Minitrucks have come a long way in the past 20 years. Some say we've run out of ideas and have started recycling them. Like hot rods and lowriders, how much more could we possibly change? If you look at traditional hot rods of today, they are very similar to the trend-starting customs of the '50s. Lowriders have always been into clean looks, with tons of chrome and sometimes outrageous paint. But, if you were at a show 10 years ago, or today, not much has changed for them. Minitrucks seem to be on the same kind of cycle. Of course, trucks don't look like they did in '89; but the basic ideas are still there.
We've gone through crazy mods, then to basic trucks, and came back to crazy mods. If you go to a show these days, you'll see that we're revisiting basic-truck styles again. When minitrucks first started, trucks were basic. They were lowered, practical, and clean. But, soon people started chopping them, slamming them even lower, and getting crazy with them. Then, in the early '90s trucks returned to clean and simple styles again. The wildest things we saw were in the paint schemes. Soon after that, trucks started getting crazy again. Front-end swaps and taillight conversions were a must. Body-drops were gaining in popularity and really changed the face of minitruckin'. If you weren't laying doors and rocking some kind of crazy front end, then you just weren't cutting it.
But lately, the stock craze is gaining popularity again. It's more common at shows to see trucks that are simple, with stock handles, stock taillights, and even stock bumpers. People who were building sick and crazy frames were outdone by the guy with a simple four-link, laying rockers, and on 22s. What's next? Who knows? But, based on the idea that history repeats itself, we'll probably roll basic trucks for a few years, until somebody comes out with a crazy modded truck and blows our doors away.
Single-color trucks either get a ton of attention or none at all. In the last few years, a huge number of single-color trucks have graced the front cover of Mini Truckin' magazine.
This Datsun, which is a past MT cover-truck, shows true class and elegance with a deep-blue single color.
The best way to get attention at a show, or on the streets, is going to be a crazy paintjob. These paintjobs take a lot of time and creativity, but when done correctly can really pop in the eyes of the beholder. Multi-color paintjobs have been minitrucker favorites since the '70s.
Crazy graphics can really show off the handy work of a real artist on a ride, such as this S-10.
A recent paint type with minitruckers is the hot-rod inspired suede paintjobs. With ready-to-shoot paints available these days, it's becoming more and more popular. Some people have argued that the suede and hot-rod look will die soon with minitruckers, but with more and more minitruckers parking laid-out 'Cads or Lincolns in their garages next to their minis, it's highly unlikely.
Suede paint, old-skool graphics, and tuner wheels are some of the combinations on this truck. Also, notice that it still sports a rear bumper and handles. However, the truck is only slightly modded with a shaved gas door, antenna, and hood squirters.
Tons of mods mean tons of bodywork and money. Many minitruckers believe that the crazy mod and frame phase of the previous few years has hurt the minitruck lifestyle. It's hard to keep up with the trend, when a person flips burgers or does oil changes for a living, like most young minitruckers. But, if someone can't afford to do it, then they'll eventually find another hobby. To the do-it-yourself guy or gal, or the person with a few extra dollars to spend, heavy mods mean originality and standing out in the crowd.
Check out this assortment of heavily-modded trucks. As you can see, the first Chevy mixes it up really nice by using the old-skool approach, small wheels, a crazy chopped top, and suede paint. The Isuzu is not only body-dropped, it's sporting three axles. Now that's old new-skool for sure.
Sometimes you want your Chevy to still look like a Chevy, just as the dealer intended. So maybe an Escalade conversion isn't in the plans for you. Simple mods, such as a handle shave job or a roll pan, have never been out of style. Simple mods mean easy bodywork and sometimes it's an easy blend paintjob.
This old-skool Pebble Pushers' ride is clean and simple, yet it has just enough mods to be considered truly custom.
The stock look doesn't mean you roll your truck off the lot and put a club logo on it. The new trend in the United States has already been the trend in places like Japan, where you take a mini, 'bag it, put some wheels on it, and then call it a day. With more money to spend on suspension, minitruckers can concentrate on body-drops, wheels, and looking clean. This is by far one of the most popular trends these days. At most shows in the country, you can roll in and see a handful of trucks rocking rear bumpers, stock taillights, and even the handles.
Of course, these three trucks on the right are not stock. But as you can see, most could pass for factory trucks if they were aired up.