ST came to life with the November '88 issue. Drew Hardin ran the show and Rik Paul backed him up.
Our innagural issue was full of anything even remotely truck-related. ST covered off-road racing and on-road racing and even road-tested minivans (ugh!). It would take awhile, but we finally figured out that few truck guys cared about fixing up their wife's primary mode of transportation.
The feature article on Walker Evans' new Dodge Dakota race truck showed off our photo studio and art techniques still employed by custom-truck mags today. The juxtaposition of the off-road truck and the sanitary studio still works after all these years.
Goodyear was the first tire company to launch a tire product specifically for sport trucks, when it debuted its directional-tread-pattern Wrangler MT.
In addition to the SUVs and minivans, we road-tested several trucks in '88, including the new F-150 pickup.
We dig this ad because basically it says you should buy a Nissan Hardbody because it's got "massive" 31-inch-tall tires and can safely carry alligators in the bed.
Stadium and Baja truck racing was huge in the late '80s, and Sport Truck was one of the first mags to cover it. The OEMs were hip to the Baja vibe as well, with Ford, Chevy, and Nissan all offering trucks with oversize tires and bed-mounted rollbars. Since then, magazines dedicated solely to off-roading popped up and the OEMs also stopped building Baja-style trucks for the masses, so ST stopped covering that segment of truck fun.
In November 1989, GMC Motorsports set a landspeed record of 194.770 mph in a highly modified S-15 mini-truck at the famed Bonneville Salt Flats. Since then, everyone has taken his shot at going fast in a truck at Bonneville.
BFGoodrich introduced the Mud-Terrain T/A. Although lifted street-driven trucks wouldn't gain favor for another six years, once they did this was the tire to have even if your truck never saw the dirt.
File This Under WTF?
Not only were truck lovers already complaining about the coverage of vans in Sport Truck, but the staff decided to burn a full page on its favorite cooking recipes. These included: Amy's Ann Arbor Burgers, Rik's Mulled Cider, Drew's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies, and Gretchen's Western-style Beans. We can't blame them-the magazine was still trying to define its identity while the aftermarket tried to peg just what a sport truck was and who the hell was building them.