several thousand dollars for charity. The crowds were also entertained by the air-hopping S-10 from the guys at Gauge. Of course, the bikini contest also got the crowd's attention, just as the $1,500 in prize money got the attention of some of the South's hottest chicks. All were eager to leave the show with a few extra bills tucked in their bikinis. Most of the digital cameras in the crowd were smoking before the ladies left the stage. The awards ceremony sent more than 130 drivers home with trophies from the event, and the staff saved the best for last. Best of Show truck honors went to Russell Estes and his beautiful '01 Chevy fullsize. Loaded with an elaborate stereo in the Extended Cab, a reworked bed, lots of horsepower, custom paint, and big rims, this truck had it all.

If you'd like to be part of next year's fun, check out www.springflingcarshow.com for details, or call Vital Signs President Doug Augustine at (850) 258-407. The show is not only a good time (with even bigger things planned for next year), but it's also a good cause, since profits from the show are always donated to local charities in the Panama City area. Vital Signs has already donated thousands of dollars to the Boys and Girls Club of Panama City Beach, the Cops and Kids Program, and the annual Toys for Tots. Put this good show/good cause event on your 2006 calendar now.