What do you do when your birthday coincides with the huge Southeastern Truck Nationals? If you’re Brian Hayes, you throw a beast of a birthday bash at your shop and invite everyone! Brian Hayes owns Brian’s Motorsports in Hendersonville, TN – the premier custom wheel and suspension shop in the greater Nashville area. They pull in business from surrounding cities, too; BMS frequently gets clients from Atlanta, GA, Jackson, MS, and Huntsville, AL, to name a few. A lot of those clients are truck guys, so what better time to show off your business than the Southeastern Truck Nats -one of the top GM truck shows in the country? This year was the first year for SETN to be a two-day affair, so plenty of truck nuts were in town for it. The short drive to Hendersonville after day one meant the parking lot right on Main Street was packed with lifted and lowered trucks from all over the southeast in addition to some sick local pickups.
Ashton Willis (@lsx_8d5 on Instagram) from Jackson, TN brought his 12-second, LS-swapped 1985 Chevy C10 to the party. He built the engine himself, and the rowdy cam lope announced that while his truck might’ve looked stock, it most definitely wasn’t. Ashton’s homebuilt C10 is not only a quick and clean sleeper, it’s his daily driver. Watch out for his cherry Chevy and any upcoming projects the aspiring custom car builder cranks out. On an entirely different end of the spectrum, Cory and Hannah Wheat (@_corywheatcustoms / @hannah_wheat24V on IG) stopped the show when they rolled in driving their slammed Chevrolet Viking dually. Complete with a Cummins swap, radical patina, enormous wheels, and chains holding the hood shut, this truck parked harder than just about anything at the party. When aired out on its bags, it was literally on the ground. And it had a stick shift, because of course it did.
Brian’s builds drew plenty of their own attention. The now infamous Big Debra bumped all night long through her massive array of Kicker Speakers. For those unfamiliar, Big Debra was born a Grumman delivery van used by beloved snack cake maker (and savage Twitter account) Little Debbie. She now rocks a Cummins diesel engine, red anodized bumpers and Forgiato wheels, and she cruises on airbags. Oh, and Big Debra always brings an assortment of snack cakes for those looking for a sweet treat at a show. If you didn’t know, conventional isn’t really their thing at BMS, so the slammed, rusty, crew-cab squarebody Chevy around back was almost overlooked. That is, until you see the rat rod Model A on the gooseneck trailer behind it. This Model A has been infuriating purists for years with its 30″ copper wheels with Abraham Lincoln’s face on them. Yes, that means the wheels look like giant pennies. Hence its outstanding hashtag, #copperthangs.
Unlike the Southeastern Truck Nationals, Brian didn’t limit attendees to only trucks. Good thing, because Nashville showed out. Neil Huffines’ (@hotrodhuffines on IG) bagged Lincoln Continental named Medina took center stage on the BMS red carpet, fitting right in with the DJ keeping the tunes in check. I don’t know if he played the 1989 hit for which the car is named, but he missed a golden opportunity if he didn’t. If custom Lincolns aren’t your jam, maybe you like modern McLarens. How about a 570S? Not into those either? A whole lowrider crew rolled in later on in the evening, led by what has to be the cleanest sled in middle Tennessee. The crew cruised around the lot and hopped into spots in front of the SOHO Gallery high-end sneaker store.
Maybe you like modern American stuff. Well, there was an absolutely menacing Challenger Hellcat Redeye Widebody in the shop around back. It was loaded with a starry night headliner (think Rolls-Royce), red halo lights, and a set of Forgiato wheels. Next to it? Brian’s next project – a new Jeep Wrangler Rubicon 392. Outside? A Shelby GT-350 and more lifted late model trucks than you care to read about. Stashed in one corner, I spotted an Oldsmobile 4-4-2, JDM kei van, and a TJ Jeep Wrangler built for a local Christian ministry to raffle off. Talk about diversity.
You could get your grub on at one of the mom-and-pop restaurants next door, or head to the Meat Sweats BBQ trailer out back. I opted for the latter and destroyed a delicious carne asada burrito. Either way, your money was going to a bomb local joint. This wasn’t a normal evening cruise-in where everyone leaves at 7:00. When I left at a quarter ’til 9:00, the parking lot was still full. Ain’t no party like a Brian’s Motorsports party.