DALLAS -- High above the state fairgrounds -- 55 feet high to be exact -- stands Big Tex, the official greeter of the three-week State Fair of Texas, which kicks off Friday.
But nearby are the unofficial greeters of the fair: gleaming pickups hoisted high into the air to attract truck-crazy Texans to all that's new under the sun. And it's not all trucks: The fair houses the largest new-car auto show in the Southwest overall.
This year, things are looking brighter for Texas' auto market as parts of the state hardest hit by low oil prices and natural disasters start the long road to recovery.
Early signs out of Houston and southeast Texas point not only to a quick rebound in sales of new and used cars, but also to an upward trend in coming months as residents replace hundreds of thousands of vehicles damaged by Hurricane Harvey and the resulting flooding.