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  • The 20th Anniversary of Truck Trend – Sort Of…

The 20th Anniversary of Truck Trend – Sort Of…

The Driver’s Seat: 20-ish Years

Oct 4, 2016
Twenty years is a long time. By the time people turn 20, they’ve often graduated from high school, moved out on their own, and completed a least a couple years of partying in college. Over the course of twenty years most trucks would be nearing worn out, and if still on the road, they’d have near or over a quarter of a million miles. Twenty years is longer than the average lifespan of most household pets, unless you’re that odd person that’s into birds … or turtles. If you’ve been a longtime reader you’ve probably caught on by now that Truck Trend has just begun its third decade of existence by turning the 2-0. If we were a married couple, I’d be expecting fine china. I won’t be waiting by the mailbox for it, but I certainly wouldn’t be returning the gifts either if they were to show up on my desk. Hint, hint.
The magazine world is a weird one—we’re working on the Jan./Feb ’17 issue in September 2016 that will go on sale in early November. Over the years these dates have shifted back and forth in such a way that what we’re doing now doesn’t equally align with what we were doing 20 years ago. Truck Trend first appeared as an editorial department in Motor Trend in 1995. In late 1997, it was spun off into its own magazine, and Truck Trend as we know it now was born. The first issue was Feb. ’98, and it carried on as a bimonthly publication from day one until now. So here we stand, holding the Jan./Feb. ’17 issue, which brings Volume 20 of Truck Trend and our 20th year in print.
But wait, the math geniuses out there might have noticed that 1997 to 2016 is only 19 calendar years. That it is—welcome to the wonderful and wacky world of the publishing business. Since our parent company has changed four times in the past two decades, first from Petersen Publishing to Primeida to Source Interlink Media to finally TEN: The Enthusiast Network, so has the staffing and along with it much of the knowledge of our history. In fact, there are only a handful of people still left with the company that have the tenure to have been around when Truck Trend was launched. And none of them worked on it at the time. But that’s all inconsequential to the fact that we have completed 19 years and are beginning our 20th.
Over the course of time, Truck Trend has had only four editors. Mike Magda had the honor of launching Truck Trend and seeing it through its first years. Mark Williams moved over from editor of Four Wheeler magazine to take the helm in early 2000. Mark ran the show until 2008 when the baton was passed to Allyson Harwood. Allyson moved on in 2014, and that is when I entered the picture. For those interested few, Mike is currently enjoying retirement, Mark runs the show over at Pickuptrucks.com, and Allyson is at Kelley Blue Book. And yes, Mark, Allyson, and I are all still friends and see each other at industry events throughout the year.
What’s next for Truck Trend? Only time will really tell. We’ve grown from a small department inside Motor Trend to being the industry experts on pickups. The only thing for certain is that we’ll continue to soldier on, putting out the best magazine we possibly can, with the finest truck and SUV reviews, tests, and features on the newsstand. And we love hearing from you, our readers, so write in with your feedback and suggestions, and do it often! We may not reply to everyone, but we certainly read them all!
Cheers to another 20 years! And I’ll be waiting for the gifts of fine china to start rolling in.

On The Cover – 20 Years Ago

Feb. ’98
The premier issue of Truck Trend featured renderings of the upcoming ’00 Chevy Tahoe and all-new ’99 Ford F-350 Super Duty. Tips on disc brake swaps, big-block Chevy engines, and selecting snow tires also graced the issue.
Photo 2/6   |   Truck Trend Magazine Covers April 1998
Apr. ’98
On the cover of the second issue was an epic shootout between the Ford Super Duty and Dodge’s 2500 Quad Cab, both equipped with massive V-10 engines. Toyota’s ’98 Land Cruiser, tracking mountain lions with a Chevy truck, and a super-fast 300hp Ford Explorer rounded it out.
Photo 3/6   |   Truck Trend Magazine Covers June 1998
June ’98
Future SUVs were the name of the game this month, with our first look at the ’99 Suzuki Grand Vitara, ’99 Ford Explorer, and the ’99 Mercedes ML430. A complete guide to pickup and SUV bike racks was included, along with a first drive feature of a $250,000 Suburban.
Photo 4/6   |   Truck Trend Magazine Covers August 1998
Aug. ’98
GM pickups were hot this month, with the revised ’99 Chevy Silverado showing front and center. Also included were renderings of the upcoming Lincoln Blackwood pickup and yet another test of the new Ford Super Duty.
Photo 5/6   |   Truck Trend Magazine Covers October 1998
Oct. ’98
The all-new ’99 Jeep Grand Cherokee was shown on this cover, the second one in a row feature a vehicle splashing through mud. A beginner’s guide to towing and how to pick the right supercharger kept things spicy this month.
Photo 6/6   |   Truck Trend Magazine Covers December 1998
December 1998
The final cover of Truck Trend’s first year was all about power, featuring a Roush F-150, Shelby Durango, and Callaway Range Rover. Toyota’s all-new Tundra made an appearance along with a bed-mounted toolbox buyer’s guide and yet another Ford F-250 shootout.

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