MT: To catch up, we're in Arizona with you and your truck for three days getting all of this ready to go for MT. What did you think of Miki, your cover model?
Charles: I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might get me divorced, but she was great.
MT: Thinking back to when I met you, did you ever think you'd be where you are now? You've become one hell of a graphics artist. You've done so much high-profile work, and you're busier than ever!
Charles: My goal has always been to do my best at graphics, murals, and custom painting, but I never really thought things would go as far as they have in the past six years. I've been painting now for 14 years, but I couldn't have seen this coming.
MT: Concerning your recent move from Oklahoma City to Prescott, Arizona, did you think this would break your string of successes in painting?
Charles: I didn't know, honestly. I took a gamble to move back here. I figured that I'd be able to paint anywhere.
MT: So, what was the most difficult part of rebuilding the Toyota?
Charles: Getting it finished, actually. I lose interest in things when they slow down, and I find it hard to get back on track. It took a real shot in the arm to get back on it the longer I procrastinated.
MT: The truck has been making waves like crazy. The last few things you've done to the truck really helped it stand out.
Charles: That was really the hardest part of doing the truck. The little stuff that was passable as it was, but I went back through to increase the caliber of the truck. It was like doing everything three or four times, just to make it good enough.
MT: I imagine things like that must make you fed up with it, but I'm glad you stuck it out and finished the details, such as getting the graphics on the inside of the bed, inner fenders, under the hood, and on the firewall. It really does make a big difference.
Charles: My whole intention of building this truck was to compete against street rodders. You don't have to own a '32 Ford Coupe to have a full-blown show vehicle. Rodders don't take mini-truckers seriously enough. They'll pay attention when they get beat by a mini, though.
MT: I've always said mini-truckers are the rodders of the future.
Charles: Don't get me wrong, I respect street rodders completely. They give us all a ton of ideas, and we wouldn't be where we are as a group (mini-truckers) without them. It's just time they recognize and show some of that respect back to us.
MT: Tell us about your show season this year. You've been all over the place with the Toyota and your tow pig on 37-inch tires.
Charles: Man, it's been an experience. I have racked up more than 30,000 miles on my Expo' towing the Toyota all over. But it's been fun and I've put a lot of faces with names of people that I've met online or read about in the magazine. I am glad show season is over; I really need the rest.
MT: With all of that traveling, do you plan to do it all again next season? What do you plan to do with the Toyota now?
Charles: I'm going to show it for another season and then put it away. I'll bring it back out when it's a classic and laugh at it 'cuz those 20s will be so old and that paintjob will be so outdated. Man, what was I thinking? You know I'll feel the same way guys who built vans in the '70s feel now.
MT: Thanks for letting us get your ride in MT before it goes anywhere in print. It means a lot in our competitive marketplace, grandpa.
Charles: I wouldn't have it any other way. Thanks for the ink, bro.