To say that Austin, Texas, was hot this year is an understatement. As always, the pavement at Texas Heatwave was scorching enough to burn eggs and melt frames. The drive there was enough to make one reconsider their mini-truckin' status. Going through Arizona at 3 a.m. and sucking up 105-degree wind doesn't typically encourage one to go check out rides and party. That is, until you got there.

Making record time and getting to Austin almost a day early gave us the reward of getting a somewhat decent night's sleep (for a three-day show). After pulling into the hotel parking lot, we realized it practically looked like a show itself. With customs scattered outside hotels all over Austin, just a cruise around town would be enough to fulfill the needs of the most seasoned mini-trucker.

Starting at the crack of dawn on July 23, Texas Heatwave held its lock as one of the largest truck shows that we attend. With 1,600 vehicles in attendance, a plethora of vendors, and 40,000 spectators, this is a show to be reckoned with. There was plenty to gaze at other than the endless array of show vehicles crammed into the Travis County Expo Center - a flamboyant bikini contest, hip-hop and R&B groups performing their hearts out, and even a mini extreme sports show in the main building.

After all these spectacles, our youthful side was brought into full swing, and preparing for the next day had to be done (i.e. partying, dragging, partying, socializing, drinking Sharp's, and charging camera batteries). Saturday night held visions of sparks and piles of asphalt. Lowlife Video hosted a drag session on the local Austin freeways, creating an 80-mph road block of golden showers.

Sunday morning started early for most, but some were notably absent. It was evident who had a good time the night before, as a few voids filled the showgrounds. The hard-core who made it to the show got out their detail spray and wiped to their hearts' content, vying for what must have been a 300-pound B.A.D. billet Best of Show trophy (shipping not included). The music on stage continued, and the scantily clad women roaming the show gave photographers a reason to press down their cramping index fingers. There was even an artery blocked on THW Blvd. through the middle of the show, as countless golf carts had California-style road rage and would not make way for other drivers. Unfortunately for us, Reverse starts with an R and nobody else seemed to know that.

Congratulations to the Texas Heatwave staff on throwing the hottest show of the summer. Also congratulations to Mini Truckin' cover-truck owner Brent Zuehlke for pimp-slapping the competition with his '85 Toyota and taking Best of Show. Thanks goes out to Alsa Paint Corporation, Audiobahn, Bad Boy Audio, Centex Plating, Crossfire, Custom Car Crafters, Ekstensive, Hawk Electronics, Maximum Altitude, Nitto Tire, Scion, SFX Performance, Sony Xplod, Sound Creations, Tire and Wheel Connection, Truck Toyz, Woodlands Performance Suspensions, and many more. For information on next years' show, check out www.texasheatwaveshow.com