Soza Memorial Truck Show

Chad Violet
February 2023

June 25th and 26th, 2022  in Central California proved to be one of the hottest truck shows to date and it wasn’t just the West Coast trucks. With temperatures well over one hundred degrees and no shade on the grounds, the coolness of trucks was not in short supply.

Day one arrived and CG Soza and his team was parking trucks as they started filing into the Merced Fairgrounds. Bobtails, combos, single trucks along with small fleets… polished to the nines and dressed to impress as the west coast style rolled in one by one. Transfers, hay haulers, tankers, flatbeds, reefers, lowriders, classics and so much more began packing up the show lot. The Soza crew methodically placed the participants making it easier on the judging teams.

One of the best features that is never seen at other shows, last year’s Soza’s Show winner of Best of Show, Carballo, gets parked in its own special spot by itself right across from the show registration main tent. This truck is still a part of the show but is more on display as it is not eligible for competition. CG specifically designed this as an extra honor of that previous winner as it also gives someone different an opportunity to win Best of Show. This also gives a spectator a glimpse of the previous year’s top winner if they were not in attendance. It’s easy to see why Carballo took top honors in 2021. His single axle hay truck that his shop built is an absolute beautiful example of perfectly cool.

To help combat the heat, the show had many food trucks with refreshments along with huge chiller coolers under the big show registration tent. Surrounding the shows “mission control” under the main tent, tables were full of donations for the auction raffle. Truck parts, multiple gift baskets for women and children, a custom hand crafted wooden semi-truck and trailer, and so much more. Along with the food trucks, several of California’s vendors were on hand with display booths. From polishers, custom truck builders, and several others… the line of craftsmen was plentiful. PDI of Utah was also on hand with their custom truck and trailer with their line of engine performance parts.

Day two was packed with finalizing judging and more heat. Towards midafternoon, everyone gathered at the main tent for the live auction while judges finished up the larger classes and the Soza team tallied the votes. After the auction, the awards and trophies were distributed, and everyone started to pack up and pull out. The heat did not keep away the show participants and spectators. CG and his wife Ashleigh along with their incredible team, put on a spectacular show raising just over $19,000 towards the Dyslexia Foundation with a total truck turnout near 140. The functionality, flow, vision, goals, participation and purpose of the Soza Memorial Show was executed and carried out successfully. No matter what coast or border you are near, this is one show that makes the 2 mile or 2,000 mile drive absolutely worthwhile… and California is beautiful, no matter how hot it is.