2021 Lone Star Throwdown, LST truck show

Lone Star Throwdown! The Annual Texas Truck Gathering Celebrates 10 Years

Everything’s bigger in Texas, and that goes double for the annual truck-focused gathering known as the Lone Star Throwdown. Held near Houston in the city of Conroe, this late-winter happening is billed as “The World’s Greatest Truck Show” and is commonly seen as a season kickoff for custom truck fans – and a can’t-miss party for friends, builders, and enthusiasts who share a common love of modified haulers.

The ’90s are back! A slammed OBS truck with Hot Rods by Boyd Ninja wheels and wild tribal graphics is ample evidence of the decade’s reemerging influence.

This year marked the tenth anniversary of the Throwdown and the Lone Star Expo Center was bursting with good vibes and cool rides as fans packed in to celebrate. The facility is laid out in a way that promotes a cruising loop, so it’s easy to kick back and watch a steady parade of both lifted and lowered rigs showing off their suspensions, audio systems, and just plain bitchin’ style.

There’s a definite laid-back vibe to the Throwdown. It’s not overflowing with activities or planned and forced attractions, so the trucks are truly the focus. It’s a great place to simply wander around and get a taste of the latest builds and emerging trends. For many enthusiasts, it’s also the one place they know they’ll see some of their gearhead friends and extended truck family for the year, which definitely adds to the reunion-style party vibe. Add in a good selection of aftermarket vendors, and you’ve got a solid recipe for a fun weekend.

Yes, there are cars at the Lone Star Throwdown, too. Here are a few that caught our eye.

A look around this year’s Throwdown showed a full kaleidoscope of styles, from slammed single cabs sporting wild graphics and the biggest wheels possible, to lifted four-wheel drives with intricate and innovative suspension setups. There seems to be a never-ending quest to find the most unusual trucks to customize, from vintage quad cabs and utility trucks, to heavy-duty commercial rigs and offerings beyond the big three. Camper-style toppers were also plentiful. And one of the most talked-about rides was a diminutive vintage Datsun. But it was also clear that clean, straightforward custom cruisers never go out of style, as evidenced by scores of lowered stock-body pickups with simple paint.

Chris Billy Bob Mull stole the show with his diminutive ’63 Datsun nl320 pickup – a cute and bitchin’ vintage mini truck that had everyone talking and went home with multiple awards.

Though clouds filled the skies part of the weekend, there was very little rain and the bright rides were out in full force. For truck fans, this definitely felt like the kickoff the 2021 event season needed.

The influential Relaxed Atmosphere truck club was celebrating its 30th anniversary at the Lone Star Throwdown and got together for this Texas-sized group photo at the event!

Mitch Henderson Memorial Award

Many Throwdown attendees were shocked when Mitch Henderson, a vital player in the custom truck and car scene, died in early February from a heart attack at a much-too-young age. Well known for his Texas-based Mitch Henderson Designs shop and a steady stream of cool cars and trucks since the ’90s, Mitch was a friend to many and a creative force in the custom car and truck hobby.

2021 Lone Star Throwdown, LST truck show

Photographer John Jackson was a close friend of Mitch’s and worked with the Lone Star Throwdown team to create the Mitch Henderson Memorial Award. Carter Hickman Designs stepped up to design the custom trophy, which was machined by Greening Auto Company and built by George Lawrence. Carter Hickman helped John select the winner at the show – the incredible El Diablo Ford F100 built by WW Speed & Customs.

2021 Lone Star Throwdown Photo Extra!

Photos and Video by John Jackson

Editor, Goodguys Gazette

Damon Lee began snapping photos at car shows when he was 10, tagging along with his father to events throughout the Midwest. He has combined his passion for cars and knack for writing and imagery into a 20-year career in the automotive aftermarket, writing for titles like Super Chevy and Rod & Custom and, more recently, working for respected industry leaders Speedway Motors and Goodguys Rod & Custom Association.