The summer brings out the best in enthusiasts. While most people are adding on to their kitchens or planting a new flower bed, car nuts find themselves sweating over trucks with beaten knuckles and “war paint,” or that grease that never seems to wash off. The highlights of summer are the shows, the trucks at shows, and the women…especially the women. This year’s Slammin’ and Jammin’ in Lebanon, Tennessee, proved to be one of the best shows yet with a phenomenal turnout for owners, trucks, and spectators. For the eighth year, the Southern Street Machine Association hosted the event at the Wilson County Fairgrounds in the heart of beautiful Tennessee. The organizer, Charlie Cobble, had been hyping the show for weeks and insisted this was a “must-see” event with some awesome cars and trucks. We arrived late Friday just as things were settling down for the night.

The old adage of there being a calm before the storm held true. Although most of the trucks hadn’t arrived yet and there were few people there, we could tell from the fenced-off space of the entire fairgrounds that this was going to be a big one. Lebanon’s not a large town and most of the truck owners shared the same hotel. Saturday morning came early. Although there were only five or six trucks at the hotel when we checked in, dozens had wheeled in overnight and were just leaving for the show. It’s always a pleasure to have the rumble of 3-inch Flowmasters for an alarm clock.

At the fairgrounds, the registration line was a few hundred vehicles deep and growing by the minute. A short walk landed us in the middle of the fairgrounds ready for the fun to start. Die-hards came early and had everything shined before the sun ever broke the horizon. One of the first trucks that caught our attention was Ron Hecht’s S-10 Blazer. While we were buried in the engine compartment looking over the Vortech Supercharger Ron had slapped on, the fairgrounds filled. There were more than 700 vehicles and four times as many people, and it was only 9 a.m.

The show kicked off with a USAC sound competition held right by the midway. More than 120 vehicles were run through Extreme Car Audio’s test booth pumping out volumes that we didn’t think were possible outside of a Skynyrd concert. Just before lunch, the burnout competition began. Fifteen trucks fried tires on a metal plate with everyone on hand to watch. It’s always hard to pick a winner of the burnout—how do you judge a cloud of smoke? It was decided that two trucks were worthy of First Place, a Dodge Ram with a brand-new set of BFGoodrich’s and a gas-mask-equipped S-10.

Following the burnout was a wedding held on the main stage. Wisely held just before the bikini competition, the marriage of Mandi and Elohi Martin went off without a hitch before hundreds of spectators. Immediately after the wedding, one of the bridesmaids ran off to throw on a bikini and compete in the competition herself. Sixteen beautiful Southern Belles graced the stage and had many drooling for more.

Nightfall brought out the neon competition trucks for a Las Vegas display of light. As the show wound down on Saturday, campfires lit up in the distance from a few of the 12 car clubs that were camping out at the fairgrounds.

The final day of the show brought out the best. The day kicked off with a full-on hydraulics competition that featured bed dancing, hopping, and all-around jumping. Of the seven competitors, five broke hydraulic lines, three caught fire, and two suffered severe body damage from flying suspension components. Judging lanes were stacked throughout the weekend for the 88 classes to be awarded. With more than 1,700 vehicles and four times that many spectators, it certainly makes the show circuit a place to be for the summer.