I've had the pleasure of traveling all over the country to minitruck shows, and everywhere I've been is a little bit different. The thing I've really been noticing lately is the West Coast scene just isn't what it once was; particularly in SoCal. In the late '80s, SoCal was the happening spot for minis, and I don't expect for it to be like that again. It would be great, but also highly unlikely. But, what I'm wondering is what happened to all the clubs, and all the people who would attend those shows in droves?
I've seen trucks driving around, which I don't see at the shows. I've seen club logos I can't recognize. These people obviously learned about minitrucks from somewhere-most likely MT magazine-why aren't these people at the shows? Maybe that's just not a part of the scene they care about. After all, not everybody enjoys going to the shows or being completely committed to the lifestyle. To some people, it's just a hobby and not a way of life. I just wish some of these guys would attend some of the shows and participate in the local scene a little more.
In Northern and Central California, the scene seems to be really healthy with a ton of guys building fullsize trucks and minis. It seems that if you hold any kind of event in that area of Cali, you're probably going to do pretty good. Dangerous Toys is a local club in the Visalia/Fresno area that holds Danger Zone and the show has almost tripled in size from when it first started. But, the opposite has happened in SoCal. Most of our big shows, for the most part, haven't really shown any growth in minitruck attendents. Most of our small shows have disappeared. When we do have a small show, it seems like people aren't attending. Also, on the West Coast most people don't travel out of state to go to shows as is common in the rest of the country.
One example of the dying scene in SoCal is the Southern California Mini Truck Council (SCMTC). In the late '90s, it had more than 100 clubs on its roster, but these days they're hanging on around 40 clubs. This is an organization that has been around as long as I have been alive, and the group is trying its hardest to stick around. To let it go would be a shame. Nobody wants to see a part of our history die.
Some people, who know me personally, recall a period of time when I didn't care what happened to the council. But as of late, I've had a change of heart. I feel there is still room and a place for the council in our sport. This year, we're losing Resolutions in SoCal, which has been around for 30-plus years. Could the council be next? We've already lost West Coast Nationals, Spring Break, Endless Summer, as well as other events from back in the day. Are people scared of the classic-truck runs from the past? This year, we had a group of old-skoolers hold an event called Spring Heat. As much fun as it was, the numbers were very small. I hope next year more people will come out to support it and Summer Madness, so we don't lose that show, as well.
Luckily, we still have the Ludikrs show, Forbidden Fantasy show, and the Truck Jam shows, along with a few others. As long as we can pull together and continue to support these shows, hopefully we can keep them for years to come.
And please, don't say you don't want to go because of the so-called "baller" clubs with their lambo doors. In the end, they're supporting our scene, as well. Just because we don't have the same style doesn't mean we can't get along. Remember, in the '80s the lowrider guys learned to accept minis. We can do the same now.
Here are a couple of websites to visit to find out more about upcoming shows on the West Coast and to learn more about the SCMTC.