You know the feeling: You want to build a hot rod that perfectly suits your style, but it also has to give you a bit of a charge every time you take it out. Something traditional will work but not in the already-been-done-a-hundred-times way. That is where Michael Rao was when he started thinking about building his first hot rod a few years ago. Michael started out by helping his now father-in-law build hot rods, which gave him the itch to build his own hot rod. However, in his mind, the hot rod he was going to build is a '94 GMC Sonoma 4.3L V-6. Now don't fly off the handle just yet. Put the pens down, count to ten, take a deep breath, and let us explain before you start with the letter-writing campaign, telling us where to go.

No matter what generation you come from, customizing vehicles requires the same modifications, techniques, and many of the same parts. The only difference is the canvas that is used to show your creative ideas. There are no specific years, makes, or models that qualify as hot rods. You may not like some particular modification or even the model of vehicle that someone else likes, but does that make either one of you wrong? No. It is an opinion, and we should not condemn someone for their opinion. The dictionary defines the word evolution as "a gradual process in which something changes into a different, especially more complex or more sophisticated, form." Now, forget that this is a late-model truck and what do you see?

A truck that is heavily influenced by the hot rod world.An aspect that makes this like a hot rod is the interior: the way the custom-made dash resembles something from the '50s; how the dash flows into the lines of the hand-shaped door panels and continues into the lines of the custom-made center console; and the way the seats were wrapped and stitched in the tuck and rolled style using vinyl. On the outside, the body was shaved, and the bed was skinned with new wheeltubs. Also in hot rod fashion are the brushed aluminum billet grille and the 17x8-inch Boyd Coddington billet wheels, wrapped with some meaty tires. And from the mini-truckin' side of things would be the ear drum-blowing stereo system, the body drop that is a modified form of channeling, the year of the truck, and the age of the owner. For all the imagination that went into the planning of this truck and all the modifications that were part of building it, the final result is a clean and cool hot rod-inspired Sonoma.