How So Low?
I'd like my '03 Chevy S-10 to be as low and slick as the ones I see in the sketchpad articles in magazines. I don't just want to be low. I want to run at least 22-inch rims and maybe 24-inchers. My concern is that my truck won't look as trick as the ones in the sketches. It appears to me that those trucks sometimes have wheels that might not fit inside the fenders.

Is it possible to get a real truck that low and still run huge rims? If I hired one of those illustrators to sketch my truck, would they have ideas about how to achieve maximum lowness? Can you tell me how much those guys charge and where I can get a hold of them?
Rory Brown
via e-mail

How do illustrators get trucks (and cars) so low? They cheat. They also know that no one drives a drawing. There's no need to steer a drawing, so little nuisances such as suspension clearances don't concern illustrators. Some of the wilder drawings should really have wheel blisters, like a Funny Car, to provide tire clearance.

In defense of the illustrators, these drawings are often referred to as concept drawings. They're providing a stylized ideal of the look, not engineering blueprints. If you look at the progression of concept illustration to concept show vehicle to production vehicle, you'll see that the product that reaches the market is considerably less slick than either the drawing or the concept vehicle.

Most illustrators are better versed in how to make a truck look great, rather than the mechanical aspects. They know how to make body lines and panels flow and how to make visual changes via paint schemes.

As for finding an illustrator and how much they charge, your best bet is the internet. Check the credits of published illustrators. Many of them include a web address. If not, most of these guys can be found with a Google search or try their name followed by dot com.

Prices are an individual matter, but most of the illustrators we know of charge a minimum of several hundred dollars. It's the old question of how much of their time you want. Time is money, and most illustrators charge according to the time involved.

Even though a couple sketches might seem a little expensive, it's really money well spent. This is especially true when it comes to paintjobs. It's much cheaper to pay several hundreds to see how different paint schemes look on paper, rather than pay many thousands for a paintjob you don't like.

What About The Other Stuff?
I am a reader and big fan of your magazine. I think Sport Truck magazine is the best on the market. The articles are good, and it's not serious and uptight like some of the other truck magazines. This is why I choose to read it over the others. On the other hand, I have noticed that at most of the truck show events, you enter only pictures of rides with full air drops or lifts jacked up to the sky. Personally, I am a big fan of the drop and slam, but when there is nothing else special about the truck, I think it's a waste of ink on your pages. All trucks look the same in the air or on the ground, for the most part. However, there are a lot of trucks with great paintjobs, custom stereo interiors, and built motors that have a lot of talent, work, and money invested that can replace these spots.
Jason Elwell
El Paso, Texas

So, what you're saying is that stock-looking trucks that are insanely low or high aren't as cool as trucks with stock suspensions and insanely cool paintjobs and stereos? You might be right, but we haven't seen too many mildly dropped or lifted trucks at shows lately that made us want to grab our cameras for a photo shoot. Thanks for the props, and if you feel your truck is pretty cool, then by all means send us some snaps, so we can put it in the mag.