Man, no one is going to believe this, but I think I just met Paris Hilton's mom while I was at the Laundromat. No, I'm not the guy who washes his gasoline-soaked, red shop rags there-my trusty old Whirlpool broke again so I had to load up my '56 panel and go wash some Levis to wear to work. I love using my '56 Chevy panel truck when I have to go somewhere where I know I'm going to have sit around and wait.
In the case of my most recent visit to the Laundromat near my house it turned out I ended up using the panel as a mobile bomb shelter of sorts. As luck would have it, the fabled idiot who does wash his dirty shop rags at the Laundromat had beaten me there by about 20 minutes. When I walked in, the entire place smelled like rancid gasoline, and there was a bunch of sweaty folks sitting around with real grim looks on their faces.
It wasn't the friendliest of environments, but I figured I could dump my clothes in and then go pass out in the back of my truck. No sooner had I gotten to sleep when I was awoken by the sound of a car door slamming the side of my '56. The timing couldn't have been better-just as I threw open the back doors and bailed out to see what had just happened, the blonde lady driving the Mercedes- Benz that had just dinged my truck was displacing the very same patch of sidewalk I needed to land my feet on. My anger turned to fear as I felt her petite body crumple to the ground beneath me.
A million things raced through my mind. I imagined the next voice I would be hearing would be that of a television personal injury attorney who would just happen to walk by. I envisioned it was going to get ugly real fast. The rest of my life would be spent paying off the mortgage I had to take out on my house to settle the case against me. As things turned out, it wasn't to be. Instead of getting ugly, the lady I landed on top of-the Paris-Hilton's-mom look-alike-turned out to be real nice. And, although there really was a personal injury attorney lurking inside the Laundromat, he was busy taking statements from burn victims left scarred by the gasoline soaked shop rag fire that just took place.
I guess that's enough about sleazy attorneys and pretty blondes, let's move on to the serious stuff. This issue marks the one-year anniversary of Custom Classic Trucks' logo redesign. It wasn't a big change. We just made "Custom" and "Classic" bolder-so that people wouldn't think our title was simply Trucks.
The last straw for me was while I was at the All Truck Nationals in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and met Stacey David, the former host of Trucks! I was standing in line next to Stacey's truck "Copperhead" with a bunch of other people and, when it was my turn to meet Stacey, the first thing he said to me was: "Nice hat." I knew right away that he thought the hat only said Trucks! on it, because it was happening all the time with the old logo. When I got back from Carlisle I asked our art director, Dan Silverio, to come up with a better design. That seemed to do the trick. I no longer receive correspondence from people referring to the magazine solely as Trucks. Also, Custom Classic Trucks now outsells Automobile magazine in Wal-Mart. When a person thinks about it, it is absolutely amazing that we are outselling them, because Automobile is a major magazine with real writers-and a real budget. They even have advertising from all of the major automobile manufacturers in there. Of course, now that I think about it, maybe that's why the new car manufacturers aren't doing so hot. Maybe it would have been a wiser decision to spend their advertising dollars with Custom Classic Trucks. Think about it Madison Avenue: a 41-percent sell-through on Wal-Mart's newsstands is nothing to sneeze at. You guys could have these really cool TV commercials, as well as magazine ads, opening with a shot of some old trucks through the decades leading up to some fellers unloading a bale of hay from the back of a new Ford or Chevy. Shoot, I don't care, it could even be from the back of a new Dodge, or one of those giant Toyotas.
OK, I've had my say. You big-time advertising guys had your chance, so don't blame me when the subway train you're riding to the unemployment offi ce says "Made In China" on the doors. Got it? -John Gilbert