As I sat here staring at my keyboard attempting to pound out this month’s editorial my mind began to wander (something it does more frequently the older I get). Anyway, I got to thinking about all the great people I’ve had the opportunity to meet since I’ve been in the business. The great majority of which are/were wonderful folks; unfortunately, it takes all kinds to make a hobby, as well. And as much as I hate to admit it, we’ve got our fair share of closed-minded, anal types in the classic truck world, too. And though that’s not really surprising, it is a bit disappointing.
Here’s a case in point. A while ago I received a letter from a reader who, at an event, happened to run across a classic truck we’d featured sometime in the past year. The situation was such that he had the opportunity to give the truck a pretty good once-over. After checking it out, and upon his return home, this guy sat down and penned me a pretty stern note expressing his dismay. Now, I don’t recall what he said word-for-word, but apparently he was aghast that I’d featured a truck that upon close inspection had a few flaws! Can you imagine that! How could a magazine run a feature on a classic truck that had a small crack in its bed wood or a blemish or a couple of chips in its paint!
According to this guy, it was an insult! If this was the case, why should he kill himself building a “flawless” classic truck if nearly “anyone” could get his or her truck in a magazine? He even went so far as to say that he believes that automotive photographers intentionally use trick photography and strange angles to hide flaws in their subjects just so they can feature inferior vehicles in magazines. How dare us! That’s as bad as a pretty woman putting on makeup so she’ll be even more attractive!
Well, it’s like this. It is true that we (read, “that I”) feature trucks that are not flawless. And, like it or not, I’m going to continue doing so. And here’s why. When I took over as editor I made a promise that this magazine was going to be for and about “real world” classic trucks. Sure, you’ll find your fair share of honest-to-goodness head-turners between our covers. But what you’ll find more of are lots of good-looking trucks built by folks that work their fingers to the bone and give up plenty so they can afford to buy the tools and aftermarket parts they need to put together the nicest classic truck they can! No sir, not everyone is as talented, skilled, and as well off as you, but you best better believe that folks try like heck to do the best they can with what they’ve got, and we’re damn proud of ’em for doing what they do.
None of us set out to build an inferior classic truck, Lord knows I don’t. I also know that the few I’ve built over the years were way less than perfect. But, I did the best I could. Hey, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to me they were awesome, and the good times I’ve had and the friends I’ve made because of ’em are worth more to me than all the tea in China. So, for what it’s worth, I apologize for disappointing you (and those that think like you) and I’m sorry that you’ve been burdened with that rather large chip on your shoulder. It must be a drag going through life surrounded by the rest of us less-than-flawless folks, and our classic trucks. CT