It'd been a dream of mine since I was 14 years old to build and show a complete custom pickup truck (and to be in a magazine, of course, since I used to purchase car and truck magazines on my way home from school riding my bicycle!). I've always owned vehicles that were semi-customized and driven every day, but I hadn't been able to afford a full-on custom truck.

I started this project six years ago and planned on a mild custom with a mild budget. I began doing some of the work myself, but with my very busy work schedule not allowing much spare time, I ended up taking it to a shop to have "some" of the work done. Well, that turned into more work, which in turn turned into a much higher budget. Before it was all said and done, the original financial plan had more than tripled! This is where a big thank you to my wife comes in, as she was so patient with the ever increasing cost of building the truck.

It took a long time to make a number of decisions-like which wheel style, put mirrors on the outside or not, and if so, on the driver's side only or on both, which color powdercoat on the frame, etc. Other decisions came easy-like the bed floor, taillights, doors-to-dash modification, chopped top, and color (though it almost took two years to find the right one!). But in the end, I was extremely happy with the way it turned out. Hearing people comment on how subtle the changes are and how elegant it made the truck look-which was exactly what I was going for-are very satisfying, because not everyone entirely gets just how much work went into it and how many changes were made unless they truly know what they're looking at.

Now, I'm really looking forward to driving it-especially to shows-instead of trailering it. I made the promise to my wife that I would haul it around and show it for a while before actually putting it on the road and subjecting it to the usual wear and tear. My teenage dream has finally come true!