Every few years, our sport gets a breath of life, thanks to a new style or trend. Recently, big wheels have made a push into the mini-truck world. Before that there was the body drop, and before that, of course, airbags. And way before the fiberglass and big and small look of the '70s and '80s, there was the hot rod. The mini-trucks of today have evolved into the modern hot rod for many reasons: Detail, custom modifications, innovation, and originality are all part of that equation. Lately, however, it seems more and more apparent that the retro look is coming back in a huge way. From scallops to white walls and chop tops to tuck-and-roll interiors, these vintage looks are definitely impacting today's mini-trucks and are popping up at shows nationwide. We decided to take a closer look at these old-school modifications that have found their way into the mini-truck scene by putting together a conglomeration of the coolest retro mods we could find.
Pinstriping, or line art, can be traced back to the Roman Empire. However, it was made famous on the automotive side by people such as Tommy the Greek and Von Dutch. Killer pinstriping work adds that extra flair to your paintjob. Whether it be swirls, gold leaf, scroll work, or traditional pinstriping, this is one retro element that will be used by mini-truckers for years to come.
Satin/suede paint - or as some would call it, glorified primer - has also been around for decades. Hot-rodders were the original mini-truckers, and just like us they couldn't afford to build their vehicle to the extent of their imagination all in one quick swoop. As such, the vehicles would remain primered for long periods of time until the owner completed every mod that was in their head. Just as some mini-trucks, many would remain forever primered.
More than just a lowrider trend, flake paint has really made a comeback in the custom-truck world. Back in the day, street rods would have heavily flaked roofs and solid-color body panels. The trend evolved into flaked flames over primer, and eventually flake crept its way into the everyday custom paintjob. Jared Crutchfield at Classic Traditions has a talent for old-school paintjobs and laid down these crazy flaked licks on Brian Hale's S-10. Check out www.classistradi tions.net for a closer look at some old-school paintjobs.
Scallops - not the seafood - are the retro way to two-tone your ride or add stylized graphics. Scallops are characterized by dual swooping lines, and if done right, this style of paint looks incredibly good on mini-trucks. Our retro feature, Tom McWeeny's XXX Sled, is a perfect example. Scallops are an ultra-traditional yet ultra-effective way to get that retro look.
Who cares if you're going for a retro theme? Seductive ladies adorning your ride gives you reason to wake up in the morning. Artwork such as this was done on planes way back in the day (such as the Memphis Belle) as well as rods. The pinup was an American icon that was introduced in the '30s and would be equivalent to a risqu magazine today. There are several mini-trucks rolling the streets with old-school pinups, as well as more modern pinups that might make your mom blush.