I live in the unremarkable Chicago suburb of Palatine, IL. Best known nationally for a heinous mass murder committed in a Brown’s Chicken restaurant almost 25 years ago, Palatine is otherwise a rather likable place to raise a family–or to simply live commuter-close to the city.
Palatine would be culturally uninteresting were it not for the Northern end of town, which is populated primarily by Mexican families. Palatinites can thank our uptown neighbors for a number of good restaurants and grocery stores, as well as the sprawling and seemingly endless Sunday soccer games that take place in the nearby forest preserve. We can also thank them for their fascinating trucks.
Americans love to accessorize their trucks–no news there. But the local Hispanic guys typically take a completely different approach to the project.
For lack of a better description, I am dubbing this brand of truck customization Durango Style. Durango is a state located in the north-central part of Mexico, and is the only region of the country I have ever seen honored (by window sticker) on the trucks of my Palatine neighbors. I cannot say whether or not most of these guys are Durango natives, though that certainly seems likely.
The Durango Style seems to break down easily into three categories, none of which has anything to do with improving performance. Instead, the Durango trucks—at least the ones I see—are all about catching eyeballs at slow cruising speeds. I have separated the categories of Durango Style thusly:
This school of truck modding explores the limits of excessive decorating. For a lot of these guys, there is no chrome accessory too small, or too big, to be attached to their rides.
This is a very specific look, and the effect can be very cool when handled well. Typically, the truck is painted with a dark-on-the-top/light-on-the-bottom fade, and is fitted with ultra-wide low-profile tires on extremely deep custom wheels, which effectively lowers the vehicle. Almost always completing the look is a bodyside aero kit with pronounced fender flares. See the lead photo for an excellent example of this style.
This branch of Durango Style celebrates a specific make or model with multiple brand stickers applied conspicuously to the vehicle. A windshield-top brand banner is key here. Chevrolet is the brand of choice in the Palatine area, through Dodge/Ram gets a lot of love too. Brand love does not preclude adding plenty of other add-on adornments, especially Buick-style fender portholes.
. . .
Presented below are a few Durango Style trucks I spotted driving around over the recent holiday weekend–all in, or very near, Palatine, IL.