Hot rods, muscle cars, and custom trucks have been a passion of mine since I was a little kid. I was brought up with a grandfather, uncle, and dad who were all into rods and racecars. My grandfather had hot rods, uncle Ed raced midgets, and my dad built some very cool rides. Undoubtedly, their love for speed and beauty was a big influence of my lifelong dream. During my middle school years living in Modesto, California, while playing ball and stick sports, I also kept myself entertained peddling my bicycle over to Gene Winfield’s Custom Shop on Tully Road. I was allowed to hang around the shop where I would watch Gene and his crew chopping, sectioning, and painting some of the wildest custom cars and trucks on the planet. While my buddies were reading comic books, I had my nose in my latest copies of Hot Rod and Rod & Custom magazines. During the evening, I listened to Wolfman Jack religiously on my AM radio. After moving to SoCal, I attended Huntington Beach high school during the mid and late ’60s. Oh the glory days of playing football, baseball, and surfing. I also found time bustin’ knuckles and spinnin’ wrenches in the garage with my dad. I always had fast cars growing up. That time in my life was all about being a kid and dreamin’, and I still am. Just ask my wonderful wife of 37 years.
For the past 14 years I have been blessed to be a staff member of Truckin’ magazine, as the senior tech editor. Being the senior tech editor allows me to keep my thumb on the custom truck pulse and new trends of our hobby. I am continuously searching for the latest innovative products from the performance aftermarket manufacturers. Visiting shops allows me to see what new innovations and styles are being built before they are rolled out into the custom truck world. The days I am not at the office writing tech articles, I am out in the field visiting quality shops shooting photos for another in-depth tech article. Every tech article shoot is unique in its own way. Sure the subject might be the same, but each fabricator or installer has their own techniques. I find myself learning new tricks of the trade at every shoot. I might be dedicated to a shop for a week or longer documenting every segment of the build, whether it’s suspension, brakes, engine, transmission, differential, wheels/tires, interior, audio, body and paint. When I am not furthering my mechanical knowledge at a tech shoot, I am packing my camera bag in preparation to cover another show.
Shows allow me to maintain a presence in front of our readers while capturing the action and personality of each event. Talking with participants, spectators, and vendors from different parts of the country continuously broadens the Truckin’ horizon. Attending shows also allows me to search for high-quality feature trucks that separates Truckin’ from other publications.
Yes, I am definitely living a dream.