27 Years and Still Run­ning Strong

IF YOU’RE IN THE AU­TO­MO­TIVE IN­DUS­TRY OR JUST SIM­PLY LOVE SEE­ING CUS­TOM TRUCKS LAID OUT AND SIT­TIN’ PRETTY, THEN YOU HAVE EI­THER HEARD OF SLAM­FEST OR POS­SI­BLY AT­TENDED IT A TIME OR TWO. If you haven’t, then I sug­gest you mark your cal­en­dars now for next year’s fest. This im­pres­sive event has been rolling strong for over 27 years now and doesn’t show any sign of slow­ing down. Putting to­gether a unique, suc­cess­ful yearly show doesn’t come easy. Slam­fest is pro­moted and put into mo­tion by the Mini Mad­ness car and truck club. The club mem­bers put to­gether the per­fect com­pounds of hard work, com­mit­ment and ded­i­ca­tion, re­sult­ing in a suc­cess­ful event year after year. Com­mit­ment doesn’t come just from the event pro­mot­ers and staff. Slam­fest has ded­i­cated clubs that come out each year to sup­port the love for this show. Acro­pho­bia, Neg­a­tive Cam­ber and Re­laxed At­mos­phere are just a few of the well-known names that at­tend each and every year. Show­ing up early and tap­ing off their fa­vorite sec­tions are com­mon prac­tices to post up their rides, or should I say lay them out, in just the right lo­ca­tion to en­joy this pas­sion­ate life­style we all love. With thou­sands of peo­ple at­tend­ing the show to take in all the cre­ative ve­hi­cles, along with af­ter­noon entertainment like the burnout con­test, club games and the gor­geous bikini con­test, there is surely some­thing to please ev­ery­one’s eyes. After this year’s event, I was lucky enough to snag some time with Mini Mad­ness’ club pres­i­dent for a quick Q&A ses­sion.

Street Trucks: The first ques­tion we have is prob­a­bly your most com­monly asked query: Ex­actly how long has Slam­fest been run­ning? Mini Mad­ness: Slam­fest’s first year was 1991. In 2019, it will be the 28th an­niver­sary of our show.

ST: Who pro­moted the very first event, where was it held and about how many peo­ple at­tended?

MM: Mini Mad­ness has al­ways prided them­selves on pro­mot­ing and holding the show each year with club mem­bers. The first show was held by ap­prox­i­mately 20 mem­bers and had about 320 ve­hi­cles in at­ten­dance in a Belz Fac­tory Out­let park­ing lot in Tampa, Florida.

ST: How did the name Slam­fest orig­i­nally come about? MM: The name Slam­fest came about from no real rea­son other than the club’s pas­sion for “slammed” ve­hi­cles.

ST: How long have you been the man be­hind the magic?

MM: I have only re­cently stepped into the role as pres­i­dent but have been in­volved in the club since around 2001. The show is not held by me or any one per­son. The club mem­bers all play their roles in holding our two an­nual shows. Some mem­bers play more of a role than oth­ers, but at the end of the day, if it wasn’t for the Mini Mad­ness mem­bers, Slam­fest would not run the way it does.

ST: What is the over­all at­mos­phere you like to achieve at each event?

MM: Of course, we push to pro­mote the best qual­ity show that we can. And the cars/trucks that have been show­ing th­ese past few years are, hands down, some of the best in the scene. With­out

the par­tic­i­pants, we wouldn’t be putting on our 28th year of Slam­fest. But we want the show to be an event as well. Come for the car show, leave with mem­o­ries and laughs. We have corn­hole com­pe­ti­tion, club games, burnout com­pe­ti­tion, car/truck limbo, and who can for­get the beloved bikini con­test.

ST: After an event is over, how much time do you take off be­fore you start the plan­ning process for the next show?

MM: After Slam­fest, we im­me­di­ately but­ton down the date for the fol­low­ing year, and even though we may keep in touch with ven­dors and spon­sors year-round, we take a small break to pro­mote our other show, Doin it in the Dark. Doin it in the Dark is a one-night show in Clear­wa­ter, Florida, that grows each year and is quickly be­com­ing the go-to show for a quick cruise night and show!

ST: Have any com­pa­nies spon­sored the event all 27 years, or at least the last 20?

MM: Over the years, spon­sors and ven­dors have come and gone. One of our long­est-stand­ing ven­dors has got to be the fa­mous Drop Em Wear. Also, some­times the peo­ple rep­re­sent­ing a spe­cific ven­dor or sponsor change their paths but then sup­port Slam­fest with their new com­pany.

ST: How does the city of Tampa take to the event each year? Do they ac­cept it with open arms?

MM: The city and its busi­nesses ac­cept and love the show. We have sher­iff’s deputies at the show each year and we get praised for

the peo­ple in our scene. We rarely have any prob­lems, and when there’s 10,000 peo­ple in one place over the course of two days, that shows how good of a scene we are part of and are pro­mot­ing.

ST: What do you have in mind for the next 20 years?

MM: All we can hope for is to con­tinue sup­ply­ing the scene with an out­let and a rea­son to build the bad­dest rides on the streets. Mini Mad­ness will con­tinue to progress and grow Slam­fest and prove why Slam­fest has been around for what will be 28 years and con­tinue to move for­ward.

ST: How far have peo­ple trav­eled to come to this event?

MM: Each year we honor those who have trav­eled with an award for far­thest trav­eled. This year was won by Acro­pho­bia mem­ber Todd Robin­son from Canada, but in the past we have had Cal­i­for­nia par­tic­i­pants and even had spec­ta­tors from Ja­pan.

ST: Aside from Mini Mad­ness, which truck and car clubs have sup­ported Slam­fest since day one?

MM: The only club that is known to have sup­ported Slam­fest since the first show is Hard­core Mi­nis out of the Or­lando area.

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