On January 4, 2017, political blogger John Ekdahl asked the media “Twitterati” a simple question:
The top 3 best selling vehicles in America are pick-ups. Question to reporters: do you personally know someone that owns one?
Oh my gosh, did people get MAD in their responses. Turns out that the pickup truck, or even the mention of a pickup truck, is a political statement all by itself. Read the full article on Hagerty.com:
I live by a lake, I say that not to brag but to explain. Where I live recreation falls into two categories, home and yard work, and outdoor sports, around here a truck or some other truck like vehicle isn't a luxury, it is a necessity. I have a minivan, my weekend starts on Friday at the home center loading stuff for the project of the weekend, that could be plants, lumber, stone, sand, or other bulky items, sometimes I also need SCUBA gear to do some sort of project at the community beach. My Pickup or Minivan compromise happened because I refuse to have a truck with a cap but I need dry secure payload capacity and 4 seats. On any given weekend more than half the parking at the beach is pickups and those are all fresh of doing some kind of work at the house or doing work at the beach and maybe there is a boat sticking out of one or two of them. Like Typical Americans, we work hard, we play hard, and we need a pickup or something similar to support those functions. Where I live a pickup is a symbol of caring about your home and community and the pickup is the tool required to do the work that needs to be done. Yes, I have brought home a yard of crushed stone in my Miata it just took a lot of trips stopping at the home center every day after work to pickup four bags at fifty pounds each and carefully laying them on the passengers floor and seat, reminding me why autocross fun runs are always faster with a passenger that weighs about what the driver does, still a pickup or van is the better tool for the job.
We've owned pickups and cars for the last 50 years, I'd rater sell the pontoon, slate Bruswick pool table and all the assorted toys one accumulates over coarse of a long life than one of 2 trucks we currantly have. Its the sentimental favorite. A 2002 Ram 2500 stretch cab we bought as soon as the 2003's came out. For the last 8 years we've only driven it for about a 1000 miles a year.
It has 434,000 miles on the clock, has been in a high speed collision with a trophy Buck, $ 14,000 a 40+ vehicle pile up on the interstate. By the way if that ever happens to you immediately turn on you flashers, most didn't and the semi and cars just kept coming. Crash, bang, Crash bang for about a minute and a half. Its a mess when you hit a minivan and 18 wheeler hits you. Yep another $ 20,000.
The old girl burns no oil, engine has never been touched, its rust free, looks great, trans it perfect. By now some of you have probably surmised that she's a Cummins. Runs like new even after sitting all winter she fires right up. Albeit in a cloud of black smoke that should result in someone dialing 911 and reporting a forest fire. Great side item it clears out all the early summer mosquitoes, of which there are copious amounts in the UP of Michigan.
Selling her would be like turning your back on an old friend.
As soon as she's old enough she's going on our Hagerty's policy.
The only toys the truck would take a back seat to are the 2 GTO's and the Stingray.
Growing up, we always had at least one pickup truck in the family. My Dad would drive a pickup to work. At first it was a clapped out 1954 Chevrolet, then a 1963 Ford F-100. This was in the 1970’s. We could only afford one car payment so Mom got the late model Station wagon, and Dad would drive beater pickups. In 1979 my Dad got a new job and one of the perks was a company vehicle a 1976 Ford F-150 long bed with the Ranger XLT package. He drove that for many years as we started a family business (convenience stores) he started driving cars for a daily drivers. We always have kept a pickup around because it comes in handy in our business. We usually used compact trucks like Toyota’s, Nissan and Mazda along with a couple of S-10’s over the years. When Dad retired he bought a used 99 Toyota Tacoma extended cab 4x4 . He passed away in 2017 but we still have the truck.
I remember using my dad’s model A pickup as our daily driver when I was in high school.
I also remember that thought I had 2 weeks after buying my own F-150.
“ I can’t believe I didn’t buy one sooner.”
My 2003 F250 7.3L is still going strong and I’ll never NOT have a pickup.
Still have my 2000 K2500 454 4X4 White Chevrolet P/U as well as a new GMC Canyon and a vintage Corvette. Funny thing is the K2500 has scrape marks from the lumber yard forklift incident wherein I also said "don't worry about it". LOL
Pickups a political statement? I don't get it... Maybe people in big cities like New York,, Philadelphia and Washington D.C. don't drive them, but people from all political parties, races, and incomes seem to drive them in most places. And they make up a considerable portion of the cars on the road. Crew cabs have plenty of passenger space and load capacity, and can still be decked out nicely, inside and out. Whoever it was that reacted like driving one is a political statement needs to get out of their bubble and visit the real world.
Great story! I would love to get to read some stories from your wife. I just bought my first Miata after 40 years of owning BIG Chevies from the mid 60's to the 2000's. Being an over 50 y/o female, This might be dubbed a mid life crisis toy...new chapter....
I can tell you from experience that a '85 Chevy S-10 can actually carry a full load of topsoil, as in full up to the top of the bed, albeit somewhat slowly and with difficulty on hills. Sometimes those guys with the front-loaders don't have much finesse. Also a 5-series BMW wagon can carry 15 bags of bark mulch but gets a little squirrely.
Over time, I have come to respect the pickup truck. One, the truck pays the bills for the Corvettes and Mustangs that I love to exist in the first place. Two, because they are so important to the Big 3's bottom lines, they represent American engineering at its finest (e.g. Ford's bold and successful bet on turbocharging and weight reduction, Chrysler's clever and rich interior design, and GM's world-class 3.0L diesel and 6.2L gasser.) The corollary to this is that an F-150 won't be half-assed like a Jeep Compass is. Three, they are good value when compared to a German compact luxury car with an emotionless 2-liter turbo that is $50K new, and is only worth $22K 3 years later.
An aside: the Ram 1500 has received such great press because it's a truck for people who don't like trucks. The lovely interior, top-notch infotainment, and best-in-class unladen ride quality (especially with the air ride that makes it into press fleets) make a far greater impression than towing and payload numbers you'll never have a hope of approaching in a week's loan unless you're Alex Dykes or TFLTruck.
Here in West Texas, there are many more trucks than cars. And we have real TRUCKS, not the little 4 door 5' bed thins you see in every home improvement big box, we have a lot of those too. But the number of one-ton duallys is amazing, they are everywhere and they are used as trucks. We drive a sedan and it is nothing to stop at a light and being looking at the bottom of 4 trucks around us. Our local Lowes even has a whole lane of truck-trailer double long parking spaces. We bought a cross over to raise ourselves up to the same height as a truck and it didn't work, so we went back to a sedan. Hybrid, 40+ mpg in a comfortable large car is pretty good. And it lets me burn more real gas in my 1950 Studebaker or my wife's 1951 Olds. Lately I have been looking for a truck, a beater truck and can't believe how hard it is to fine just a single cab, long bed pickup. Everyone has the short bed extended cab Sunday trucks, but just try to find a simple old fashion pick up. And then if I could I want an orphan brand, if possible. Oh, well, guess it'll just be something old and useful.
I enjoyed the article. I laughed out loud when I read that you almost never see clay in Ohio. That sounds like an amazing problem to have! In Mississippi it is absolutely everywhere and creates never-ending problems for roads, building foundations, etc.
Some pickups are personal identification statements.
Some suggest an identity the owner would like to have, but doesn't really.
Some are mostly for show.
Mine works. Hard!
1995 white C2500 Silverado heavy 3/4, 4wd and a 454 cid engine.
My first truck was '69 Chevy C-10 that I bought back around '77. The only time I haven't had a truck was during my Army tour in Germany. I use a car as my daily driver, but having a truck available when I want/need one is invaluable. Now, if only the Ford assembly line hadn't shut down because I'm still waiting for that F250 I ordered a few months ago.
I live in a rural community in the southern Adirondacks of upstate New York. A few years ago as I was sitting in the waiting room of a small local hospital I looked out the window over the "doctors only" parking lot. There were 26 vehicles in the lot and all of them were trucks! Many were not the prettiest either. Hay, dirt and tools in the bed, rust and dents. I guess there still are real country doctors. As for me, I own four trucks, one for every occasion. All of my neighbors own trucks too.