Looking over the ICON Thriftmaster truck that graces this month's cover, it's hard not to notice the overwhelming nod to nostalgia that truck has, though it may not be obvious at first glance.
For starters, it's technically not a classic truck. Sure, it's got the right look, stance, vibe, and overall aesthetic of one. Heck, it's even got all the same accoutrement that Chevy used back in the day. But it's a brand-new build, using brand-new parts. The body is brand new. The motor is brand new. The gauges are brand new. The tailgate, bumpers, lights, wheels, tires, upholstery, wiring…it's all brand new! But when you look at it as it sat in the studio, its Gray Glasurit finish harkening back to a simpler time when things were all a bit more, well, black and white, it doesn't matter. It's still got that same “je ne sais quoi" that an original truck has, it's just a bit newer.
And whether you love or loathe the idea of building a classic truck using all new parts, it's really quite amazing that it's even possible. In the case of the ICON truck, Chevy abandoned the body style nearly 60 years ago, yet they're still popular enough that someone saw the need to reproduce the body in its entirety. That says a lot for what this hobby has in store and I think it speaks volumes for what the future holds for us guys who like to play with old stuff.
I've often wondered where we'll be in 30, 40, or even 50 years. Will the supply of vintage tin dry up to the point where the only option is to use an aftermarket body? It's already happening in the street rod market and it's been going on for some time. I don't think it's nearly the same case, since we're dealing with trucks that were built in the millions over the course of 40 years, but it's nice to know that the aftermarket is paying attention and keeping up with demand. And while it's not impossible to still find original, unmolested tin, what's out there is getting rougher and rougher. That makes what companies such as Premier Street Rods are doing that much more important, since you may not need an entire cab, but you could use lower corners, rockers, and a firewall.
What all this means to you and me is that we have options. Options that didn't exist 10 or 20 years ago. Back then, if you had a truck project that needed a right rear fender, you scoured the swap meets until you found one that was better than the one you already had. Oftentimes, it wasn't a huge improvement. Now, we have the option of replacing that same wadded fender with a brand-new one.
Its little things like this that will give our hobby the staying power to allow us to do what we love for another 60 years. I hope to see y'all then!