Wow, I guess that old saying-the more things change, the more they stay the same-really does hold true. Back in May of 2000 I wrote my first editorial for CLASSIC TRUCKS and 31 issues later (in December of 2002) I penned my farewell editorial on these very pages. At that time I too had been offered the same opportunity as Rob Fortier recently has, the editorship of our sister publication Rod & Custom magazine-pretty coincidental you have to admit. Rob's done a great job during his tenure at the helm of CLASSIC TRUCKS, and I'll now have the chance to once again see if I can come close to filling the shoes of a successful predecessor. So once more, as I did many years ago in my very first CLASSIC TRUCKS editorial (and with deference to those who endured this nearly 10 years ago) I'll take this opportunity to give you the same bit of background on just who I am and what my motivations are as I did back then.
Before finding myself "at the wheel" of CLASSIC TRUCKS (this time around) I served as the tech editor on STREET RODDER, editor of Rod & Custom, tech editor on Super Chevy, and up to about two weeks or so ago a second stint as STREET RODDER tech editor. I joined the company as a whole back in January of 1996 after relocating to California from New England. Aside from menial part-time jobs until I was 16, I've never had a job that wasn't in the automotive field-and above and beyond that, I'm proud to say, I've never owned an unmodified car, truck, or motorcycle in my life.
Like many of you, my love affair with anything with wheels started at an extremely early age. My first high-performance vehicle consisted of a 24-inch Columbia with a half a dozen playing cards snapping away in the spokes. But, over time, I graduated to bigger and better things-things that actually had real engines.
I'm not going to bore you with a laundry list of the myriad of hot rods and customs I've put together over the years, but I will take the opportunity to mention the trucks. My first was a '65 GMC shortbed Stepside with a six, a three-speed, and a rod knock that sounded like a woodpecker on a hard hat. That truck was the recipient of the first engine I ever rebuilt (that actually ran). A few years after that came my mini-truck (hey, I was young and didn't know any better), an early Mazda B-2000 that eventually ended up with a 350/350/8-inch combo (by no means a classic or even American, but it was a blast). Next came a '48 F-1, a real ground-up, bare-frame buildup, and one of my all-time favorites. Next, a black primer '57 Ranchero with a 5-inch chop, a '57 DeSoto grille and bumper, and a 302/C4/9-inch (my classic truck, hot rod, and custom, all rolled into one). Finally a '64 Chevy C10 shortbed Stepside rounded out my stable. With the exception of the Ranchero (which I snagged unfinished from my best friend Rob Fortier) every one of 'em was homebuilt in either my driveway or garage. I've always been, and always will be a hands-on type of guy, who's not only uncomfortable letting someone else turn my wrenches-but like many of you folks, couldn't afford to pay someone else to do it for me if I cared to.
As the new/old editor, I'm going to dedicate myself wholeheartedly to bringing you as much of the "real world" as I possibly can. And I want to assure you that under my watch homebuilt reader's trucks will have the same opportunity to show up between the covers of CLASSIC TRUCKS as professionally built haulers-heck, it's you folks that keep both CLASSIC TRUCKS and our advertisers in business! And who knows, there might be other minor modifications (including some ideas suggested by you) likely incorporated as time goes by, too.
Meanwhile, please continue to enjoy CLASSIC TRUCKS, and don't hesitate to email me anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm always here. I'm always open to suggestions and ideas. You'll see-I'm just one of the guys.