I wish I could say that this idea was hatched during an extended drinking session or something dramatic like that, but it wasn't. It's the direct result of what happens when you chain two gearheads to their desks for far too long. We get bored and start daydreaming about leaving California for greener pastures. We also daydream about doing the damn thing in something a little cooler than our daily drivers.
Calin and I have been talking about going someplace far away in our trucks for years now. We sit in my stuffy office and ask "What if?" all the time. The problem has been that every spring I dream up some harebrained scheme to drive one of my buckets to a show during a cross-country journey and every summer I succumb to my own vices, pushing trucks further and further into the black abyss of project hell by modifying them too much to ever see the road again. That and the fact it takes a full four weeks to put each issue of this magazine together has prevented any journey to nirvana. Well not this time. This time the scheme is so ridiculous that it has to work.
Instead of building something really trick or overzealous, we are going to take the biggest POS in the Sport Truck fleet and make it streetable in less than 10 days. And we aren't doing all the work at home either. Nope, now that it runs we are going to drive my rust bucket '73 Chevy C10 from California to Tennessee, fixing it up as we go.
I just finished off the engine and trans swap, so the truck finally moves under its own power. You can check out the new drivetrain in this issue. Calin and I have also thrashed on the C10 during the last couple of weekends, fixing up anything that'll stop us from achieving fortune and glory out on the highway. Before we leave we'll give the truck a mild drop, restore the interior and replace a few body panels, quickly install a Vintage Air system and a sound system, and then it's on like Donkey Kong. We'll be hitting the road on August 26, heading for Phoenix, then we'll brave more open desert on a cruise to Texas, blast our way to Tennessee to attend the Relaxed Atmosphere All-Star Event, and then head home on I-40.
I've left out what shops we are visiting and what mods will be performed, but the rendering that we printed in the October issue is a good indicator of what the finished truck will look like by the time we show up in Tennessee. Why go to all the trouble of fixing up a truck with a truncated timetable, in the heat of summer, during a road trip? Why not?
First off, the Parts Racer isn't a show truck so if we only spend a few days fixing up the body, which won't result in perfection, I couldn't care less. But more importantly, I've almost forgotten what it's like to take the Great American Road Trip. It's been years since I braved the open road, eaten strange food, or changed a flat tire on the side of a two-lane strip of asphalt in the middle of nowhere. In short, it's been too long since I experienced the best part of owning a custom truck.
The opportunity for adventure won't be wasted either. We'll be photographing, filming, and writing about the entire trip. By the time you read this column, you'll be able to experience all the shenanigans via daily blog updates that we'll make at www.sporttruck.com. The January '09 issue of the mag will also feature the mods we performed, new friends we made, and all the drama that unfolds throughout the cross-country custom tour. It's going to be the trip of a lifetime and I cannot wait to leave. See ya next month.