So, I'm probably the very last person on the face of this planet that should be talking about paint and body since none of my projects ever seem to make it that far.

Whether it's time, money, or just life that gets in the way, it seems that the "shiny stuff" is always just out of my reach. Maybe I really just do enjoy the fab and build phase as the ideas are the fun part for me, but maybe someday the stars will align and I will be cruisin' a classy chariot with the kandy and pearls dancing in the sunlight... maybe.

But enough about me, back to the topic at hand: Paint and Body. This special issue is dedicated to those who have the talent, dedication, friends, help, money, or any combination of the right tools to see their project through to the finish line. There really is nothing quite like walking out into the garage and seeing your ride dressed and ready to cruise. Paint and body is definitely the pinnacle of time and patience, and those who have the talent and patience to do it for a living are a very special breed. Sure, like most artists many are eccentric or just plain weird, ha ha, but there are some who are dedicated to their craft and treat each and every job and customer with the respect and integrity that they deserve.

Mind you, just like any other stage of the build or shop, you must do your homework before dropping off your pride and joy to see the painter. If you're like me or many other automotive enthusiasts, you don't have the time or skill to paint your own ride so it's important to do your research because we hear horror story after horror story how shop X or painter Y screwed over minitrucker Z. No one is immune from getting the shaft by a shop, painter, or even a buddy, as it's happened to me and other friends more times than I care to admit. But with a little patience, research, and luck on your side, you just might be able to pull off what is seemingly impossible.

So the moral of the story is: Next time you're walking a show and decide to pick out a truck to talk down about, look first to your own project and think of all the adversity you faced during the build. Nothing ever goes perfectly, and we all see our fair share of hardships, so try and find something you like rather than the things you don't. And as the truck owner of said truck, all that matters is you're happy with the way it turned out and you know you did the best you could with what you have! That truck lesson is actually a great life lesson-just do the best you can with what you have.

Keep up the great work, everyone. We love seeing what you come up with each and every year. Until next time, please drag thru! -L88888888888888888