East Coast Cruise has long been the annual pilgrimage for die-hard Aussie mini-truckers. This year marked the 17th ECC, and the 4th at the current venue, The Compound in Jindabyne, NSW. The show has grown from humble beginnings into what is now a three-day and three-night event with Negative Camber members driving the show.

Words: Jamie Starling | Photos: Toast Graphics

The weekend kicked off on Friday afternoon with a hot dog eating competition in town at Burger Biz between professional eater, Jesse ‘Food Coma’ Freeman and our very own Jack Allsopp. It was an intense battle to finish 13 dogs in 15 minutes. Jack gave his all but was ultimately taken down by the current Australian hot dog eating champion. The competitive spirit continued back at The Compound with the first round of Club Games, the slider challenge, which was won by Valley Customs. To top of the first day of ECC 2018 the venue’s catering staff laid on a feast of all-you-can-eat American ribs in the banquet hall.

Sleepy mini-truckers started emerging from their rooms early on Saturday morning. Drawn to the breakfast buffet by the heavenly aromas of coffee and bacon. With hangovers quickly overcome the next stop was the Kountry Customs charity truck wash, which was raising money for mental health awareness through Livin.org. The freshly washed rides then rolled through the show registration and digital limbo built by EZ Kustoms and #marklarkinart and proudly sponsored by Modern Metal. Once efficiently ushered through the limbo and registration process entrants were directed to their parking space by the friendly Negative Camber traffic controllers. The showgrounds filled consistently until the gates were closed at a modest 102 entrants.

Amongst the lineup of vendors at the showground was the title sponsor, Enthusiast Motor Insurance who’s staff were on hand to help mini-truckers find the right insurance for their custom built vehicles. Down the line was Tradie Wash who was there to launch their brand of gentle hand scrubs for discerning mini-truckers. More quality goods were also available from Modern Metal, Tailored Laser Creations, Certified Low, Down Under Truckin’ and ECC Merchandise.

The club games reignited from the slider challenge the day before with the ever-brutal tug-o-war, which was also taken by Valley Customs. To add punishment to insult, the next round of games was a three-legged race with various questionable liquid concoctions consumed along the way. All said and done Valley Customs came away with the coveted Club Got Game trophy.

After the show wrapped up The Compound came alive with nonstop cruising, railing, and general shenanigans. Amongst all the rides circulating drag alley, the crowd favorite was AJ Girvan’s Nissan Hardbody 3-wheeling until the bumper dragged clean off. As the sun started to set folks aired out their rides for the day and made their way over to the banquet hall for the Awards Dinner.

The presentation started with a huge banquet laid out by our friends at The Station Resort. Soon after everyone had taken their seats Aaron ‘MAXMUS’ Gregory and Jamie ‘MEGA’ Smith took to the stage throwing sponsored freebies in the air. With the full attention of the crowd, the first announcement was made revealing the ECC Mayor for 2018, who by unanimous vote was Tyson (Shinklebottom) Goetz for a second consecutive term! The mc’s continued the presentation in their entertaining ways with the assistance of projected multimedia by Russ Media showing the award winners on large screens around the room. Following handing out a bunch of carefully crafted trophies by MakeThis and an impromptu dance off the theatrics of the Top Ten unveiling began.

The two roller doors at the side of the banquet hall rolled up releasing billowing smoke with lasers cutting through before settling to reveal the Top Ten favorite trucks. Attention was drawn back to the center stage as there were plenty more trophies to be handed out, including the best of the show, Show Stopper which went to Mackenzie Scopelliti for his emerald green flaked Rodeo SpaceCab, CRWDFV. To cap off the presentation the final announcement was made with the Hall of Fame alumni being called to the stage to welcome the latest inductee. Matt Hendler was chosen for the 2018 HOF inductee for his many years of dedication to the mini-truck scene and selfless attitude towards helping others. With a pumped-up crowd, it was the perfect segway to finish up the presentation and invite the masses to the after party.

The after party rocked out with Rabbit and Tisco on the wheels of steel entertaining a dance floor full of enthusiastically moshing dudes. The party was still hype when the lights came on, hinting to the party to move on. The doors opened ushering folks back out onto drag ally for a long night of street party action. Luckily all the good times were going to lead to a delicious breakfast at Burger Biz when the sun came up the following morning.

Like the burgers at Burger Biz aren’t good enough, our mate Nic put on chicken and waffles, and pancakes on Sunday morning knowing there were going to be some dusty mini-truckers in need of sustenance to tackle Sunday Funday. Stuffed and ready to roll, the cruise up to Thredbo and Charlottes Pass took off from the town center. With truckers coming from all over Australia for ECC, this is the best chance to cruise with friends and why not make it a scenic drive up through the Snowy Mountains.

Following the non-stop weekend of activities, the weary crowd of truckers that managed to survive the long weekend made their way to Happy Jack’s Tavern at The Compound for the Inspired Existence sponsored Movie Night. Comfortably seated in lounge chairs, with popcorn in hand folks were ready for the three-hour session of short films of the Australian mini-truckin’ scene provided by Inspired Existence, Khaos Design, and MoMo Productions.

A massive thank-you from #TeamSlamd to Negative Camber and all who had a hand in putting on another incredible show for the scene that we love!

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