If our readers have gotten to this page in the magazine, you have undoubtedly seen the latest cover with its dueling images competing against one another. The incredibly large and predominant image is of Trenz Manufacturing's latest project vehicles, its menacing Excursion, and a radically 'bagged and lowered 1/2-ton Chevy. Both of these vehicles address two current themes running through the World's Leading Truck Publication right now: lifted versus lowered.
Yes, the craze to be the tallest truck or SUV in the world is currently on, and let me tell you, it is getting even wilder than I could have ever imagined. On the flip side, the lowered-truck market, while seemingly played out, seems to get even stronger, despite what we hear from suspension manufacturers and many mail-order advertisers. All it takes is a quick visit to a show to see where the trends are.
Not only is the lowered-truck market in full swing, the guys are cutting out metal floorboards, rockers, fenders, and doors to see who can be the lowest. Pretty soon, we may see a truck body dropped to the side windows. Kidding, but that's how extreme this scene has become. Give a guy a Sawzall or a plasma cutter, step back, and watch them go. There is no end in sight.
However, it is Trenz' big Excursion that I wish to draw more attention to. Throughout the past two years, we have run numerous suspension-lift installation tech stories, both on 2WD and 4WD trucks and SUVs. We have received more than our fair share of inquiry letters wanting to know if Truckin' was abandoning its lowered-in-the-weeds, 2WD roots. On the contrary. For the faithful 28-year Truckin' reader, you may remember numerous covers, features, and tech stories devoted exclusively to this fad.
You see, Truckin' magazine started life as all things trucks, SUVs, and vans. While the van scene has faded (thank God), the truck and SUV craze rages on in both a lifted and lowered state of mind. And Truckin', just as it was 28 years ago, remains all things trucks. We have not abandoned nor will we abandon our roots.
It wasn't really until GM released the previous-generation '88 C/K truck that the lowered scene exploded and Truckin' was really pushed to the forefront of premier truck titles -- so much so that it remains the number two most bought at the newsstand among automotive publications in America.
While the '88-to-'98 GM truck looks awesome lowered, it also looks really cool lifted to extremes. Around the Los Angeles and the Orange County, California, area where we are based, half of the lifted trucks running up and down the freeways were previously lowered at some point in their lives. The telltale sign is the C-notch that glowingly sticks out when someone is running a 6-inch lift, maybe a 2-inch body lift, and massive 35- to 37-inch tires. Low and behold, there is that C-notch.
So the question becomes: Why go from a lowered truck to a lifted one? For some, the answer is easy. First, the scene, for now, seems to be a lifted look. Second, many people who previously lowered their trucks may have grown weary of constantly negotiating freeway road dots, driveway approaches, and speed bumps. They probably have replaced numerous air dams plus their fair share of transmission crossmember bolts that have scraped off due to the excessive lowering.
Will the lifted look hold true? Well, if history is any indicator, it will be around for many years to come. Hell, even the Trenz Excursion -- and for that matter, many of the lifted trucks we have featured previously -- has many of the lowered truck attributes. These include numerous body modifications such as roll pans, new head or taillights, smoothed body lines, big wheels and tires, superchargers, custom exhaust, wild interiors sporting the latest in audio/video, and wild graphic paintjobs. You see, the past has come full circle. Just take a look at the above images and you will see exactly what I mean.
Lifted 4WD trucks made the cover back then, and today, another one makes its appearance. Let's see how long the past remains with us this time.