I grew up watching the Italian Stallion. My dad had all the Rocky movies bootlegged on VHS tapes, and the first time I popped in part IV, I didn’t think Rock had a chance against that cyborg-looking Russian dude, Ivan Drago. He was a mountain of muscle and had a mean flattop, and to top it all off, he had just iced Apollo Creed in the ring! Game over. But Balboa chopped him down, but not without taking a beating himself (excuse the 28-year-old spoiler).

Aside from this being a sorry excuse to talk about one of my favorite figures in American cinema, the above quote does apply to the topic of choosing our Best Of’s for 2013. The trucks we feature don’t just look pretty on paper, they actually square off and go toe-to-toe. Some of the owners might not think of it like that, but our group does when it comes down to comparing paint jobs and suspension mods. It’s not a fight to the death or anything like that, but a closer examination of some of the toughest builds out there. Read up and see how your favorite truck from the last 12 issues did against the competition.

We usually open up our website to let you the reader vote through our online poll, so we’ll keep the trend going again this year. In years past, we’ve seen people hijack the system by voting a billion and half times for their friend’s truck, so to make it fair, you’re just going to have to vote a whole two billion times to pass ’em up. It’s a skewed system but it’s just how Internet democracy operates. Go to minitruckinweb.com, get your clicker finger ready, and vote already!

OK, so you’ll notice there are two trucks in the photo here. The sleek, low one is being steered by a pretty cool guy, and the big, dumb one has some random dude behind the wheel who decided it would be cool to speed up and photo bomb the scene. This was the best strip of pavement we had for these shots, and we didn’t have a whole lot of daylight left to flip around and get setup again. So instead of scrapping the shot completely, we’ll just put it right here to stand as evidence that everyone wants to get into MT—no matter what they drive.

That’s it for my ramblings this month—enjoy the preliminary bouts as well as the main event. And remember; when the Adrians of the world tell you that “you can’t win”, tell them to shut up and fight your own fight (OK, that was the last Rocky reference … for this issue.)

Be a thinker, not a stinker! (Just kidding—there’s another one.)