Let Us Hear From You: Please send all letters to: Truckin' Magazine, Readers' Rap, 2400 E. Katella Ave., Ste. 700, Anaheim, CA 92806. Please indicate the cover date and page number when referring to specific issues and articles.

Hi! I'm a newer reader, and I can't wait for the next issue. Back in the Fall '04 issue in the Coming Next Month section, I saw a Sport Trac that was supposed to be a December issue feature. I'm not sure if I missed it or it wasn't featured. Could you please direct me to this feature? I have an '04 and I am doing as much as possible as fast as possible without getting divorced. I almost died when I opened Vol. 31, No. 4, 2005 and saw on page 26 the new concept Sport Trac. It was like my dream on paper. I am new to this, but with a little time and hard work, my Sport Trac will be worthy of your magazine. I will send pictures of it soon. Keep the awesome magazine coming!Tim KovacsLas Vegas, Nevada

Tim,
Guess what, buddy? You caught us with our pants down. Pretty picture, huh? In the marvelous world of magazine production, we work with edit ratios. Not enough advertising? We have to cut feature pages. And, as you skillfully caught, the Sport Trac was cut from the Dec. '04 issue. We did not toss it aside, though; we ran it in Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jan. '05). Open up that issue to page 150 and enjoy "On the Right Trac" in all its glory. As a matter of fact, this very hot issue in your hands has another Ford Sport Trac feature in its pages. Grab the January issue and this issue and get some ideas. We are, of course, waiting for pictures of your soon-to-be-completed truck!

Where's Insurance When You Need 'Em?As I sit here with some fellow members of my local vehicle enthusiast group, an argument ensues. My wonderful insurance company will not provide me with any extra coverage similar to a show vehicle policy. I have yet to find such a company and would like to think if I awakened to find my pricey wheels and tires ripped off from my truck, my insurance carrier would take care of it. Others in our group disagree and swear that companies do exist. Would you please settle our argument once and for all and tell us who does such policies?Kristi RichieMinden, Louisiana

Kristi,
You bring up some valid points. There are answers for you. First, with the purchase of expensive products for your truck, you have to tell your insurance carrier and have photographs with receipts on file with them. This causes a problem because as you add fun stuff to your truck, most insurance groups are going to raise your rates to compensate for the inflated value of your truck. If you don't tell them, you take a risk, but if you do tell them, they charge you more, and we know insurance is expensive enough as it is. Second on your list is show truck insurance. Similar to hot rod insurance, the insurance company has to have photos, receipts, and it's normally a contract with limited mileage allowances, and the vehicle cannot be the primary or only vehicle insured. We have had luck with State Farm, Mercury, and Allstate in the past and with the exception of Mercury, these companies should be available in your area. Hope this helps you and your vehicle enthusiast group.

Picking Up the Pieces
I know you guys hear this all the time, but I love your magazine. I spend lots of time reading the how-to articles trying to get ideas for my truck. I just recently got out of the Army and have enrolled in WyoTech to learn more about truck customizing. My project is an '04 Dodge Ram, which brings me to the reason I'm writing. In the '04 SEMA coverage (Vol. 31, No. 3) on page 123, there is a picture of an orange Ram. It looks unique. The headlights are different, the fenders look wider, and the hood overlaps the grille shell. Is this a concept truck, or is it made from aftermarket parts? What other details make it unique? Are these parts available now, or when and where can I get them? Thank you for your time.Derrick Lastraps

Derrick,
This is going to sting a little bit. First, that truck isn't a fullsize Ram. It's a Durango. To answer your question more completely, it is the concept vehicle known as the Dodge Durango Dude. The Chrysler Group Skunkwerks team has developed the Dodge Durango Dude with a unique pickup configuration on the Durango SUV platform. The truck is powered by a Hemi 5.7L with an after-cat exhaust, lowered suspension, custom front and rear fascias, sill extensions, a composite hood inspired by the Viper-powered Dodge Ram SRT-10, 20-inch Budnik billet wheels, custom seating from Lear, and PPG Tangerine Pearl paint. It is one cool piece of hardware. Unfortunately, not one single piece is available for sale, except the existing Dodge pieces, and it is the Durango platform so none of it will be made for the Ram. While you're at WyoTech, take their body class and learn the processes necessary to create the pieces yourself. That will make you an official customizer, and you'll be guaranteed to have what nobody else has.

Torque vs. Horsepower vs. MPG
Nice magazine. I have a suggestion for a tech feature that I hope you guys might be interested in. How about trying to tune a truck for gas mileage. There are lots of claims out there from performance parts saying they will help mpg as well as horsepower. I would suggest doing a good mileage check with a stock truck then add a throttle-body spacer, performance exhaust, air intake system, and a performance computer module, then compare the numbers. Some might say your readers aren't worried about mpg or they'd be driving Civic Hybrids. I say everyone would like to save some money at the gas pump so they can have more money to spend on customizing their trucks.Fred KoenigColumbia, Missouri

Fred,
This definitely brings up a Catch-22. We're going to have to give you a little horsepower theory. First and foremost on the list, increased horsepower is a by-product of increased torque, and torque is the main factor in movement. No torque, no go. So, if you increase the torque output of a given motor, then that motor can do the same work it was doing but easier. Now to make that work for your suggestion. You mention that aftermarket product manufacturers claim increased mpg and you question that. The simple answer is, if you add products that increase torque to your engine, then your truck can now be moved with less effort. Therefore, you would experience an increase in mpg. Playing ying and yang on this subject, most individuals who increase their truck's power somehow complain about a decrease in the mpg, but it is easily attributed to their more aggressive driving. Basically, more power equals a heavier foot on the accelerator. The bottom line to your question is no, we won't be doing any mpg testing, but yes, if you apply those types of products to your truck, it will get better gas mileage IF you drive it EXACTLY the same as you do now. For us, more power is just an excuse to see if the rear tires have good forward traction, if you know what I mean.

Looking for More eBay Truck CoverageI have been a reader of your magazine for about two years, and I love the magazine. I always look at the tech to see what crazy stunts are being pulled for wicked rides. In Volume 31, No. 4, the tech story that caught my interest was the eBay truck you guys are doing. At the end of page 170, it says the finished photo wouldn't be found there and it was just a tease. However, I went back through the magazine a second time and on page 67 of the coverage of the '04 Truckin' Nationals, there is a picture of the completed Chevy truck. I was just wondering if this was a teaser to see if anybody noticed or if it was a mistake. By the way, the truck looks sweet from the picture and I can't wait for a complete feature on it. You guys have the best magazine by far, keep on Truckin'Stephenvia e-mail

Stephen,
We didn't mean for it to be a teaser, but I guess if you look it at that way, then it is. We finished the vehicle quite a while ago, but editorial is slow in the making. A full feature on the eBay Editor's Charity Challenge truck is scheduled for Vol. 31, No. 10. Barring any unforeseen circumstances, look to get the final editorial on our '97 Chevy C1500 in that issue. For now, you'll get another teaser with the attached photo.

Family Affair
My name is Terry Becker and my son "Insane" Shane Becker is the owner of a '56 Ford pickup that our family has been drag racing for about six years. The truck has been in Truckin' at least four times: once when it was entered in the World of Wheels, once in an advertisement for the Truckin' Nationals at Firebird Raceway, and twice in the coverage of the Truckin' Nationals. We have entered the Truckin' Nationals twice, and both times we have won our class. I just wish my son and I had a picture of the truck in your magazine that actually said who the truck belongs to. It isn't the fanciest or the fastest truck in the world, but it does get a lot of attention, and we are proud of the way it looks and runs. It is painted baby blue, has a 351W small-block, pulls the front wheels when it leaves the line, and runs low 10s in the quarter. Thank you for your time.Terry Beckervia e-mail

Terry,
Your truck has seen so much coverage in our magazine because as you so aptly put, it is eye-catching. We would like to take this time to apologize to you and Shane for not actually getting the information earlier. Nonetheless, here is the information for all to see and a pretty good look at a healthy burnout photo. Thanks for writing to us, Terry; we look forward to seeing you and your son again this year.