August 2007 On The Floor - Should You Stand Up Or Get Down?
Everybody has 'bags and a body drop, nowadays. Actually, that's an exaggeration, but there is a sliver of truth in the statement. Hammered trucks are everywhere these days, and the bar for building a cool truck has been raised so high that it's in danger of getting knocked over. Custom truck building has become such a labor-intensive and monetary-fueled endeavor that not everyone has the resources to build what is now considered a cool truck. You can't just throw some flames on the hood of your Ford, toss 20s beneath the sheetmetal, tweed the interior, drive to a truck show, and expect a trophy. Those days are long gone, and here's why: If you go to a truck show this summer, you'll notice that more than half of the trucks in attendance will be laying flat on the grass, asphalt, or pavement.
This is because the air suspension industry is no longer in its infancy, and products are readily available, no matter if you live in New York, California, or Hawaii. The other reason that the number of body-dragging trucks has exploded in recent years is because everyone either knows someone who owns a MIG welder or owns one of their own. Today, guys are laying out trucks in their driveways and garages without the need to visit a custom shop, because many people have picked up the knowledge that custom truck magazines have kicked down. What this has done is raise the bar to include 'bags and a body drop to the list of prerequisites for a cool truck. Do you remember the last time you saw a truck in a magazine that wasn't on some sort of adjustable suspension? I can, but I can only count those trucks on one hand.
I started thinking about all of this because we were talking about the upcoming 20th anniversary issue of Sport Truck that we are about to begin production on, and we were wondering what kind of truck we'll be putting on the cover. We were tempted to find a past cover truck and photograph it again for the new issue. But in the back of my mind, I thought, Who wants to read about a static-dropped truck with dated graphics and mods that are tame compared to what is being done to trucks today? And, therein lies the paradox. Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. There are some trucks out there that, with minimal effort and money spent, attract more attention than other trucks with thousands of dollars spent just to make them lower to the ground. The cheaper trucks get the job done with a timeless style and creativity that goes beyond simply planting themselves flat on the ground in a parking lot.
The old school is cool when you are talking about vintage or classic trucks, and those trucks seem to get by without extreme suspension mods, thanks to amazing body lines. But, what about trucks built in the '80s and '90s that have been forgotten or neglected? Were the mass-produced Chevys and Fords that were customized during Sport Truck's infancy really that cool to begin with, and can those same trucks hold a candle to what's being crafted today? Does a truck really have to be laid out to stand out among the crowd, or has the crowd dropped so low to the ground that standing out is now as easy as adding lowering springs instead of air springs? I don't think there's an easy answer to this one.
Now let's move on to more important matters. Part Two of our four-part poster series is carefully bound into this issue of Sport Truck, and boy, is it a good one. We have one of the most extreme trucks on the planet, Craig Elder's lifted-to-the-moon Kodiak, starring model Laura Niles. As you might have read, if you turn the poster over, you'll score a large piece of the puzzle that is Lana Kinnear. In the July issue, we gave you Lana's stiletto-heeled feet to look at. This time, you get to see her luscious legs. See you next month.