Let Us Hear From You:
Please send all letters to: Truckin' Magazine, Readers' Rap, 2100 E. Howell Ave., Ste. 209, Anaheim, CA 92806. Please indicate the cover date and page number when referring to specific issues and articles.

Can't Wait to Get Backto the World
I'm an inmate at the California Youth Authority and receive Truckin' magazines from canteen as I purchase them monthly. I'm 18 years old and love trucks, vans, and anything has a fat motor in it. The reason I'm writing is because I parole in Feb. '05 and plan on buying a truck. I'm not sure on what kind I want to get, but I was going to ask you if there's anything free that you could send me for advice. Like I said, I'm a free man in three months and can't wait to burn rubber. I have written six other people in the back of your magazine and hope to get free catalogs.
Eric Foreman
Stockton, California

Eric,
We get a lot of letters like yours from enthusiasts wanting advice on how to go about buying or changing their trucks. Quite a few are from prison inmates daydreaming of automotive aspirations. Some people might find that alarming, but when you consider that 6.9 million adults are imprisoned, on probation, or paroled in the U.S., it makes sense. In fact, you could say that we have a captive market there. Wards of our criminal justice system might be akin that teen-to-20-something demographic businesses are constantly lusting after - a huge segment of the population with pent up consumer demand but perhaps with more cigarettes to spend than actual cash.

Your question is a tough one, and for a very simple reason: We don't know what you want to accomplish with your truck. Will it be a streetwise mini? Off-road warrior? Heavy-duty muscle man? Are you doing the work yourself or taking it to local shops? How much money can you spend? Are you a Ford, Chevy, or Dodge fan? Do you want a late-model or classic iron? Show truck or daily driver? The questions go on and on. You took a good step by contacting some of our advertisers, who are always happy to educate the public about their products. As for what we, the editors of Truckin', can send you, you've already seen it: That issue of our mag that you read every month. To learn more about what's on the market, check out our SUV of the Year coverage in the Feb. '05 issue, our Truck of the Year article in Jan. '05, the "Heavy Duty Shootout" in Nov. '04, and read our sister publications such as Truck Trend or Sport Truck for more on the OE and aftermarket. Also, our website, www.truckinweb.com, is free. More important, when you get out of the hoosegow, go to school, get a good job, spend your money wisely on whatever truck you buy. Also, you may want to reconsider the burnouts, or you might have to park that brand-new truck while you do another stint with the CYA.

Hot...Under the CollarLook, I love your magazine, however, I'm in a bit of a bind. I don't really need or want to see all of the pictures of half-naked models throughout the magazine. What sparked this e-mail was your Nov. '04 issue. To be specific, page 286 is what got me and a lot of my friends thinking. I am a 15-year-old girl, and I don't want to look at it. I think you sometimes forget women read your magazines, too. And, you know, it's not that I was talking to a bunch of girlfriends, either. I was talking to a lot of my guy friends. These are teenage high school boys, and they even said it was a little too much. If the advertiser is selling a crap part, then they might need to have half-naked models in the ad, but I don't know why they might need it for a good part. Oh wait, yes, I do, it's because we live in a sexist society, and we sell things by using little tops and practically no clothing. The ad on page 286 is an ad for Gibson exhaust. I don't need or want to see half of her chest. If I wanted to see that, I would go get an issue of Playboy. So, my bind is whether or not to keep buying and subscribing to your magazine. At this rate, if it gets much worse I will, without a doubt, stop altogether reading your magazine, which would be a shame because you do have some very insightful, useful, and interesting articles.
Emily Watson
via e-mail

Emily,
You may just have given our ad reps an excuse to bump up our rates for a four-color, 1/3-page ad. The back of the book is where we put the advertisers who don't want to spend more money for a larger ad or better placement in the middle or front of the magazine. That being the case, an advertiser might legitimately question the effectiveness of sharing space with a hodgepodge of other fragmentary ads that are competing viciously for the same reader's flickering glance. Advertising is about leaving an impression on the reader of a company or product. The fact that you not only noticed this ad but showed it to your friends validates our ad reps' occasionally optimistic - but rarely exaggerated - assertions that people really do pay attention to the ads in our magazine. Yes, sex sells, but sexism can garner unwelcome attention. The line between the two is fine, and defining it often comes down to individual tastes. So, if you feel a company has crossed that line, then either turn the page or let them know.

Back Issue Beggar
I could really use your help and that of your readers. I normally wouldn't bother you at all, but I am unable to get out on my own to go places and get what I am looking for.

I enjoy drawing trucks and 4x4s, even though I am not a professional. To physically and technically complete the images correctly, I need the big photos and larger layout prints of the trucks featured. I presently have a large selection of new trucks, but very few of the older models.

So, I'm looking for back issues of Truckin', starting from 1999 to 1980, or farther, if possible. Those particular issues have the photo layouts of the older trucks that are rarely featured nowadays. Hopefully, there are some readers out there with all 12 monthly issues from each year. It would even be OK if not all issues are available for each year.

If you would like to see those magazines get a new home and an owner that would truly enjoy all of the contents within these older issues, please don't hesitate to oblige this request. If you would like to help and don't mind selling them at a reasonable price, please contact me through my friend's address, as he is helping me with this process. Thank you very much.

Keith Loker
c/o Darrel Loker
8134 Forest Glen Rd.
Claremore, OK 74019-7510

Keith,
Just in case you haven't checked already, you can order back issues of Truckin' by calling (866) 601-5199. Unfortunately, we only have issues going back one year. You would think that we would have archives reminiscent of the cavernous government warehouse shown in the last scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, but, no, us staffers had to go dumpster-diving a few months back to rescue some of our older Truckin' tomes from a corporate-sponsored cleanup. You might want to check out our Top 100 for some inspiring rides that go back about 20 years. And, if there are any readers out there that can part with their Truckin' treasure trove, then please drop Keith a note.