Editor's Note - Positive Offset - December 2004
30 Years! Where Did The Time Go?
Thirty years ago, I was a mere toddler who had zero interest in anything other than eating, sleeping, and being a toddler. A lot has changed in 30 years - think I'm lying? Check out that first issue. One of the things the rest of staff and myself kept coming back to was the state of many of the trucks the editorial staff back then chose to publish. Obviously, just as we are now constantly pushing the envelope, I'm sure those past editorial staffs were attempting to stay ahead of trends, or set them, just as we are on a daily basis. The first reactions after looking at many of the past truck, van, mini, boat, and SUV images were, "What were they thinking about back then?" By today's standards, many of those features we could almost pinpoint the style and era of the magazine simply due to the truck's interior stitching or its wheel selection. The other areas we thought were interesting were the older Effie trucks that could just as easily be photographed today looking cool with a just slight update in wheel and tire selection and maybe a more updated interior.
Also, remember that vans were extremely popular 30 years ago. The styles, colors, and interior appointments we saw when reviewing past issues were simply amazing. When we re-launched vans this year as sport vans, complete with numerous Steve Stanford renderings, it was not our intention for people to return to their roots. We wanted these new sport vans to look and appear similar to the trucks we feature, with the exception of the sliding side door.
When this magazine started 30 years ago, it was not part of the corporate Primedia magazine empire it is now. No, it was started in far simpler terms by the late Tom McMullen of TRM Publishing who also owned Street Chopper magazine. Street Chopper started as a used parts catalog for Tom's motorcycle parts business. Obviously, as it evolved, Tom decided to venture into another area of his interests - trucks. Hence Truckin' magazine being born with no market demographics, no cover comps, and no business plan. And yes, the sole focus of Truckin' magazine's early content was the huge van scene. One of the very first project vehicles built (an endless staple of Truckin') by this magazine was Tom's twin-engine Chevy van dubbed Too Bad. This van can be seen in our Top 100 Trucks of All Time. Tom eventually sold Too Bad to Godfather Customs owner, Hal Johnson. That sale is what led Hal into the parts-selling business.
The list is long and the people are many who have worked at and supported Truckin' since its inception. However, the one thing that has stayed constant is the magazine itself. Just as Tom McMullen passed on, there have been those whose businesses have ceased to exist, others have begun in their wake, and the business of trucks as whole has grown leaps and bounds over what they were 30 years ago. No longer is the main purpose of a truck to haul cargo. Today, trucks serve as family transportation and come from the dealership floor with every bell and whistle known to man. Who knows where many of us will be 30 years from now? Going forward another 30 years, one thing you can count on is extremely hard work and dedication that went into crafting the past 30 years of the magazine. It was done in the past with hard-working enthusiasts, and it will continue to be done by that same group. Stay tuned, as the road ahead ensures another 30 years of promise.