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  • Custom Classic Trucks - The Big Three - Classic Truckin' Trends

Custom Classic Trucks - The Big Three - Classic Truckin' Trends

Bob RyderMar 1, 2004
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If you have been a hidden classic custom truck enthusiast for many years, it's time to step out of the closet - your time to come out is now. The present is a great time for early model trucks. For many years, early model trucks weren't considered trendy, but it seems custom designer's and builder's opinions have recently changed on this issue. All it takes for this to happen is some trendy builders to create a couple of incredible, distinguished rides to spearhead a new trend. One of the most attractive elements is that a project classic truck can be purchased for a fraction of the cost of a street rod or musclecar. Another alluring point is the large variety of aftermarket replacement components and parts. Many of the suspension, engine, and driveline components will crossover from the street-rod and musclecar aftermarket inventory. When building a custom early model project, some of the original parts may be missing or found in poor condition, but those small, hard-to-find parts are much easier to locate in today's classic truck aftermarket. A clean, cool, custom classic truck project can be completed for a lot less than any other custom vehicle on the road today.
When building a custom ride, there are three critical elements to making a custom Pro Street touring ride look right. These elements are the wheel and tire combination, the paint, and the stance. If one of these three elements does not contribute equally to the overall aesthetic package of the truck, it just doesn't work. Of the three elements, the wheel and tire combo will make the greatest impact on the truck's overall presentation. Just like fashion changes with the seasons, so do wheels. We are seeing the vintage look being implemented into the new-school designs. A vintage-style hot-rod wheel in 17-, 18- and 20-inch diameters can change the appearance of the truck in a matter of minutes. There are three basic hot-rod wheel designs that will not go out of style. These designs are five-spokes, slotted or kidney beans, and steelies with beauty rims and hubcaps. It's not the increasing diameter size of the wheel that makes the wheel, it's the style. Mixing large, late-model custom wheels with early model classic trucks is like mixing oil and water - they just don't mix. It must be a generation thing. New, late-model wheel designs don't complement old-school trucks. Picture dressing an elderly man in his 70s in the latest X-Games body gear, then slapping him onto a snowboard. It's just not going to look right.
The tires also contribute to the wheel and tire combo equation. Similar to the wheels, we are seeing tire companies answering to the custom wheel demand for large-diameter tires. We are even seeing Mickey Thompson increasing its inner diameter dimensions. Mickey Thompson started offering a wide-drag cheater slick, complete with two grooves down the inside edge of the tread surface to make the tires street legal. The tire is also offered in a nostalgic, wide whitewall version. Wouldn't a set of Radir wheels complement those Mickey Thompson wide white cheater slicks? We are also noticing more trucks spinning larger diameter wheels and tires in the rear, as much as 18 inches in diameter, with smaller 15-inch diameter wheels and tires up front, just like they did in the old days.
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