Show or go? Trailer queen or driver? These are just some of the options out there when it comes time to building a custom vehicle. In reality, some customs just evolve into their final form, while others are built with a purpose. Which is better? Depends on what you want and who's doing the building.
The nice thing about this magazine is that we show all kinds of customs. From trailer queens to pavement-pounding performance machines, we've got it all. In most cases, the finished product is a reflection of the owner and his or her tastes, whether they be good or bad.
Never is that more apparent than in the submissions to Readers' Rides. They are the windows to the souls of Sport Truck's readers. Sometimes, looking through that window is enjoyable; other times, it's downright scary. But our readers build some fantastic trucks, and nearly all of them have a great story or two to tell about building their pride and joy.
One of the great parts of this job is that we get to travel all over the country. Consequently, we see all kinds of trucks, from the good to the bad to the downright ugly. And just when you think you've seen it all - after 15 years of doing this, you begin to feel that way - someone comes up with something totally different. In the eye of the owner, each creation is beautiful since it is the result of hours of labor and a small bankroll of money. In few other places does pride of ownership come into play as much as it does with a custom truck.
Regionality, most certainly, is also part of the diversity. What's hot in one area of the country may be deemed outdated or ugly in another. We've seen a lot of trends that start on the West Coast take as many as a couple of years to catch on in the East and Southeast. And as time marches on, and trends change, things can get outdated in a hurry. There are still a lot of trucks rolling around out there sporting a Belltech 5/7 drop, 16- and 17-inch rims, smoothie bumpers, and roll pans. While hot nearly 10 years ago, these are considered old school by today's standards, yet they're still eye-catching customs that are fun to drive.
But back to the original topic. Bling versus zing. Judging from the tons of e-mail we get, and the number of questions for our TDC column, the majority of readers are interested in more go than show: "How do I get more power out of my four-cylinder S-10?," "What air intake is best for my F-150?," "Can I get 500 hp from my 4.3L V-6?" Even though a lot of questions come from young people writing to magazines during study hall instead of doing their math homework, most folks who contact us are interested in increasing performance, from simple add-ons to complete motor swaps. Over the past couple of years, our Letters section has reflected this.
On the other hand, there are a lot of folks out there who want more bling for the buck and want to see stories on Caddy front-end swaps, Denali headlight conversions for GMC pickups, body-dropping how-tos, and more. These are the folks who don't mind getting their hands dirty and want more than a cookie-cutter custom.
So the eternal dilemma continues: bling or zing? How about dropping us a line and giving us your thoughts on what you'd like to see more of in future issues of Sport Truck magazine. The easiest way is to log on to www.sporttruck.com and give us your nickel's worth. Who knows, we may even print your e-mail in our Letters column. And don't forget to keep those Readers' Rides submissions coming in.