Fortunately for us we have been turned on to a whole other mini-truck scene outside our country just in time to see its major growth. We got to check out what Japan has to offer the mini-truck world firsthand, so naturally Australia was next on the list. When it comes to mini-truckin' Down Under it's still very new and fresh and in fact, the first fully 'bagged truck was done just 6 years ago. So imagine our excitement to see trucks body-dropped "to the sill" (to the rocker) at 80 mm (over 3 inches).

One of the coolest things about getting the opportunity to head Down Under to capture the crazy Aussie mini-truckers firsthand was the language. We thought for sure this trip would be way easier and smoother than Japan because there's not much of a language barrier. Well, we thought wrong! All week long we found that the thick accents and strange UK English words weren't going to go away, no matter how slow we talked and tried to explain things to each other. You see, in Australia there are hundreds of words that we came across that we don't use here. Let's give you a few just to expand your worldly vocabulary:

Bonnet = Hood (truck hood)
Tray = Bed (truck bed)
Sills = Rockers
Pews = Seats
Vegemite = Nasty Australian spread for toast
Keen for a root = Don't ever use this one!
Arse = That's an easy one.

But you get the picture. It wasn't as easy to communicate as we had originally thought, but after a couple hundred miles of cruisin', drag sessions, and some drinks we were all pretty much on the same page.

The scene in Australia is located on the entire east coast, which is approximately 1,250 miles long. (That would take about 20 hours to drive from one end to the other.) Australia's square mileage is almost the same as the United States, but there is a population of about 20 million - fewer people than just California! So everything is really, really, really spread out. The west is pretty much desert, so the east coast is where our trip took place. We flew into Brisbane (northeast coast in Queensland) to start the cruise to Half Way Havoc 2006 with Nathan and the boys. Half Way Havoc is basically comprised of two major cruises, one coming from the north (where we started) and one coming from the south in Sydney. Everyone meets tons of people along the way, and then the two cruises meet in the middle (hence the name Half Way Havoc) for the show. The meeting spot is in Nambucca Heads at a quiet park on the lake, the perfect location for an awesome mini-truck show. The Lions Club came out and put on a BBQ, so there was plenty of good food and an abundance of crazy Aussie trucks to check out all afternoon. Some of the major Australian clubs in attendance included Ground Level Minitrucks, Diversity Minis, Negative Camber, and Subsided Queensland. There were a few shops and vendors on hand making mini-truckin' gear attainable, includ-ing DUT (Down Under Truckin'), Living Low Customs, and Hood Styles, who donated an Air Zenith compressor for the "Best of Show" winner. Many raffle prizes were given out, including a custom airbrushed air tank, a set of air bags, and videos. Special thanks go out to the Lions Club, Living Low Customs, LowLife Video, and Mini Truckin' for their support. For more information, make sure to check out www.groundlevelweb.com.

After the show and the Australian sun were done, the trucks came out to play. We were all staying in little condos right on the beach. So to compare it to something from here in the States, it was the perfect blend of a West Coast truck run and an East Coast hotel party. Needless to say, there are plenty of great memories from our trip and many lifelong friendships were formed. The hospitality was second to none and we look forward to returning to see many more body-draggin' rides in the near future.

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