"Find what you love and let it kill you."
- Charles Bukowski (ruler of all American writers)

Who hasn't felt completely crushed by something they are passionate about? If that were the case, maybe you just haven't been doing whatever it is you're into long enough for it to eat away at your soul and crush your spirit. Or maybe, just maybe, a paralyzing dose of anguish is headed your way this very moment. But don't fear the inevitable—embrace the pain.

On a personal level, I get slammed to the floor quite often. Whether it's due to trying to squeeze better photos from my camera, milking better stories from the keyboard, finding different directions to take the mag, or getting my truck somewhere even remotely close to the beauties we feature here—sometimes, if not most of the time, things just don't go the way you'd like them to. And that's just how things work. But if it wasn't for failures and setbacks, how good would victory taste once it's sitting on your plate? It would be just as bland and boring as any other meal, on any other day.

Let's narrow the topic down to get us all on the same page number here. Every fan of anything custom on wheels knows about the SEMA show, and the nightmare it can become for builders and vehicle owners alike. The photo here was snapped at Extreme Audio and Kustoms in Riverside, California, as Joel Sadenwasser and crew applied the finishing touches to Andy Steider's four-door Toyota hours before leaving for the big show. As the guys entered the eleventh hour, there was still much to be done, the game plan had long gone to sh*t, and the accumulated blood pressure in the room could've blasted the roof into orbit. Months of sleep deprivation, weeks-old fast food grease pumping through the veins, tired hands, exhausted mind, no life outside the garage—this is the stuff shops and customizers across the globe live for, although few would likely admit to that fact until after the week in Vegas.

With the end of the mad dash officially in the history books, flip ahead to our exclusive SEMA coverage to see the projects that have been driving builders to drinking all year long. And don't forget to take a peek at our new product review from SEMA to see what new and exciting toys you can get for your own project. There's so much more cool stuff packed into this issue, but you're on your own from here.

See ya!