To me, the classic truck hobby, or should I say the hot rodding hobby, in general, is one of the most enjoyable aspects of my life. In fact, and in all honesty, it ranks a close second to my family (a fact often disputed by my wife). Wrenchin’ on my projects (usually a minimum of two at a time) is therapy. I’m serious—for me, the stresses of everyday life are herded to the back o’ the bus as soon as I reach into my toolbox and grab a wrench. And from that moment on my attention is focused on the task at hand—magazine deadlines are temporarily pushed from my mind as are nearly all un-associated distractions including, to my wife’s dismay, household chores. Sure, often many of the tasks involved in building a truck provoke a certain amount of aggravation and stress of their own. But somehow these self-inflicted exasperation’s are, to me anyway, rather enjoyable. Trying to disassociate yourself from stress by assembling something which often amounts to a rolling Chinese puzzle may seem a bit strange (to the uninitiated anyway), but for me, it works. And I’m betting the same holds true for most all of you, too.
There’s nothing like dragging home a rusting hulk or a barely running beater, tearing into it, and then re-assembling it into your own vision of a cool hot rod truck. To a certain degree, doing so kind of gives one a sense of control. Sure, there will be some constraints like cash or in almost as many cases (for me anyway) skill. But the challenge of overcoming these hurdles are all a part of doing it yourself, and every time you succeed you realize you’ve just learned a lesson that can be applied to the next hurdle … or your next project.
This line of thinking brings us to the brink of what can sometimes be a bit of a touchy subject. One which a lot of you broach in casual (and sometimes rather heated) conversation, but one, I think (because of the frequency it’s brought to my attention), I should address. What I’m getting at is the old homebuilt versus pro-built dispute. First, let’s get something straight (and mind you, this is only my humble opinion), a bitchin’ hot rod is a bitchin’ hot rod. I don’t give a hoot whether it’s a flawless BOBCO-built F-100 or a homebuilt Studebaker half-ton—cool is cool, and there’s different strokes for different folks. We should all realize that fact. Heck, I’m a die-hard do-it-yourselfer and a staunch fan of “real world” homebuilt classic trucks but, I’m equally entertained and impressed eyeballing a professionally-built 100K-plus show-quality vehicle, as well. Hey, I’m easy. I’m not intimidated by professional builders, nor do I harbor any ill will toward those that pay someone else to build them a truck (or for those that purchase a finished ride, for that matter) as long as they’re happy, that’s all that counts. To me, it’s all about havin’ fun—life’s too short for petty bull. So, to quote those tennis shoe folks, “Just do it.”