There’s no doubt that Euro excitement is strong in the Southeast as evidenced by the hundreds of custom compacts (plus trick trucks and traditional lowriders) that rolled into the James E. Ward Agricultural Center in Lebanon, Tennessee (28 miles East of Nashville on I-40) for Slammin’ & Jammin’ 2001. While this was the Eighth Annual S&J, hosted by Underground Minis of Lexington, Kentucky, it was the first one presented by the Southern Street Machine Association (SSMA), run by our buddy Charlie Cobble. The SSMA also presents the All Chevy/GMC Nationals, the Mini-Truck & Euro Nationals, and is affiliated with the NOPI Nationals, so their experience made an already good show really great.

We always look forward to this show because of the beautiful facilities, the quality of the vehicles, the super-friendly people and, of course, the lovely ladies. This year was no exception with Euros and mini-trucks again dominating the show. The extent and level to which most people in the show customize their rides just keeps growing every year. As always, continuing “drive-through” vehicle judging, which gives the show a “cruise” atmosphere, was conducted in professional style by Underground Minis.

Happily, the warm Tennessee sun also brought out a bevy of beauties of the female kind, many of whom took advantage of a generous offer from “Big Mike” Pilgreen of LoGear.com for free Mardi Gras necklaces in exchange for a photo. A bunch of other vendors were on hand too, including Mike’s Drop Shop, Bama Boys Hydraulics, T&N Chassis Works, Rollin’ Review Magazine, Cumberland

Imports, Performance Electronics, Auto Add Ons, Auto & Truck Trends, Riverside Custom Accessories, StreetGear, Lucky’s Crazy Customs, Champion Photo Team, Custom Wheel & Electronics, Graphics Wizard, The Rod Doctor, Vamer’s Custom Paint & Body, The Hack Shack-Ohio, The Gold Edition, Thunder Graphics, Poor Boys Audio and Wicked Kustoms. R&T Concessions was also setup again, serving the best lemonade, corndogs and crazy taters.

A number of scheduled activities were broadcast between rock ‘n’ roll tunes over the PA system by DJ/Announcer Joe “Koto” Pagano, including a USAC Outlaw SPL-dB sound competition and car audio olympics sponsored by Extreme Car Audio, a burn-out contest with a bunch of crazies creating clouds of smoke and rippin’ the rubber from their rims, the wedding and reception of Mandi and Elohi Martin, the lowest vehicle contest, a car/truck hop, a neon contest Saturday night sponsored by Hot Wires and, of course, the bikini contest.

More than a dozen lovely ladies took part in the Miss Slammin’ & Jammin’ bikini contest, which this year lead to the finals at the NOPI Nationals. The winners, chosen by a panel of judges, divided a total of $500 cash with Laura (the oldest contestant) capturing Third, April taking Second and Valerie from Knoxville, Tennessee, earning First Place. The Miss Congeniality award and $25 cash was given to lovely Logan.

The grounds closed after the neon contest Saturday night (except for those camping), but the fun continued on the “strip” in Lebanon. It’s a pretty long street that goes from the motels and eateries all the way into through the downtown area. To our surprise, the local PD was cool about cruising, enforcing only the basic traffic laws. Lots of people were kickin’ it in parking lots and watching the parade of cars as one officer rolled by playing “Bad Boys” through his PA system. Very cool!

Sunday, the hydraulics competition was held. It was smaller this year (the Red’s Hydraulics team arrived too late to compete) but exciting, with several local switch men giving it their all for the appreciative audience surrounding the covered outdoor pavilion. The hard-fought hydraulics contest paid out $500 in each class, broken down to $300, $125 and $75 for First, Second and Third.

Later in the day, the trophy presentation was held, with Darrick Dibrell of Cumberland Imports winning the LRE Editor’s Choice award for his highly modified ’95 Honda Civic. In all, some 780 trophies were up for grabs, but many went back on the truck because not all of the classes were filled.

As the show came to a close Sunday afternoon, long lines of lows exited the grounds, taking with them fond memories and newfound friendships. We know that the Ninth edition of Slammin’ & Jammin’ will be even better, so you can count on seeing LRE there. We’d like to thank everyone who helped make the weekend one to remember, especially Connie Bullington and her staff at Comfort Suites (800-517-4000) in Lebanon, the official host hotel. For show information call (423) 623-1871.