King of the Kats
Story & Photos by Jason R. Sakurai
In the history of hot rod shows, trucks were at first limited to those based on A’s, T’s, Deuces and competitive makes and models to fit a certain pre-war time period, just as the same criteria was applied to cars. It took Goodguys’ founder, the late Gary Meadors, to broaden the scope of what constituted a hot rod and take the risk of alienating or infuriating some traditional hot rodders by including trucks up to 1972 (and later through the ‘80s), thus ensuring truck owners and enthusiasts had a place in their events and felt welcome. Subsequently, other promoters and associations bowed to pressure from vehicle owners and sponsors, restrictions were eased somewhat, and more trucks were allowed in once the other hot rod organizations realized pre-war hot rod owners were aging along with their rides, they were losing business to Goodguys, and fewer ‘real’ hot rods were being built.
Fast forward to the present, and the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup, where a plethora of trucks of all descriptions congregated at the 31st Goodguys Pacific North West Nationals, an annual gathering of epic proportions. One of the largest events in Goodguys’ 35-year history, the number and variety of trucks is staggering, with over 2,500 vehicles from all across the U.S., and a good number from western Canada. Hard to imagine what a hot rod show was like without trucks, isn’t it? Unlike previous years when rain was a factor at least one or more days during the show, this year it was dry throughout, making for near-perfect conditions. Capturing the essence of trucks in this area of the country was the goal, and without further ado, here’s what we found.