This year's classic custom truck show season expressed a suggestion of stylish trend changes. The most impact of any custom truck is its colors. We noticed solids and two-tones were the popular choices. The paint pendulum has swung back to more moderate tones, from wild back to mild. Remember when insane graphics and inferno flames were the hot look?
It seems the early custom haulers have mellowed, with airbagged suspensions that deliver a tire-tuckin', slammed stance and a better ride. A larger wheel/tire combo will complete the updated trendy package. Under the hood, we are also observing less bling and billet. Air cleaner and injector covers seem to be the engine compartment rage. The interiors have shed the tweed (thank God) and grown high-quality leather skin. Bucket seats are being separated by a waterfall center console. Visual entertainment and travel directions are viewed on DVD/GPS screens. Electronic gadgetry has also invaded the early-model scene, with door poppers, automated windows, tailgates, hoods, heated seats, and even engine ignition. I personally like the steering wheel stereo controls. I guess we are getting soft (or softer) in our maturing years.
We are also witnessing younger blood behind the wheel of these timeless customs - due to their attractive lower entry-level prices compared to the much more pricey late-models. Early-model trucks will hold their value longer and give you a better resale price. Many of these trucks of yesterday can be had for cheap or just towed away. With the variety and availability of re-manufactured and custom parts in today's early-model truck aftermarket, it makes it a lot easier to build a cool custom. You put $25,000 in an early-model and you've got a bitchin' truck a young kid can be proud of. You can't even get a new late-model out of the dealer's showroom for 25 grand, and if you did, you still would have to put another 50 grand into it just to make it semi-cool.
The generation bar has been raised to more recent model years. Popular early-model years of the Ford F-1 were '48-'52, and '53-'56 for the F-100. Just as popular were Chevrolet's '47-'54 Advance Design series and the '55-'59 Task Force series. Chevrolet hiccupped with their pickups in '60 and '61, but recovered in '62 with the C10 series, which carried through '72. Ford's '57-'72 F-100 models have also been moving up the custom-truck food chain. It seems Dodge never did have a popular early-model custom truck era.
It will be interesting to see how the newer-year classics will be represented next year. So if you are looking for something newer to build, now is the time....Remember: Old Guys Rule!