20 Years Of Bad Fashion and Awesome Trucks
How does one recap 20 years of magazine history inside of a single issue of Sport Truck? How do you convey the sense of pride, enthusiasm, and at times, embarrassment that comes from building an empire without rules to follow in such a small amount of space and time? Well, we decided to simply take a look back and pick our favorite trucks, models, parts, and events that shaped the industry. We've dug up the dirt on events that changed history, trucks that seemed innovative at the time and now make us cringe, and a bunch of rides that remain timeless. It's been a history lesson for the current staff of Sport Truck and we're sure it will be for most of you.
Thank You!Before we go any further, we must thank one of our most loyal readers, Peter Kraus of Stone Mountain, Georgia, for donating his entire collection of Sport Truck magazines to the staff. Over the years, our own archive of magazines gained so many holes in it that Swiss cheese isn't an accurate description of what it looked like. Peter has been a fan of ST since day one and graciously gave us every single magazine in his collection. Thanks to him, we now know what happened to that one truck that got lowered that one time in that story with the guy at the suspension shop in California.
In the beginning, there were short shorts, tiny wheels, bolt-on roll pans, and scalloped graphics as far as the eye could see. The short shorts, by the way, were worn by dudes who also had mullets and neon-colored Oakley Blades. The year was 1988 and Petersen Publishing launched Sport Truck magazine to chronicle and define the art and lifestyle of custom-truck building. Twenty years later, the chicks are wearing the short shorts (thank God!) and although the mullets are mostly gone and the truck-build styles have changed, the game remains the same. Sport Truck is still here, covering the progression of the modern-day custom truck.
They say you're doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past if you don't know your history. Since there have been quite a few forgettable trends throughout the last 20 years, this recap will serve as a guide to the type of stuff to avoid and trends to embrace. Things like women with big hair, chrome gas-filler doors, and wheels so wide that they hit the fenders of your truck are what you should avoid like a cop with a bad attitude and a radar gun. There are others, but you'll have to read further to find out what they are. There are also some truly phenomenal trucks that were built during in last 20 years and we've hunted down photography of them.
We've picked not only the best each calendar year had to offer, but also the hottest model, most innovative product, and craziest off-the-wall ads ever printed. This trip down Memory Lane is a strange and comedic one, so sit back in your plastic chair, pop open a can of Pepsi Free, and turn off the Atari, because you're gonna be busy for a few hours checking out all the vintage goodness.
Truck of the Year
The truck that started it all was the '88 Chevy C1500. The aftermarket was primed and ready to customize this sport truck. Bell Tech offered drop spindles, and the staff outfitted its red test truck with Corvette rims and BFG rubber and flogged it for years in tech articles.
Truck of the Year
One of the first five GMC Sierra shortbed trucks ever built, this one rolled off the assembly line in July of 1987. It was quickly customized by Cars & Concepts of Brighton, Michigan, and readied to pace Indy cars at Phoenix International Raceway. The 350-cid small-block was bored to displace 396 cubic inches, and the truck was dropped over a set of 16s. The bright orange/yellow/white faded paint was ahead of its time.