Jon and Allison Fulmer have been in the custom car and truck scene for more than a decade. They live the lifestyle and both have had vehicles on the covers of major magazines. They also think the life of a show promoter holds a special attraction. After attending dozens of shows over the years, they decided they'd like to produce one of their own.

Of course, timing is always a critical factor, and weather can determine success or failure. Their first annual Southeast Showdown in 2004 was right in the middle of one of the East Coast's most active hurricane seasons. The threat of bad weather had its effect on last year's attendance, but this year, it was a different story. The cloudless skies over Anderson County Fairgrounds were just what showgoers were looking for, and they came out to party.

Hundreds of vehicles and more than 70 clubs set up their displays for the two-day event, admiring such wild creations as Mark Bowen's 10-Door Chevy. Mark created the lifted 4x4 from three different Suburbans and, just for fun, stuffed a ZZ572 crate motor under the hood that creates more than 620 hp. Equally impressive was John Lamar's silver F-100, complete with Tangelo Pearl undercarriage and a plexiglass bed floor that lets you see it clearly. John chose a big-bore 528-cid engine, also pumping out horsepower in the 600-plus range. Sport Truck and various other magazine crews were on hand to photograph all the latest rides on display.

When you weren't looking at the cool collection of custom trucks, there were lots of other events to keep you entertained. The Saturday night after-party, held at Twisted Metal, provided bottomless beer mugs ($15 all night) and railin', in front of the shop for evening entertainment. Sunday, the stereo competition, sponsored by Rogers Stereo, catered to the audiophiles in the crowd, awarding trophies to the winners. T&D Customs sponsored the wild hydraulic contest with some truly impressive hoppers and dancers. Rodney Christiansen balanced his red and yellow, Pro Hopper-equipped Street Dancing Toyota on the edge, not stopping even when smoke and flames were obvious. Team Pro Hopper and Team Dirty South switchmen entertained the crowd and were very happy to take home their portion of the $2,000 prize.

The hydro guys weren't the only ones to earn cash at the Showdown. The bikini contest quickly became the next most popular spectator sport with gorgeous Jamie capturing the crowd, the judges, and the $100 prize. The awards presentation recognized the achievements of more than 200 talented customizers, sending them home with new additions to their trophy collection. John Lamar's Best of Show-winning Ford was a crowd favorite throughout the weekend, earning John a sweet $500 check and a collection of trophies. Of the 74 clubs in attendance, Pebble Pushers won the coveted Club Participation award and also went home with $500 for their club treasury.

Jon and Allison are planning an even bigger event next year and already have the dates- July 21-23, 2006. They would like to thank Allgood Wheels and Tires for its help and support, along with Tint Plus who sponsored the bikini contest. They would especially like to thank the supportive members of Acrophobia who arrived from up and down the East Coast to help with judging, parking, and running the show. Check out www.southeastshowdown.com for more details.

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