The classic truck hobby is a fantastic pastime as I’m sure you’ll all agree. There are a lot of factors that make it so, too. To begin with, there are all the neat-looking early truck designs to whet our appetites for restoration or even rodstoration. Then, there are the selections of years and makes to choose from – even though it’s the Chevys and Fords that attract the largest following so far. That said, we’re finally beginning to see some really neat classic pickups from some of the, for the lack of a better term, less-popular nameplates. For instance, the yellow Dodge that was a drop-in image on the cover of a recent issue – now that was one heck of a cool classic that ought to set the wheels turnin’ in the heads of those contemplating future classic pickup projects – at least it did for me…
Now, it’s not that I’m losing interest in Fords and Chevys by any means, but ya have to admit they do account for the largest segment of the hobby for sure. I equate it to the street rod hobby and the ’32 Ford roadster, they’re almost like belly buttons – everyone’s got one. Not that they’re not beautiful, but how many red Deuce roadsters can one look at without getting bored, or even worse, jaded. OK, now that I likely pissed off a bunch of Ford and Chevy owners (no offence intended) lemme get back to my main point regarding the array of factors that make classic trucking so enjoyable.
Above and beyond makes and model choices, there are lots of build styles to choose from, as well. There’s the purists’ choice of totally stock restorations that return these ol’ workhorses back to like-new original condition. Then, there are those who choose the restored look, but with late-model mechanical upgrades like more modern fuel-injected, overdrive-equipped drivelines, and updated suspension and brake systems while retaining stock interior and exterior accoutrements. Next, there’s what I refer to as rodstorations, which are along the lines of the mechanically upgraded examples I just described, but with a touch of customization like large-diameter aftermarket wheels and tires, lighting upgrades, and the addition of lowered conventional or air-ride suspension systems, etc.
And then there’s the most recent build style, the road racer, canyon carver type of customization. This newest fad (for lack of a better term) was championed by the Goodguys Rod & Custom association and the RideTech company. The autocross racing these folks have integrated into their events has become extremely popular over the last couple of seasons, as it not only promotes the building of upgraded classic trucks, but provides folks with a huge dose of adrenaline by allowing classic truck owners some great opportunities to actually enter driving competitions rather than just static truck/car shows.
And finally, the factor that’s most important to me, and I’ll wager one that’s just as important to most classic truckers – all the great people in our hobby. Whether its other hobbyists, people from the vast aftermarket companies who we deal with, or the countless fans and spectators we meet, making friends and the camaraderie that follows is far and away the best part of the classic truck world we all belong to.