With the close of the 2002 show season and the year 2003 upon us, we here at Mini Truckin' felt that we'd like to give a shout-out to those who made our year most enjoyable. From our cover feature trucks to our features and show coverage, we want to take this opportunity to let everyone know just what we thought about our year covering the pastime of mini-truckin' for the mini-truckers worldwide who wait patiently for Mini Truckin' magazine to magically appear in their mailbox or on their newsstand each month. Each person who writes, shoots or contributes to MT will have their turn to voice their personal favorites, and at the end we'll tally the votes to see who gets crowned MT's choice for Best Cover Truck, Best Feature Truck and Best Show of 2002, with one-off awards made by Doug DeBerti and the staff at Trenz Manufacturing in Bakersfield, California. Just for the record, if our staff and freelancers are in clubs themselves, they've been directed to act impartially and have been asked to mention another club beside their own. Staffers are not eligible to win, and since not everyone's seen all of the issues for 2002 as of press date, we'll roll the November and December '02 issues into the following year for consideration of awards. So, without further ado, let's find out what your staffers and freelancers had to say about Mini Truckin' magazine in 2002.
Lance Martz - MT Editor
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: Mark Jenkins' "Born in Japan...built in the U.K.", June '02 issue. And no one thought a cover truck could come from an international source! Yeah right! Lookout Europe, here we come.
Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: Not so much the photos (because I shot them), but Ranger Dave's Burgundy Ranger ("Down & Dirty", Mar. '02 issue) from New Jersey is the finest driven example of a show-worthy mini I've ever seen.
Favorite Show of 2002: That's a toss-up between The World Famous Texas Heat Wave and the one I didn't get to go to this year, Assorted Miniatures' Showfest in Mississippi. Since I haven't missed any Heat Waves in seven years, THW wins my choice.
Most Admired Truck Club of 2002: Since I can't mention my own, I'll say Pebble Pushers is my favorite club, especially because this past season I hung out with them most of the time I was on the East Coast.
Favorite Feature of All Time: David Collins' Project-X Toyota standard cab with the mongo hood scoop from Texas.
Mike Finnegan - MT Associate Editor
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: Gabe Agana's '91 Toyota, July 2002. His truck has almost everything I look for in a mini, minus the body drop. He let me drive it down the street, so I'm overlooking that aspect of the truck. So what if I'm biased? I challenge anyone to find a truck that will out corner, ride better, drive smoother, haul ass, and still look as cool as Gabe's. Good luck.
Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: Somewhere along the line, I have to vote for my own truck or risk losing face. Since I didn't pick my truck (Burnt Taco) as my favorite cover, I'll say it was my favorite feature.
Favorite Show of 2002: Assorted Miniature's Showfest 2002 in Greenville, Mississippi. Hands down, this is my favorite show of the year and one no one should miss.
Most Admired Truck Club of 2002: Magnetic Minis: They're an all-around great group of mini-truckers who are down for the cause and some of the nicest people you'll ever have the privilege of draggin' with.
Favorite Feature of All Time: I think everyone must agree that on some level the "Last Look" truck built by the guys from Kal Koncepts is one of the baddest if not best mini-truck ever. My only regret is never seeing it in person.
Travis Noack - MT Contributing Editor
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: Chris "Billy Bob" Mull's "Billy Bob's Bucket" in May of 2002 was incredible.Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: Donnie & Shellie Muzechenko's "King Tuk" in the Mar. '03 issue is an awesome truck that's driven everywhere.
Favorite Show of 2002: Laughlin Motorsports Expo in Laughlin, Nevada.
Most Admired Truck Club of 2002: IV EVER Low; the Western and Midwestern chapters are full of fun peeps to hang with.
Favorite Feature of All Time: David Nichol's awesome street rod-inspired '95 Ranger from the Mar. '02 issue.
John Filipiak - MT Ad Sales Manager
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: Gabriel Aganas' "Scene Stealer", July '02. And not because my truck's on the top corner of the cover. That thing was awesome!
Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: Danny Rowe's truck should have been shot for a cover; it's pretty badass.
Favorite Show of 2002: Texas Heat Wave, because it's the biggest and most badass show I've been to, hands down.
Most Admired Truck Club of 2002: Severed Ties, because they're everywhere and they have some killer rides.
Favorite Feature of All Time: Kal Koncepts' "Last Look" is the truck that sticks in my mind as the truck by which all other trucks should be compared.
Justin Cross - MT Freelancer
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: "Born in Japan...built in the U.K.", June '02.
Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: "2 Smooth", Lee and Elena Farmer's '86 Mazda Cab-Plus
Favorite Show of 2002: Spring Fling 2002, Panama City Beach, Florida.
Most Admired Truck Club of 2002: Explicit Concepts
Favorite Feature of All Time: A few years ago there was a blue Mazda B-mini with blue plaid interior. I can't remember which issue it was, but that had to be the coolest to me.
Phil Fowler - MT Freelancer
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: I really liked the green Isuzu on the Oct. '02 cover. It was really clean and simple.
Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: Brandt Fuqua's Tacoma Xtra+Cab in the June '02 is issue is one of the nicest overall, but Ranger Dave's Ford is the most detailed I've ever seen.
Favorite Show of 2002: I didn't get to hit too many, but my favorite this year was the East Coast Nationals held in Richmond, Virginia.
Most Admired Truck Club of 2002: I'd have to say that my choice would be the guys from C.S., Creative Styles Truck Club, from New York. Those guys are nuts.
Favorite Feature of All Time: That I can't answer. There's been so much badass stuff in Mini Truckin', it's impossible. I'm taking the fifth on this one.
Joe Greeves - MT Freelancer
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: Bruce Rivera's slammed Isuzu with Misty Varady was my first Mini Truckin' cover shoot and my favorite.
Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: Shannon Bullis' Long Ranger, the six-wheeled Ford that's appeared three times in MT over several years.I shot all three articles and made a great friend in Shannon and his family.
Favorite Show of 2002: Slamfest in Tampa, Florida. Even after eight years, it keeps getting better. I hope it goes on forever.
Most Admired Truck Club of 2002: Florida's Mini Madness has a great mix of old and young members who help keep each other's enthusiasm high.
Favorite Feature of All Time: Even though I've photographed more than a thousand automotive features over the years, I think the best is yet to come.
Scott Massengill - MT Freelancer
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: The '88 Mazda B2000 in the June '02 issue (because the model's thong caused so much controversy...lol.)
Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: The '94 Isuzu from the October '02 issue was incredible. Gawd, I love that truck.
Favorite Show of 2002: Indy Truck Bash (because I get to see all my friends there.)
Most Admired Truck Club of 2002: No answer given.
Favorite Feature of All Time: The Construction Zone on my '97 S-10 was my favorite, but it's still not finished. (Can't help being a little biased, though). Honestly, Kal Koncepts' "Last Look" is my all-time favorite.
Favorite Part of MT: MT Graffiti. (I had to throw that in.)
Brandi Gulow - MT Freelancer
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: That's the green Mazda from England from the June '02 issue cover.
Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: Argggh! That would be Finnegan's Taco', but my favorite layout was "Criminal Insanity" in the Feb. '02 issue.
Favorite Show of 2002: Texas Heat Wave!
Most Admired Truck Club of 2002: Severed Ties, my old club. But they're still some of the coolest people around.
Favorite Feature of All Time: That's a tie between Pat Nichol's Ballistic Toyota and Lenny Gruver's Targa-topped S-10.
Russell Gulow - MT Freelancer
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: Mike Finnegan's "Burnt Taco" in the Jan. '02 issue.
Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: That would be a Mazda feature called "Un-fade-able" in the April '02 issue.
Favorite Show of 2002: The Texas Heat Wave.
Most Admired Truck Club of 2002: Severed Ties
Favorite Feature of All Time: Pat Nichols' Porsche Raspberry Pink Ballistic Toyota in the Jan. '93 issue.
Mike Slade - MT Freelancer
Favorite Cover Truck of 2002: April '98 issue, the Toyota Tacoma and the cover model Jama Trent. I've known Jama since she was 18.
Favorite Feature Truck of 2002: Danny Rowe's '98 S-10 in June '02. There's a lot of great detail work in Danny's truck.
Favorite Show of 2002: That would have to be the NOPI Southeast Mini Truckin' and Sport Compact Car Nationals in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. This year was the best ever.
Most Admired Club of 2002: Pebble Pushers of Kannapolis, North Carolina. With a President named Bubba, you can't go wrong.
Favorite Feature of All Time: A feature that appeared in the Jan. '94 issue; it was an '89 Isuzu that belonged to Mike Lewallen of Trinity, New Jersey. Of course, that was my first MT feature ever.
The Winners of Mini Truckin's Best of 2002
Sponsored by TRENZ Manufacturing Inc.
3301 Unicorn Rd.
Bakersfield, California 93308-6852
Mini Truckin's 2002 Truck of the Year:
Mark Jenkin's "Born in Japan...built in the U.K." - MT June 2002.
Mini Truckin's 2002 Show of the Year:
The Texas Heat Wave - Promoter "Heat Wave Dave" MacDonald.
Mini Truckin's 2002 Club of the Year:
Congratulations to the winners of our first-ever MT Best-Ofs for 2002! The awards will be handed out at the 2002 SEMA show in Las Vegas, if the winners are available.