If you read the comments on our Facebook page (like us on www.facebook.com/customclassictrucksmag if you haven't already!) it would seem that there are two camps in the classic truck hobby. One that thinks any modern conveyance on a vintage truck is akin to blasphemy and one that thinks mating a little of the old with the new is a good way to bring an antique hauler up to date. Of course, by now you guys probably know where I stand, but it begs the question and I'm not sure if I even want to ask it for I'm not certain I'll like the answer:
Why buy a classic truck just to bolt on a bunch of modern accoutrement?
It would stand to reason that if one wanted power windows and door locks, fuel injection, push-button start, air conditioning, four-wheel disc brakes, and an overdrive transmission in truck-form, why not just buy a new Silverado? The answer for me is relatively simple, but it does come with a few caveats.
For one, I can't afford a new Silverado. But, I can afford an old truck that I can slowly upgrade as my budget and time permits.
Really, what is all this wiring for???
Secondly, there's not much on a new Silverado that I can work on. Here in California, there's a bunch of nothing that I can tweak on the engine that will allow it to still pass the biannual smog test. Even if that wasn't an issue, swapping out a "chip" or cold air intake isn't exactly hot rodding at its finest. Those kind of "mods" are best left for the "rice rocket" crowd.
I will admit, having a vehicle that is dead reliable, covered by a warranty, and comes equipped with all the bells and whistles does sound a bit appealing. I just want it wrapped in a package that offers some kind of excitement.
So, to satisfy those desires, I decided to rebuild my C10 with the intention to incorporate all the "mod cons" of a contemporary vehicle. I wanted power door locks with proximity sensors and push-button start so that I didn't need to take the key out of my pocket when I drive my truck. Why? Because new cars have it and it's cool. Why else are they putting it in every new car? Are we really that lazy? The answer is no, but my wife's car has it and I have to admit, it's pretty bitchin'. With the '68, I want to incorporate some of the needless, ridiculous additions to see if they work as advertised and to spur the imagination when it comes to your build. I want to combine the new with the old, without anyone knowing.
"Oh, your new Mercedes has "magic" doors and automatic locks? Do you see that farm truck over there…?"
To me, that's pretty funny. Most people have no idea that the same technology that's under the hood of their new car is available for any old clunker.
But I think the best part of all this is the fact that one can't just go out and throw down their checkbook and do what we all do. It takes dedication, determination, and good ol' blood, sweat, and tears. Wait, you guys don't cry, do you?!