This job comes with a ton of perks. I enjoy almost everything about this job, and I can honestly say that I look forward to going to work each day. OK, maybe I don't look forward to being stuck in my office, but everything else is gravy. With small exception, I have a great time doing my job. This month was especially fun for me in terms of working on the issue you are reading and also in terms of the stories I worked on for future issues of ST.
One of the perks of working on this magazine is that I do get to play with trucks. Most times, the trucks I modify, test, wrench on, and report about aren't mine, but I do gather a fair amount of information by modifying my own rides. This issue is a prime example of the benefit of getting intimate with your own truck and the knowledge that can be gained from it, and it's a special issue for me even though none of my trucks is even in it.
Anytime a magazine editor decides to take the leap and build a "project truck," the danger of failure or not finishing the project is imminent. It's a sad state of affairs because as media personnel we have access to everything under the sun in terms of custom parts, but none of us can manufacture the most important ingredient to any custom build and that is time. I give huge props to any magazine staffer who can deliver a great magazine and a great truck at the same time. This month, we've got three on the cover and I'm proud to say they belong to my coworkers.
Calin, Galen, and Kevin have all spent the last year or more trying out new parts and new build ideas, literally thrashing on their trucks with the goal of building something righteous that they could cruise every day. Along the way, they've learned the ins and outs of customizing the first- and second-generation Chevrolet S-10 and new Colorado midsize trucks. Most of the mods worked out perfectly; some were less than stellar. They've learned more than they ever would have if they'd merely hung out at a shop for a few hours photographing a tech install on someone else's truck. These guys have learned what it's like to live with their rides once the wrenches were put away and the rubber met the road. The tech articles we've printed in the magazine during the last year have been the return on that investment. You guys have received firsthand knowledge from real gearheads and not some regurgitated press release or a tech article written by someone who either reprinted the instruction manual or who doesn't know the business end of a torque wrench from a ham sandwich.
The good news is that there's a wealth of knowledge still to come. Galen's custom paintjob will be detailed in an upcoming issue, and Calin's got a few more tricks up his sleeve for his S-10. For the most part, Kevin is done with his S-10 and has been mobbin' it to work regularly and embracing every rock chip and road rash along the way. These guys are livin' the dream, and yes, I'm a bit jealous that nothing I own is road-worthy. But, the silver lining to that cloud is the motivation I've gained from watching my friends enjoy their trucks each day. Read their stories, check out the mods they've made, and know that you too can build a truck worthy of the cover of this magazine.
You don't need a million bucks to roll in style. In fact, each of the guys' trucks was built on a different budget that you're sure to identify with. Calin stuck to a strict budget of less than 10 grand while still nailing the muscle-car vibe inside the cab, and to me his truck looks like a million bucks. Galen built a great example of a moderately priced Colorado with a timeless style and an audio system that's probably so loud it's illegal. And Kevin went nuts with his truck, but in a good way. Personally, I've seen way too many S-10s in my lifetime to get too excited about another one, but I really dig his truck. His truck actually makes me think that green and purple paint look good together, and his tailgate is one of the most original ideas I've seen in a long time.
Times are tough and money is tight, but we can still read about trucks we love even if the rest of us can't afford to have one in our driveway. These guys have shown that no matter what your bank balance is, you can find a mod they did that will fit your budget and style.
I'm so fired up now that I've seen all three of these rides parked in the same spot that I'm gonna go take something apart on my truck or put something back together. Either way, it's progress and I'll be stoked to make some. See ya next month.