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A Brief History Lesson on the West Coast Custom Truck Scene

WILD NEON OAKLEY RAZORS, TRUXTEROSSA BODY KITS, 15-INCH WHEELS AND CRANKED TORSIONS; GROWING UP ON THE WEST COAST IN THE ’80S AND ’90S WAS AN ABSOLUTE BLAST! River runs galore and thousands of like-minded kids running amok, with a side of mini-truck. I’ll never forget my very first “river-run”—just ask Bob Hase. I forged a permission slip to sneak into Spring Splash at 15 years old and never looked back. Being smack dab in the middle of Southern California, let’s just say I happened to be in the right place at the right time. As a youngin’ hooked on lowriders and custom trucks, I found myself memorizing magazine after magazine, month after month. Before I was even old enough to drive, I began to snap some photos and hunt down the editors to see if they would be good enough to one day make it into print.

From an early age, my dream was to be a magazine editor and travel the world shooting custom cars. Didn’t quite know it back then, but persistence would surely pay off. One day I came across an editorial that was literally speaking directly to me titled, “So You Want To Work For A Magazine?” Well yes, yes I do! I wrote back to the editors feverishly, month after month, pretty much from age 16 on. Finally, I decided to track down the editors (back then it was Courtney Halowell, BMC, Lance, and eventually Mike Finnegan), and one by one I would follow them around local shows and bug them just to learn more. I would help them carry gear, line up shoots, carry drinks, whatever it took. Eventually I would bug them so much that Finnegan told me he was moving over to “Off Road” magazine and there would be an opening at “Mini Truckin’.” I couldn’t believe it—I would finally get my shot to apply for my dream job.

FOR THE NEXT DECADE I WOULD WRITE AND PHOTOGRAPH CUSTOM TRUCKS FROM AROUND THE WORLD AND WORK MY WAY UP TO EVENTUALLY TAKING THE HELM AS EDITORIN- CHIEF. I’VE SEEN MANY TRENDS COME AND GO ALONG THE WAY, FROM WILD PAINT AND BIG WHEELS TO PATINA TO THE FULL CRAZY CUSTOM RESTOS WE SEE NOW.”

Making it to the top of the list, I was hired on as staff editor and the rest was history. For the next decade I would write and photograph custom trucks from around the world and work my way up to eventually taking the helm as editor-in-chief. I’ve seen many trends come and go along the way, from wild paint and big wheels to patina to the full crazy custom restos we see now. Of course, I think the West Coast started many trends in the custom automotive and truck scene, as we lived through it and saw them come to life. There were air shocks to airbags, static drops to body drops, and everything in between. Don’t get me wrong—there were innovations and mods sparked and started elsewhere. But the West definitely took the helm early on, and just like the old days of hot rodding we cut up whatever we could get our hands on. It has surely been a wild ride! Over the last 20 years, we’ve built our fair share of crazy trucks, a ton of years of badass magazines, and now it’s definitely challenging being on the manufacturer side of things. I feel super blessed to be where I’m at today, but it came through persistence and dedication. Here’s to another 20!

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