Many of their bumpers are slammed to the ground. The paint jobs are gleaming. Some haul trailers, some pack tow hooks, others are bobtail. Some of their lug nut spikes, though usually harmless, look like Mr. Bond would use them to shred pursuers' tires.
It's the PKY Truck Beauty Championship at the Mid-America Trucking Show, where some of the most outrageous custom show trucks on the continent make an annual appearance just like they've been doing for nearly three decades now. This heaviest of beauty pageants is named for Paul K. Young, who formed the group that got MATS started in 1972.
If you can make the trip — and a trip it is, as those who've walked the MATS exhibition halls and show grounds will tell you — it's well worth it. This year, Louisville's biggest snow of the season March 20-21 threatened to muddy these beauties, but the sun appeared again last Thursday and Friday to melt most of it away and draw out an army of spectators.
Here's Fleet Owner's pass through the 2018 PKY Truck Beauty Championship, with a few looks inside the custom competition trucks. (You'll find just as much, if not more, attention goes into these big tractors' interiors as the sparkling sheet metal outside.)
Have a look and enjoy it as much as we did!