Still Hammerin’
Rob Fortier headshot
Here We Go … Again

s I sit here, attempting to write my late-as-usual editorial for the month—a day after a glorious Fourth of July holiday weekend no less—I’m still reeling after forking over twice as much hard-earned money as I had this time last year just to replace the groceries AND the fuel that I somewhat sparingly consumed over the last three days. My pockets and wallet have taken the worst beating in the last 12 months alone, and there doesn’t seem to be any end in sight for the financial bruising they’ll continue to endure.

So, how and why does this pertain to anything classic truck related, you might ask? Simple: I still have two trucks currently under construction that, despite what many think, still require quite a bit of monetary compensation for both parts and associated labor. That’s how it pertains!

Now, because I’m a hard-headed, diehard enthusiast, there is no option of putting either the ’69 C10 or the ’48 three-window on hold till the purse strings loosen up. Nope. Rather, I’ll be reallocating funds usually spent on dining out, entertainment, and even on some of the usual consumables, like new clothes. Furthermore, I’ve also dropped my standards when it comes to the types/brands of products I buy at the grocery store. Sure, the savings I’ll see will in no way cover any major portions of either project—but it will help in the long run. Most of all, I’m hoping it will become natural, even though I’ve always been kind of frugal in most areas to begin with.

It makes me wonder, though, how everyone else is coping with this insane inflation of ours. Granted, I realize people outside of California may not have it quite as bad (especially with fuel prices), but please correct me if I’m wrong. My poor kid spends half his paycheck just on gas alone to simply get back and forth to work, which prevents him from putting any money into his ’81 Datsun 280ZX. So, I feel extra fortunate having the ability to work from home, but I know many people do not share that same luxury. My question is, for those of you readers who are also dealing with the financial stress, how does this impact your ability to not only build and/or maintain your classic trucks, but your basic ability to jump in them and drive?!

We just booked our airfare for the NSRA Street Rod Nationals in Louisville, and while I won’t say exactly how much the tickets were, let’s just say they were literally double what they were last year! And not only that, the flight times/schedules are horrible. That said, I can see the ability for many to travel this summer, regardless in what manner, to be extremely difficult.

I hope to see the turnouts at the major events this season to be as big as they were last summer. I know a lot of you are like me and relieved that we can move about and intermingle with less restrictions than we’ve become accustomed to the past couple/few years, but apparently that freedom comes with a price … a huge price.

I’d really like to hear from folks far and wide as to just how everyone’s coping with this new economy while still remaining active in the hobby. We need to keep this thing of ours alive … at all costs!