Images courtesy of Amber Bellinger.
You see them low or high, colorful or OEM-painted, kitted-out, or bone-stock. Regardless, mini-trucks are sure to make you smile when you see them. And South Sound-based Forward Momentum provides a home and family for mini-truck owners (though they don’t discriminate against full-size, either).
“We welcome everybody, so it doesn’t matter if you have a big-truck or small truck. We’ll pay attention to who you are, get to know you to see how you are,” said Jacob Bellinger, one of the founders who owns a mostly original ’85 Chevy S10 and an ’87 Mazda B2200 flatbed.
Forward Momentum offers a place to work on pint-sized pickups, and participate in cruises and charity drives, and just hang with like-minded enthusiasts. Most recently, they’ve donated to the Toys for Tots effort through Pacific Raceways annual event and helped feed locals through a drive-by food drive.
What is a Mini-Truck?
A mini-truck, also called micro-trucks depending on engine output, is a class of super small yet practical trucks. First started in Japan, they are traditionally under 1,000cc’s, but American demands and enthusiast modifications don’t always keep them there. They are usually rear- or 4-wheel-drive vehicles.
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“Some of the things I love about these mini-trucks is the modifications you can do to them,” said Ryan Noble, one of the younger members of the club. “You can have a cheap daily driver, an all-out drift truck, or even a show truck. There are so many things you can do to them.”
Within mini-trucks, there’s Kei trucks that come directly from Japan and fall under the nation’s small-vehicle regulations, such as Honda Acty or Suzuki Carry, and trucks that just happen to be smaller than their more modern cohorts, such as the Mazda B2200 or Chevrolet S10. The club is positively brimming with the latter type and, for members of Forward Momentum, these trucks make the perfect canvas to preserve history or go wild with improvements, regardless of which vehicle is chosen.
“Some of the things I love about these mini-trucks is the modifications you can do to them,” said a member who simply goes by “Guido”. He owns a Mazda B2000 with a bash bar and 15×10 wheels with spiked lugnuts that he calls “Lego”, and found the group through Lindsay. “Mini-trucks speak for themselves. They are the most versatile automotive available for lifting to lowering, street, track, and even crawlers.”
The older Mazda pickups are popular in the group. Noble also owns an ’86 Mazda B2000 extended cab. Robert Lindsay, one of the club’s leaders and founding members, has helped Noble
“He took me under his wing and showed me the way,” Noble explained. “And, the ‘First Five’ are some of the most caring and amazing people I’ve met.”
The “First Five” is a group term noting the founding members: Jacob and Amber Bellinger, Lindsay, Josh Langdon, and D. Jordan.
“My favorite aspect so far of the mini-truck club is just how helping and giving everyone has been,” Noble continued. “For example, [when] we bought my current truck, everyone wanted to help teach me and help me. Robert has been the most amazing person I’ve met. He taught me how to weld, raise a bed, and do a c-notch and, if I needed something, he would go out of his way to help me. We call ourselves a club but we are more of a family.”
Finding a place to call home
The term “family” echoed from many in the group. In an age when people are increasingly moving further apart, they’re trying to put things back together. Whether it’s helping people get out more and become social—in a safe manner—or helping them figure out what going on with their rig.
“The hospitality within the group is outstanding, you will never meet a cooler group of people,” Guido said. He says that since joining the club he’s come to love the “family and great memories.”
Lindsay and both Bellingers help plan the events to be both safe and respectful of neighbors. They don’t do burnouts, they don’t block highways, the only revving they do is part of maintenance or modification work being done at Lindsay’s shop on private property.
For the group, it’s less about being in people’s faces and more about getting that face-to-face time with your fellow owners.
Lindsay’s house is often used as a home base for the club. Members gather to work on vehicles out of the large shop and plentiful Lindsay has on hand. Members don’t work on each other’s cars, per se, but provide the understanding, place, and opportunity to do it themselves.
“What I hope to get out of the membership is to learn as much as I can and gain more friends, and both those expectations have been blown out of the water,” Noble exclaimed. “With all the help, knowledge, and friends, it has been outstanding.”
Forward Momentum mini-truck club is open to anyone, though the leaders do carefully gate who remains in the club. Those who prefer to be ‘that guy/gal’ aren’t long on their member reel. However, those who stay speak volumes about how it’s positively impacted their lives.
“For others looking to join, I would say absolutely join! I have had an amazing experience so far and I expect much more,” Noble proclaimed. “Like I said, Robert, Josh, Jordan, Jake have been an amazing group of guys to hang out with and we welcome new people with open arms.”
“It’s a whole new world out there that you never knew existed!” Guido stated, adding a shout-out to the club, too. “I am super thankful for everything! Love you guys!”
To join the club, please reach out to them on Facebook at the Forward Momentum group.