What To See At The Desert Storm Street Party


The ultimate motorsports toy store, the Desert Storm street party opens at noon today. Photo by Jeff Helmkamp/J Helmkamp Photography.

Starting at noon today, McCulloch Boulevard in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., becomes what could be the world’s longest motorsports toy store. Of course, seeing as this annual outdoor showcase is an integral part of the Desert Storm Poker Run week, its primary focus is on exotic go-fast catamarans, V-bottom sportboats and performance center console. But there are also plenty of wild trucks and monster haulers, sand rail rockets, psycho motorcycles, exotic automobiles and more.

For even the most casual gear-head, the exhibit is a mile-plus-long slice of heaven. And visitors have more than enough time see it all, as the Desert Storm street party doesn’t shut down until 9 p.m. Still, there are several things you don’t want to miss. Here’s a quick list.

DCB Performance Boats Exhibit

In the past three days, DCB Performance Boats of El Cajon, Calif., has delivered one new M33R catamaran, two M31s and one M44 to their delighted owners. They’re all spectacular, though just two will be on display today. (Go figure—their new owners are out boating.) But the famed, Mark Morris/Visual Imaginations-painted Lickity Split M35 and M44 All Spooled Up cats will be there. Company owners Tony Chiaramonte, Jeff Johnston and Paul Miller will be on hand as well, and they are three of the most friendly and laidback—a small miracle given this week’s boat delivery schedule—guys you’ll ever meet.

Blink and you’ll miss Lickity Split on the water, but you can take your time viewing it on McCulloch Boulevard. Photo by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix.

Big Cats From Adrenaline, MTI and Nordic

Yes, the outboard-powered sport catamaran market is alive and well—we all know that. But the big stuff is still mighty impressive. Nordic’s latest 43-footer is an absolute jaw-dropper, as is Adrenaline’s 47-footer. The same goes for MTI’s latest 48-footer owned by George Argyros, one of the most colorful characters in the high-performance boating world. (MTI also is exhibiting one its white-hot 340X sport cats and a V-42 center console, and both plenty cool and worth your time.) All three cats will be on display, and you’d be nuts not to spend some quality time ogling and coveting each of them.

Wright Performance Powerboats 360s

Unless you’ve been to the East Coast or Midwest, you haven’t seen a Wright Performance Powerboat 360 sport catamaran—an ongoing collaboration between Doug Wright Design and Performance Boat Center—in person. A pair of those the gorgeous, Mercury Racing Verado 400R-powered 36-footers will be on display for the first time at the Desert Storm street party.

The spectacular speedonthewater.com trailer and tow vehicle are not to be missed.

Speed On The Water Trailer

Did you honestly think I’d skip a little shameless self-promotion? Jason Johnson, my fellow offshoreonly.com columnist and speedonthewater.com co-publisher will be manning our huge trailer and selling everything from our artist series shirts—created by Stephen Miles of Stephen Miles Design and Dean Loucks of The Art of Design—to our 2017, 2016 and 2015 Year In Review collectible print edition magazines. (Yes, the artist series shirts are expensive but they are worth it and, trust me, no one is making a fortune on them.) And in a nod to our dear friends at Speedboat magazine, we’ll throw in a Ray Lee Sticker with every purchase.

Of course, there’s a lot more to see during today’s Desert Storm street party—the Mercury Marine, Swoops Motorsports and Teague Custom Marine displays always rock—and you have time to see it all. Don’t rush. Enjoy the show. And say hello to Lee and Johnson for me. I’m on assignment elsewhere.


Matt Trulio is an award-winning journalist who has covered the high-performance powerboat world since 1995. He wrote for Powerboat magazine for 17 years and was the magazine’s editor at large until it ceased publication in 2011. Trulio is the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of speedonthewater.com, a daily news site that covers the high-performance powerboat realm. He’s also the former editor of Sportboat magazine.



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