For those of you who are heavily involved in the custom car show scene down here in Texas, you probably know what Heat Wave is and who we are. Uniting car and truck enthusiasts since 1989, we’re proud to spread our roots in Austin, TX, beginning with the very first Custom Sounds Texas Heat Wave car show. That’s the event that got us on the map, and it’s a landmark day that we’ll never forget. Since the late 80s, as automotive technology has progressed and advanced, our love for burning rubber, building ridiculous engines, and showing off all of the hard work put into our custom vehicles has only gotten stronger.
While our passion for the custom car and truck scene has remained all the same, our car shows have come a long way since David MacDonald, Heat Wave founder and custom car enthusiast hero, decided to host his own event. Now, people travel all over the country (and even from Canada and Mexico) to check out the excitement that only one can find — and experience — at one of Heat Wave’s thrilling auto shows.
It All Started With a Love of Mini Trucks
Pickup trucks aren’t just for…well, picking up things. Indeed, the mini truck scene was, is, and will continue to thrive in the greater Austin area as well as plenty of other communities around the world. From impressive sound systems to custom paint jobs and highly-modified suspensions, David was drawn into the appeal of mini trucks and eventually created his own club known as Custom Miniz, or Friends-N-Motion. Without much money to spend on upgrades and parts, the custom mini truck community helped each other work on their trucks and raised money by hosting car washes and other local fundraisers. David’s club even adopted a section of a Texas highway, promising to keep it clean and well-maintained.
Chasing the Highest Temperatures of the Year
You might think that it’s a little crazy (OK, very crazy) to intentionally host an event during some of the hottest temperatures of the year. Of course, triple-digit temperatures are nothing to phase true Texas residents, and the love of the custom car show community draws those who are willing to brave the weather and endure the heat. Sure enough, David’s club decided on the end of July as a suitable (and incredibly) hot time of the year to host their inaugural mini truck and custom car show.
While this initial event was primarily composed of the mini truck scene, the idea behind the first Texas Heat Wave was that anyone who’s proud of their custom vehicle could come and show it off in a friendly, supportive environment. Regardless of make or model, foreign or domestic, owners would respect one another if only for their mutual passion in automobiles. From Chevy Silverados to Mazda Miatas, gearheads were recognizing fellow gearheads.
Achieving Legendary Status In the Mini Truck Community
Though some mini truck owners in other areas of the world might not know of David, many of them do — and for good reason. With over 29 years (and counting!) of experience promoting, organizing, orchestrating, engaging, and ultimately founding the network of Heat Wave custom car shows in Texas, it’s more than fair to say that David has truly left his legacy in the car show industry as well as the mini truck community.
Spring Break Jam wasn’t the first show put on by Heat Wave, but it is the custom truck show that kicks things off each year! Down in South Padre Island, things are already heating up even though the vast majority of the United States is still freezing from the winter. Locals in South Padre Island and nearby San Antonio make the drive and take the top down because it’s already getting hot, while others from up north even haul their rig via a trailer.
As a great way to stimulate South Padre Island’s local economy and draw together car enthusiasts of all kinds and backgrounds, the Spring Break Jam is always a great way to kick things off each year!
The Texas Showdown is where things start to really heat up — literally! Around the weekend of the Summer Solstice where the days are the longest, the Heat Wave community heads down to the Pasadena Fairgrounds just outside of Houston for fun events, contests, and even fresh ink. With a tattoo expo built into the Texas Showdown, there’s a lot to love about meeting up with fellow custom vehicle enthusiasts.
This is the event that started it all. As the hottest event (literally) hosted by Heat Wave, thousands of folks head down to the Travis County Expo Center in Austin to view, discuss, and appreciate each other’s ride. With exciting events and contests like motorcycle stunts, BMX freestyle stunts, burnouts, monster truck exhibitions (can’t miss!), lawnmower racing (don’t knock it till you try it!), mini bike racing, our famous hydraulic contest and more to do and explore, it’s no surprise that the Texas Heat Wave is a true fan favorite.
As fall really starts to set in and the temperatures drop across the country, things stay nice and warm down near Corpus Christi. This custom truck show concludes the four auto shows hosted by Heat Wave each year, and goes out with a true bang thanks to the sound-off contest that the Corpus Christi Heat Wave is famous for.
We’re Ready For the Heat. Are You?
Every year, our car shows in Texas bring together some of the coolest and most impressive vehicles on earth — period. Do you have a project in the works that you’re proud of? Show it off through one of our custom car shows here at Heat Wave! Learn more about the Feel the Heat Tour by visiting here, or feel free to contact David and the team at Heat Wave Inc. at any time. We’re excited to see you and your vehicle out there!