This issue marks my first big trip of the year, the first of many to come, but definitely one of my favorites. Greenville, Mississippi, has provided me with the very best fodder to obsess over and write about when it comes to air travel, custom trucks, and interesting characters over the years. Visiting this picturesque town, where the population is small and the mineral content in the water is so high that the water has a brown tint to it, to cover Assorted's Showfest event was just the kick in the pants I needed to jump back into the sport of building custom trucks with both feet again. For me, the first month of working on Sport Truck was spent working with Calin, Gary, and Joel to get things organized and put together a plan for the remaining five issues on the calendar. I did little actual thinking about building trucks aside from which ones we needed to hurry up and photograph for the magazine.
The moment I arrived in Greenville, though, all that changed. From our rental car, I rubber-necked every single truck that was on a trailer in a motel parking lot or cruising the strip early on Thursday. I looked at them, not as a magazine editor who needed to capture as many of them on film to take back home to the office but as singularly important bits of inspiration. The first truck I saw was a beautiful, bright-blue Chevy S-10 resting on a trailer in the parking lot of our motel. The truck was body-dropped and painted in the same PPG '96 Porsche Riviera Blue that I had my old Toyota Tacoma painted years ago. The Tacoma was the first full-blown show truck that I'd ever built for myself. My good friend Shawn Webber and I performed damn near all of the work on that truck ourselves, and I still miss owning it. Some of the best times I've ever had were spent freezing my butt off in my parents' home garage in New York, welding back together the cab and bed floor after I'd body-dropped it.
The next truck my eyes became transfixed upon was Greg Nettles' Candy Apple Red Chevy Silverado, which also happened to be sitting in the parking lot. It had almost everything a good sport truck should have, except for an excessive amount of horsepower. This one, we did actually get to photograph for the magazine-so that counts as work, I guess-but hanging out with Greg and his truck was important for a much better reason. Watching Greg 'rail his truck down the strip in town that night made me green with envy. I've never had a chance to drive one of my own projects to this town, where the cruising is long and the sparks shine bright in the night. Seeing the look on his face switch from a determined glare at the road before him as he released the air from the 'bags in his Chevy to a full-on white-toothed grin, as the crowd whooped and hollered at the spark show, instantly made me want to hop on a plane and go home to work on my trucks.
For me though, the best part of visiting Greenville was since I'd not been back in two years, I had a great deal of catching up to do with some old friends. I made sure to catch a ride to both of the most popular hotels on both ends of the strip, and I actually found almost everyone I wanted to reconnect with. I almost forgot there was a cruise going on, while shaking hands with friends from clubs like Severed Ties, Negative Camber, Pebble Pushers, Low Rollers, Relaxed Atmosphere, No Regrets, Forbidden Fantasy, and so on. It was a bit weird to travel all the way to Mississippi just to find my friends from California, though. In the end, the show went off like it always does and I stayed up way too late every night, hanging out with old and new friends, watching the trucks go by. By the time I left town, I was drooling over the prospect of cruising my own trucks and couldn't wait to get home to work on them.
On another note, be sure to check out every single page of this issue because we are rolling out some of the new stuff that I alluded to in the August issue. Gary, Joel, and Calin put their heads together and came up with something special that you'll find in our newly redesigned show coverage and feature sections of the book. You'll also notice that we've divided the magazine up into sections that make everything easier to find. Tech articles are all in one spot, as well as feature trucks, shows, and regular departments. Think of Sport Truck as a resource now. Keep it on the shelf, and when you want to find out what size wheels were on the cover truck, you'll be able to quickly flip the center of the magazine and find the information in the 411 section of the article. This is only the beginning. Sport Truck is getting bigger, better, and will soon be, hands down, the best truck customizing resource and lifestyle magazine on the planet. Try to keep up, OK?