Do you really think there are enough people out there, like me, who are willing to build their own shocks, intake manifold, or spindles to separate an entire industry by "built" or "bought?" How would you judge someone who bought a four-link kit but installed it themselves? What if it was one of those fully bolt-in rear clips with no welding or thinking? If it all came down to truly built or bought, I think I would be standing in a corner with maybe three other guys. It's just an unrealistic separation, let alone an ignorant phrase.

So, how should it be separated? Does it really need to be? I think not! Remember high school Math? How many of you struggled in that class? There were always those few kids who just got it and seemed to breeze through with no problems, while the rest of the class suffered. Did that make those of us, who didn't get it, stupid? Maybe some of us were not programmed to get it and were better at History or English.

Well, this isn't Math class, and if you get a problem wrong on your truck, it could be very costly. Could you imagine how unsafe the roads would be if everyone truly had to build their own trucks?! That's just not a good idea. So here is my idea: Those of you who can build some or most of your own stuff have a right to be proud of your work, whereas the group of you that may not be so mechanically inclined (Ernie Macias is this group's spokesperson) should be welcomed with open arms to come and hang out. They're still minitruckers, just not skilled enough to build their own trucks, or maybe they just have more money than time and choose to buy someone else's truck, so that they can enjoy the scene right away for half of the cost.

My employee, Steve, recently featured an S-10 in MT, it's a project that he bought from someone and finished it for himself. Where would he be categorized? He bought it and built it ... geeze, what a loser! However, if the industry still insists on drawing that line, I'll stand on my side with those other three guys and enjoy my soda.

Brian Goude has been in the scene for more than 10 years, he is the president of Forbidden Fantasy. In that time, he has been one of the leaders in producing the Forbidden Fantasy Show and Shine from its inception. He has dealt with the built not bought subject on several occasions, especially in regards when judging at show; such as why So-and-So should have received more points, because he built his ride.

Built vs. bought is a question that, in this scene, has and probably will always be argued. The tone, however, is changing now that there are so many trucks already done, or half-done for such a good price. Unlike a classic or muscle car, our trucks do not gain value no matter what we do to them. It comes down to what you want your end product to be.

Let me give you a personal example. I bought a '97 Tacoma, untouched. A few of my buddies and I 'bagged, four-linked, and body-dropped the truck. I had the truck shaved up and painted. I rolled about a year this way. Unfortunately for me, the bodywork was done incorrectly, so off it went to the paint shop again. Three years and $5,000 later, I got half the truck back in pieces. I ended up selling the truck, because after all this I was pretty sick to my stomach.

Knowing I would be building another truck one day, I just waited patiently for a good deal to come along. Finally surfing one night, I came across an '00 Tacoma. The truck was already 'bagged, four-linked, shaved up, and painted. The biggest thing that caught my eye was it only had 50,000 miles on it. The owner joined the military and the truck sat for years but ran perfectly.