KEEPING THE SCENE ALIVE IN MISSISSIPPI
WHILE CRUISING ALONG the coastline of Biloxi, Mississippi, on U.S. state road 90, or Beach Boulevard as its known locally, you would expect to find large shipping ports, fishing docks and an endless number of casinos with flashy lights. With preconceived notions based on the opinions of others who’ve gone to Biloxi before, we were shocked by how clean and well organized the town was in preparation for hosting Mississippi custom truck institution Scrapin’ the Coast.
As we arrived, the first thing we noticed was all of the tall, thin road cones separating each lane, which helped in emergency situations, and a substation at the local mall that allowed police to control traffic throughout the event. Unlike other shows we’ve been to, these officers seemed to have accepted the inevitability of large events and have become a little more lenient and relaxed. There were more than a few times when we saw questionable behavior in front of the blue and they just laughed it off. After talking to a few locals, we now know that this isn’t the largest automotive event the town hosts, and the officers make sure tourist safety is just as, if not more, important as tourist revenue. The downside to the increased police presence is the lack of dragging at night, which is what made this scene unique in the first place, but obviously we understand why the city doesn’t want its roads damaged by bunch of frame-scrapin’ misfits.
With a population of around 46,000 people, Biloxi was the third- largest city in Mississippi, pre-Hurricane Katrina. Due to the widespread destruction and flooding, many locals left the city and the population decreased dramatically. Biloxi lies directly on the Mississippi Sound, with barrier islands scattered off the coast and into the Gulf of Mexico. Keesler Air Force Base lies within the city limits and is home to the 81st Training Wing and the 403rd Wing of the U.S. Air Force Reserve, which explains the countless military helicopters we saw flying overhead throughout the weekend.
When we arrived at the event on Friday, we were greeted by Greg Miller, who has been producing Scrapin’ the Coast since its inception. A promoter’s face is usually the same at nearly any event: Constant thoughts whirl throughout his head while he’s got his left hand on the steering wheel and his right hand on his walkie. After he directed us toward the desk to get our passes, we took some time to talk to a few other attendees to get their take on the event. Nothing but positivity came from everyone we spoke to, which got us ramped up for the weekend ahead.
First, we checked out the registration and drivethrough judging area, where all vehicles entering the show must register before fighting for a place inside the gates. It’s definitely a unique way to catalog all of the show entries, but it works flawlessly, and the Scrapin’ crew has clearly perfected it throughout the years. After each truck was signed up and reviewed by the staff, they were allowed to go to their pre-assigned indoor spot or find a spot outside.
WALKING THROUGH THE INDOOR AREA OF THIS EVENT IS REMINISCENT OF A FINE ART MUSEUM FULL OF PAINTED METAL INSTEAD OF PAINTED CANVAS.”
Walking through the indoor area of this event is reminiscent of a fine art museum full of painted metal instead of painted canvas. Some of the most amazing builds from all over the country attend Scrapin’ the Coast and request an indoor spot to showcase their designs. No truck looks exactly like another, but together they all fit the part. Clean, custom and cool can quickly describe pretty much every ride inside, but the outside area had a few surprises even we weren’t expecting.
The first thing we saw when we walked outside was the massive effort American Force put into its display for the 2018 event. As we’ve said before, the lifted street truck scene is expanding rapidly each and every month, which was obvious at this year’s event as well. These massive skater-styled trucks are incredibly engineered and masterfully done, but unfortunately, some of the owners are giving the entire scene a bad rap. Isn’t that how mini-truckers and frame-draggers were labeled in the beginning too?
After we ducked underneath a couple of trucks and dodged a few flyer girls, we were able to get out to the show vehicle area where the majority of the attendees were set up, or down in some cases. Bodydrops and big rims stretched as far as we could see, with a few oddballs thrown into the mix. Mini-trucks made a big push this year as well, so we tried to check out each and every one. We even saw some trophy-style trucks that were street legal and race ready. Hopefully, we can catch up with that crew later this year.
NO TRUCK LOOKS EXACTLY LIKE ANOTHER, BUT TOGETHER THEY ALL FIT THE PART. CLEAN, CUSTOM AND COOL CAN QUICKLY DESCRIBE PRETTY MUCH EVERY RIDE INSIDE …”
Throughout the weekend, we saw amazing Mississippi landmarks, ate incredible local food and spoke to some really cool truck owners, including Jason Vannatta next to his unique take on a pro-touring C-10, and Dave Shulman, the newest owner of KrewKut. Check out these pics and follow StreetTrucks online for live video taken during and after the event.