Talk'n Torque: Being Different Is What We Do

September 2017 Column, Feature Brady L. Kay

I guess you could argue that wanting to be different is what makes us all the same—if that makes any sense. We all love and take pride in diesel ownership, but at the end of the day most, if not all of us, are hoping to own a truck that doesn’t look like every other diesel out there.

So why do we do it? I’d like to think increasing power in an attempt to reach the truck’s true potential is my main motivation on truck builds, but I’m shallow enough to never have owned a sleeper truck. Frankly, I admire owners who can sink thousands of dollars into an engine while leaving the outside of their diesels alone. That can be a little challenging, especially when dealing with your spouse who only looks at the outside and questions where all that money is really going.

The stock appearance does, however, pay off during weekend events at the track or when you need to erase a smug smile off a flashy sports car driver who doesn’t know he’s been burned until all he can see are your OEM taillights leaving him at the stoplight.

Now it’s not just about the debate of leaving your truck stock-looking or not; this also includes exterior modifications that don’t really stand out as all that different. I’ve waved so many times to a guy in my hometown who drives a near identical truck to the one my friend owns that the stranger has started waving back to me. I’m sure in his mind I’ve acknowledged him so many times that he has to be thinking, “I swear I don’t know that guy, but I must be mistaken because he always waves to me.”

Simply put, if we’re going to pour our paychecks into our trucks we’d at least like to make them as unique as our budgets will allow. I’m not talking full body wraps or paint jobs, but rather finding the right combination of aftermarket parts to create a look that pleases you. Wheels, bumpers, grilles and lifts are a great place to start. Nothing seems to alter the look of a truck like these upgrades can. And from there the sky really is the limit.

The real test is when diesel owners who are fiercely loyal to another truck manufacturer can muster up the courage to pay you a compliment. That’s when you know you’ve got something special. The nicest thing a Power Stroke owner can ever hear from someone else is, “I’m not much of a Ford guy, but I have to admit you’ve got a nice truck.” This of course goes for all Cummins and Duramax owners as well, to the point where they might even be tempted to switch allegiances. (Tempted is the key word; we know most of you could never really change trucks in fear of the fire storm you’d receive from your friends if you did change brands.)

If you’re knee-deep in a truck payment right now and new headlights or a hood scoop just isn’t in your near future, at least add an obnoxious decal to your front and/or back window so your truck will stand out a little more. You owe it to your friends who are tired of waving to complete strangers each day thinking it’s you driving around.    

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