The days of Mini Truckin' magazine date back to the early '80s, but mini-truckin' customizing has been around for a little longer. Mini-truckin' is rooted in the van scene. Almost all of us have been to a show hosted or attended by Cherokee and its van crew, Rolling Thunder, but this is not meant to be a history lesson. We have to give credit where credit is due, and our custom niche has been a melting pot of all customs since the beginning of the automobile. We are rightfully credited with the use of airbags for adjustable suspension since Brian Jendro first used the airbags from a semi on a custom and 'bagged '88 Toyota pickup. Hot rods were built with loads of style decades before that, however, using body drops, sections, chopped roofs, and various kinds of shaving, all of which are main ingredients of our mini-truck recipe.

With this said, we were recently able to take a tour of our past, present, and future at the California Classic Auto Fest held in Ontario, California, at the California Speedway. This was the show's third year, but never at this venue. The first California Classic was held on the UCR campus in Riverside, California, in October 2001 as an event to help raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The show received an overwhelming approval rating from the Classic Car Community, and at the request of Make-A-Wish, another event took place in 2002. Year two of the Classic exceeded the 1,000-car initial effort with more than 1,400 cars in attendance. For 2003, the show's pre-registration efforts outgrew the university, so it was relocated to the California Speedway. The California Classic Auto Fest brought out more than 3,000 classic cars and was joined by the Xtreme Truck and Import Show and the Thunder Run Bike Fest, which were just as successful.

Our tour of the California Classic Auto Fest showgrounds didn't turn up that many custom mini-trucks, so we took the time to soak up our roots and browse the hot rods, classics, custom bikes, and even had an encounter with the original Bat-mobile. This show was not intended to be a mini-truck show, so we weren't all that disappointed. However, we encourage you to come out and support this event if you are able to attend this year. We can help show that the mini-truck community is down to help an excellent cause, and at the same time we'll be able to make the show a much bigger venue for custom mini-trucks to attend. Due to the event's excellent causes, there were many sponsors and vendors to thank, including GM, Meguiar's, Monster Garage, Paxton Superchargers, and many others. For a complete list of sponsors and further information on the show, contact: (866) 450-7469, www.thecaliforniaclassic.com