METAL MAY­HEM

Street Trucks - - CONTENTS - BY KEVIN AGUILAR

TO MANY, TRUCKS ARE JUST A MODE OF TRANS­PORTA­TION, BUT FOR THOSE OF US IN THE SCENE, IT’S ALL ABOUT STYLE. Ac­cen­tu­at­ing the orig­i­nal lines of trucks is a ba­sic de­sign choice most of us make, but some top-notch builders are de­vel­op­ing rep­u­ta­tions by go­ing far beyond the usual. For them, stock trucks are just a start­ing point, and the name of the game is rein­ven­tion.

Adding or delet­ing lines calls for a full in­vest­ment of tal­ent and vi­sion that goes above and beyond the work-a-day cus­tomizer. Mak­ing big changes can be a risky propo­si­tion, but some­times you just need to gut through the worry and ac­tu­ally do the mods to know whether or not they’ll work. Know­ing when to go big and when to ex­er­cise re­straint is part of de­vel­op­ing what it takes to be a cus­tomizer who can do things that oth­ers only dream about.

Through­out the many years that Street Trucks has been around, we’ve seen all types of rides. Al­though we’ve been awed by many trucks, we are rarely sur­prised. Af­ter so many years, we’ve pretty much seen it all and we’ve learned that there’s a point where a cus­tomizer can go too far with mod­i­fi­ca­tions. Though we en­cour­age new things, if you change too much, you can end up with a truck that looks noth­ing like what you started with.

Un­less the goal is to have a com­pletely un­rec­og­niz­able truck, most cus­tomiz­ers try to im­prove upon the fac­tory look. Shav­ing items and adding new lines is all about achiev­ing a sub­tle change that sug­gests the new look is sim­ply the way the truck ar­rived from the fac­tory, but bet­ter. Top-notch cus­tom work will al­ways look bet­ter than the fac­tory ver­sion. Trucks are built to a min­i­mum fac­tory stan­dard that is far from per­fect.

Dur­ing the cus­tomiz­ing process, some trucks are pared down to their most ba­sic, raw form. If the work is done cor­rectly, they can ex­ude a spe­cific type of un­re­fined beauty. Most of us pre­fer fully fin­ished rides, yet there are some who will ar­gue that trucks look bet­ter wear­ing a bare metal fin­ish. We can ap­pre­ci­ate the sen­ti­ment; you can get a real feel for the work that goes into a truck when you see it in all of its naked glory. But, if we’re hon­est, the end goal for most of us is a fin­ished, painted ride that’s rec­og­niz­able as a C-10, an F-100 or a Ta­coma—just bet­ter.

Our cover truck has un­der­gone many years of construction and keep­ing it bare metal was more of a ne­ces­sity than a choice while it was in the mock-up stage.

The team at Lit­tle Shop MFG main­tained a steady pace to get all of their mod­i­fi­ca­tions just right so that when the time comes, the truck will come to­gether eas­ily.

Lit­tle Shop re­ally stepped up its game dur­ing this par­tic­u­lar build process, de­sign­ing in­tri­cate parts on the com­puter, and then hav­ing them cut to spec by an out­side source. This is an ex­cel­lent method be­cause it en­sures that the parts will be ex­act ev­ery time. Though the build process has been long, the light at the end of the tun­nel is just be­gin­ning to ap­pear. We shot the truck for this month’s cover in its cur­rent un­fin­ished state be­cause we think it’s an im­por­tant ac­com­plish­ment as it is, but we can’t wait to see the truck fin­ished.

Once we dis­cov­ered that the truck was go­ing to be blown apart for its fi­nal build stages, we seized the once-in-a-life­time op­por­tu­nity to shoot it as is. Even un­fin­ished, it’s still an in­spi­ra­tion, driv­ing home the truth that build­ing a full cus­tom truck isn’t an overnight propo­si­tion. We hope you en­joy the in-progress pho­tos, and once the truck is fin­ished, we’ll shoot it all over again to re­veal it in all of its shiny, painted glory.

LIT­TLE SHOP RE­ALLY STEPPED UP ITS GAME DUR­ING THIS PAR­TIC­U­LAR BUILD PROCESS, DE­SIGN­ING IN­TRI­CATE PARTS ON THE COM­PUTER, AND THEN HAV­ING THEM CUT TO SPEC BY AN OUT­SIDE SOURCE. ”

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