Real-World Classic Pickups
Welcome back! I've been a subscriber for years and couldn't agree with your last editorial more (daily drivers versus pro-built). Back in '98 a good friend of mine decided to get involved in classic trucks, whipped out his checkbook and many checks later, made the cover of your magazine-without ever turning a wrench! I've been restoring my '59 Chevy panel since 1983 and aside from the paint, bodywork, and upholstery I've done it all myself. I've loved the experience of slowly upgrading and driving it in the rain, on freeways, and even pulling a bike trailer! Keep up the good work!
Just wanted to say "right on" to your last editorial. I love seeing good homebuilt trucks! I think many of your readers are like me-guys working on a project with limited time and funds. Folks like us pick up lots of ideas by seeing someone else in a similar situation creating their ride. It's also a good reason to "get your butt in the garage, if you think there's a chance of seeing your best efforts in CLASSIC TRUCKS!
Keep up the good work!
Hello Mr. Rizzo,
I was very excited to receive my new issue of CLASSIC TRUCKS and see the feature "Blue Collar Baby." I was not happy to read the first line and realize that you started out by asserting that this series of trucks was "not the prettiest of pickups."
Part of the reason that I am not happy with your declaration is that in a field cluttered with old trucks I picked the Stude because of its looks.
I have quite a story to tell about this project. It started out as trying to realize a lifelong dream. Then, partway through I was diagnosed with leukemia. After the treatment and recovery (during which I still worked on the truck) I had everything mechanical finished and was getting ready to paint it when the garage burned down. Most of the work that was completed was ruined.
After the garage was rebuilt I started in again and finally got it finished. I have enjoyed taking it to several local car shows, and I drive it every day. It has four-wheel drive courtesy of the Jeep Cherokee drivetrain that I installed and handled the recent snowstorms here in Denver quite well.
I guess the reason that I am rambling on like this is in response to your Driver's Seat intro. I was at first intimidated by the results I was able to produce compared to some of the trucks featured in your magazine. I had started going to car shows before I purchased the Studebaker and was surprised to see a lot of cars and trucks that were not perfect. It was passion not money that motivated me to start this project. That passion was strong enough to carry me through some very tough situations. And that passion is what this hobby is all about-not who can spend the most money or do the most perfect work. This is about the grin I get every time I climb on the running board and sit in my 68-year-old pickup and buzz down the street watching the eyes of other drivers and pedestrians as they appreciate the sight of what I have done.
That is what I hope you're trying to shift to in your new approach. Sure, it is nice to see what the pros are doing. But it is so much more to see what the regular guys are able to accomplish, and to know that as I pursue this hobby I can achieve, maybe not perfection, but satisfaction.
Anyway, I hope this email inspires you to pursue your passion and keep adding features of the regular guy's trucks in your wonderful magazine.
Thanks for reading my letter!
Thanks a bunch for all the kind words. I was hoping you folks would be OK with my outlook and would look forward to seeing more homebuilt pickups in CT in the future. I also don't want to breed any ill will toward those who may not have the time or mechanical skills needed to do it themselves. We welcome classic truck owners (or wannabes for that matter) of every stripe to the hobby, and I have a sneaking suspicion that those who have had trucks professionally built do over time make a few personal upgrades themselves-everyone starts somewhere. And as far as off-brand pickups are concerned, we hope to be showcasing more of a variety as time passes. Thanks for your support and suggestions; it's always nice to know that we're on the right track!
Best regards to all, RIZ