Austin, Texas, was the place to be in the middle of July, as home to one of the largest truck shows in the country, the annual Texas Heatwave. We've always wondered how promoters sold this show to the many sponsors that attend it every year, with the unbearable heat and lack of shade. It sure makes it tough on spectators and the homeless folk, but the staggering level of quality rides sure does make up for it. We can only imagine the sales pitch the promoter might have used on unsuspecting vendors:
"Yep, we have asphalt for as far as you can see. We have unbearable heat that will make your shorts shrink. People from all over the country will attend-and promptly go into a heat stroke-and if you're lucky, they might pass out right in front of your booth and wake up to buy something later on. Or it might rain and make the situation an even bigger, sweaty mess."
This marketing strategy apparently works because you have to beat the sponsors off with a garden hose, since they all want to be there. Why? Because some really cool trucks attend this show and it's the who's who of the truck world.
There were fullsize slammed, 'bagged, and body-dropped Chevys, Fords, and Dodges. Just when we thought we had seen it all, the lifted behemoths came rolling in, some on their own power and others that came in on a big rig. Obviously too large to be street-legal, some trucks with blown big-blocks would suck enough fuel to make it impossible to make any multi-mile trek. We cruised the massive fairgrounds in a golf cart, which allowed us to cover a lot of ground in a short while and also helped in the cooling off. Too bad everyone didn't have a golf cart like us. But, something was still missing. Then, we heard the whap whap of propellers sounding like a Vietnam movie. It was Helicopter Experts of San Antonio, Texas, giving helicopter rides to the many spectators who wanted the bird's-eye view of the event. We approached president and owner Michael Bisek about taking us up for a photo opportunity. He thought it was a great idea, too, and off we went. No helmet or gloves were needed, as our fearless flying Sport Truck staff went off into the wild blue yonder. It was exciting to view the ant-like spectators on the ground and our aerial photography was amazingly steady.
Back on the ground, we trudged off to various booths that were sprinkled throughout the fairgrounds. One booth that caught our eye was Custom Wheels by Dima. Alfredo Diaz designed these badass wheels, which were custom-made exclusively for dualies. Based out of Houston, Alfredo's wheels will soon be making the sport truck scene. Be sure to check them out at www.cwdima.com. Another cool booth was Mac Springs of Highland, California, showcasing some of the company's super-reliable 'bag kits and accessories.
The first day came and went, and we prepared for the next day of hot fun in the summertime. In the evening, crowds of fans witnessed showers of sparks from the many body-dropped trucks, fullsize and mini, taking turns wowing the crowd. It was beautiful.
The highlight of any truck show is the bikini contest, and the hot Texas girls showed up in style. Trying to pick a winner was difficult. As the show came to a close and truck dudes and dudettes packed up their sweaty belongings, we cooled off with a thunderstorm on the horizon. It was either Mother Nature's idea of a cruel joke or just another great weekend at Texas Heatwave? You decide.