Here I am adding fuel cell mounting brackets to the tube chassis.
I read a lot. On airplanes or during lunch breaks, pit stops in the bathroom, car rides to my mother-in-law's house-it doesn't matter where I'm at or what I'm doing, I'll probably be holding a book, newspaper, or a magazine. I've learned a lot of useless things from reading, like the fact that in 1972 Ford built a 3/4-ton RV called an F-250 Ranger XLT Styleside Camper Special, but I've also forgotten some really important lessons as well. For instance I really wish I could remember those trigonometry and geometry classes I took in high school when it came time to build the chassis for my '67 Chevy. Boy would Ms. Hoyle love to tell me, "I told you so!" if she saw this column. Out of all the stuff I've read though, I mostly love to pore over automotive magazines.
Beyond checking out what the competition is up to, I find a ton of fresh project ideas by perusing classic, import, and even off-road vehicle publications, as well as sports and lifestyle magazines. Most of these ideas never make it into Sport Truck because I'd never rip off someone else's work. But, I do read the other mags to keep up with the exploits of friends I've made that have left the company I work for. During our rebuilding period, or "revolving editor door" period as I like to remember it, where magazine editors were switching companies and titles like I channel surf at 1 a.m., the staff of Sport Truck changed dramatically. Thankfully though, all the pieces of the puzzle have fallen into place now, and once again Sport Truck has the most competent staff of truck builders in the industry. Notice that I said "truck builders" and not "editors."
This is me installing a Painless wiring kit.
The custom truck market is overcrowded with magazines, and let's face it, there are bigger and certainly good (notice I didn't say better) titles out there that you could spend your hard-earned cash on. But then again, you'd miss out on all Sport Truck has to offer if you did. This is a great magazine because of the guys who work on it. The bottom line is that the staff of Sport Truck is made up of hardcore truck guys. Each one of us worked on trucks long before we ever picked up a camera, and that gives us an edge over the competition and makes for a better magazine to read. Want to know why? Because we actually know what the hell we are talking about. Hell, even our art director, Andy, is a car guy with old-school flavor running through his veins.
Given that truck magazines are printed to both entertain and inform (and make 'money so we can keep printing more magazines), it makes sense that the guys writing the stories should know what they are talking about, right? They should know all about painting, fabricating, bodywork, wiring, and engines, or in other words, all the work it takes to build a custom truck. The other magazines like to toot their horns about how glossy their paper is and how many pages are in between the front and back cover. Do you really care about that when those pages are filled with tech articles that insult your intelligence? Do you really want to read another story about screwing billet interior dress-up items on an '88-'98 Silverado or one about properly loading a truck on a trailer? I don't think so.
In this photo Calin is lining up the new door and fender with the help of his dad and Redo
That's not how we roll here at Sport Truck. We know you're reading this mag to see the freshest ideas and techniques for building up your project truck. We know you want dyno-tested power upgrades and articles that will help you do the job yourself. We aren't going to print a magazine that doesn't make you laugh, think, or stare in awe of the trucks that are inside. You also won't read a mediocre tech article that doesn't teach you something you didn't already know. Your $4.99 is well spent here because the guys writing the stories know exactly what you're going through when building your project.
To prove the point, here's some pictures of your favorite editors hard at work in the shop. Calin rebuilt the doors on my '67 in addition to installing and aligning the sheetmetal, ensuring it was smooth and straight. Before he came to Sport Truck, he restored over 40 of these trucks with his dad and worked in his old man's interior shop. I did my part by installing the drivetrain, wiring the electrical system, shaving the body, and fabbing and welding the rest of the truck. I've been ripping apart trucks for about ten years now, and while I'm no master fabricator, I can stick two pieces of metal together safely.
I'm checking the fitment of the motor mounts I just made for the LS2.
Of course we had some outside help because this isn't television and two guys can't build an entire truck in seven days. The guys at OC Auto Shop were there throughout the entire build to lend a hand, offer good advice, and provide truly excellent fabrication skills. But, you can rest assured that the editors who put out your favorite mag were knee-deep in the build and pulling all-nighters to make it happen. Now what other truck magazine can you think of in which the editors actually build what they write about? I mean really build what they write about, not just bolt on some accessories, polish the wheels, and snap photos of someone else working. Yeah, I can't think of another one either. See you next month.