You know, I'm really pleased and excited at just how much the classic truck hobby has grown during the course of my 10-year hiatus. You'll notice I said pleased, not surprised.
Back at the beginning of the 21st century (gosh that sounds weird) when I first began as CLASSIC TRUCKS' editor the classic truck market was strong. The aftermarket had just begun to realize the potential the classic truck niche was displaying and it seemed as though each month there were new products being introduced exclusively for early pickups. At the same time the street rod market was realizing that a lot of its wares would cross over into the truck hobby too. This in turn was a boon to us home builders by allowing us to incorporate these new pre-engineered components into our builds and cutting down on the one-off fabrication we'd been forced to perform up until that time. Now don't get me wrong. That one-off fabrication was, and still is, often the most fun and most rewarding facet of building a classic truck with our own hands. But you have to admit buying pre-manufactured parts versus designing and fabricating 'em from scratch sure speeded up the process!
A decade later I'm quite a bit more shopworn, a lot more gray, a heck of a lot slower, and not a heck of a lot smarter than I was back then-but the classic truck hobby has seemed to head the opposite way. These days the hobby is bigger, brighter, more enthused, and more enjoyable than ever! And again, needless to say I'm pleased-but not surprised. The classic truck crowd is perhaps the nicest bunch of guys and gals in the motoring world, and I'm extremely happy and profoundly lucky to be back. (Though I have to admit that those years I spent in the street rod world were spent building nearly all pre-'48 pickups-so in that respect I guess I never really did leave the classic truck world).
Well, all this well-intentioned babbling leads me to a great example of the inroads classic trucking is making in the rodding world in general. Goodguys, which for years welcomed classic pickups of all kinds on its roster of nationwide gatherings, has recently announced a brand-new Truck class to its amazingly popular (and fun) Street Challenge Autocross events starting this year. The new Truck class will be open to pickups, Suburbans, deliveries, panel trucks, Rancheros, and El Caminos! At the Goodguys Get-Together events-all years, makes, and models of trucks will be eligible to participate, and at Goodguys National events, classic trucks 1972 and earlier will be eligible to compete.
The new Truck class joins the current class lineup, which includes Street Rod ('54 and older), Street Machine ('55 and newer) and the Vendor class. Each Street Challenge Autocross class winner (fastest lap time) receives a set of tires as well as gift certificates from the other class sponsors. Participation in the Street Challenge Autocross is free to all registered event participants. All entries must pass a basic tech inspection prior to running. Goodguys Street Challenge Autocross sponsors include Ridetech, BFGoodrich, Bowler Transmissions, Splitfire Spark Plugs, Baer Brakes, Mother's Polishes, Waxes and Cleaners, the Roadster Shop, Optima Batteries, and Gateway Classic Mustang.
Needless to say I hope to see you folks out there representing us classic truckers in these fast-paced events this year. Until you've experienced the Street Challenge you have no idea just how much fun it is. Believe me, try it once and you'll be hooked! For more info visit www.good-guys.com and start making your event plans-we'll be looking for you!
See ya next month!