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Custom Trucks - Custom Trucks Are an Art Form

Travis Noack
May 1, 2004
Photographers: Travis Noack
Photo 2/2   |   custom Trucks lowered Truck
Custom-fabricated suspensions, trick paint and body modifications, hand-designed and sewn interiors, and gleaming paint and chrome-laden engines are a custom truck enthusiasts world. These are the elements that make up the gravel-grabbing and cloud-scraping trucks and SUVs that fill up the feature pages of Truckin' each month. To most individuals in the real world, although these vehicles are perfect inside, outside, and underneath, they are considered just (in the non-enthusiast language) fancy transportation. However, to a true enthusiast, these four-wheeled low- and high-rolling wonders are automotive dreams come true. Their finished state represents the culmination of earning the cash it took to create them, and putting in the wrench time to bring them to the street. Just as a painter runs his brush along canvas to create a picture, a custom truck enthusiast uses his or her welder to smooth out framerails, or fills their paint gun canister to bring color to finished bodywork. Anyway you slice it, building a custom truck is an art form. Those who do not participate in building and showing custom rides cannot comprehend the amount of planning, decision-making and time that goes into the construction process. Just as an artist chooses the right shades of color to set the painting apart from others, a custom truck enthusiast assembles the right suspension, engine, and transmission combination, paint and interior materials, rims, and rubber to make his or her truck stand out from the other trucks on the showgrounds. Just like sculptors who continually shape their work, a bodyman works the metal of a tired old hauler to give the truck an updated and smooth look. The only difference is you do not see a fully customized show truck sitting on the wall in an art museum. These works of art are out pounding the pavement
Similar to an artist, custom truck builders begin their journeys in creating the perfect low-slung or high-rolling cruiser with a clean slate. They are free to build the truck the way they choose, using elements of styling which best suite their individual taste. Sometimes, certain builders get out of the construction starting gate a little easier than others due to the condition of the truck when the project begins. The concept remains the same, as builders shoot to create something that will blow people minds and make a strong impression within the custom truck scene.
Building a custom truck in its entirety is an art form, but it is the detail present on the truck that establishes the true talent of the artist. Are the flames perfectly pinstriped and buried in clear, and did the builder hide all the wiring in the engine compartment and smooth the firewall? The details separate automotive art from the rest and make some custom truck examples stand out more than others. If you successfully built your ride yourself, then your efforts should be commended no matter what the finished product holds. It takes commitment and creativity to turn rusted old metal into a trophy-winning beauty. If you built your truck yourself, the next time you are out in the garage, find an inconspicuous area like the fenderwell or frame, grab a pen, and sign it. After all, it is your art and you deserve to put your stamp on it. Until next month, keep hitting those switches, cranking good tunes (such as Bon Jovi and Def Leppard), and cruising until your heart's content.
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