Trucks Now vs. Then Rant

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Here’s a quick rant – and comparison – of trucks today vs. what they were, yesterday. The new ones are posher than the Bentleys and Rolls-Royces of my youth (and maybe yours, too). They’re also more capable.

But, they’re also yuge – and expensive.

Pros – and cons.

. . .

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  1. I remember when pickups were SPARTAN! They had manual transmissions; if you were lucky, you had a four in the floor. They had bench seats. They had a vinyl floor covering. They had a heater, but no A/C; these were WORK vehicles, for cryin’ out loud! The windows were manual. Pickups back in the day weren’t fancy, because they were expected to-gasp-work…

    • My 55 chevy was fancy as hell. It had a hydramatic transmission…..for a while and then it had a 4 speed granny transmission. It had a wrap around rear window and wheels with fancy paint work. There was a plug on the dash where a lighter would go. There were things all over the dash where a radio or a/c could have gone although you never saw one like that. It did have a windshield wiper and heater and by god, it was a godsend in the winter with that heater that sorta, kinda worked . Sure it was cold but we wore heavy clothes. We didn’t really need a heater for the inside of the cab, just one that kept the ice off the windshield would be fine. We drove and worked and ate when we could and that old Blue Flame six just kept on going and never overheated.

      I’ll be the first to admit we didn’t pull 35,000 lb trailers although we could have……slowly. Braking could/would have been dicey since stopping was dicey anyway. 4WD? Ha, that’s a good joke. You got everyone in the bed and had them jump up and down when it was really muddy and everytime the rear end was loaded up when everyone came down, you got a big hunk of traction…..only to spin the tires when everyone was in the air. We commonly used big GM cars to pull big trailers cause they did it the best. A pickup was something you beat to shit, used hell out of the bed and hauled people in the back with their guns shooting thousands of rabbits that had taken over since govt. had given all the farmers and ranchers cyanide guns that killed every coyote and dog(pets)and anything else that ate meat. Then we spent years killing rabbits and rats to get some semblance of balance between varmints and what they ate. Finally, it leveled out and got back to normal and pickups then had V 8’s and heavier suspension. In the late 60’s, the fancy ones had a/c and they were rare. I didn’t have one and nobody I knew had one till the 70’s.

      I had hell with goats tromping all over the pickup. They did their dances and you swatted them with shovels. But the pickups weren’t really hurt. Now they’d have $20K in damages just from dancing goats.

  2. Just as well put an electric lift in back.

    The real disconnect I see is the endgate height, proof positive new trucks aren’t meant for work.

    Neither I nor my neighbor can reach into the toolbox on his 2017 Chevy work truck that has sane 17 inch wheels. It’s a 3/4ton 4wd crew cab.

    A few days ago I was stopped for a left turn when huge red sheet metal caught my peripheral vision making me briefly wonder why a big rig would be crowding me so and then I realized it was a 2019 4wd crew cab half ton Silverado. I cuss my Z71 for being so tall, a half ton pickup that towers above the 93 one ton 4wd pickup I had.

    The new ones are crazy tall and all the of the big 3, at least, have a factory version that appears to be lifted.

    In the patch I see all sorts of lifted trucks I probably couldn’t get into and evidently nether could the owner since a step bar drops down when the door opens. Just remember to watch that first step on the way down.

    At least a 379 or 489 Peterbilt still has easy ingress making the trip into the cab safer. Back in the old days when Freightliners were all cab over engines, I often ripped the seam on the leg of my jeans getting in. I often see pickups I couldn’t get into. Crazy bs.

  3. They should have named the new Ranger the F-100. Ranger doesn’t fit in the normal Ford naming convention of F- series trucks. Go full retro styling too. Low and small. A friend has an early1970s era F-100. The first time I saw it I thought it was a Ranchero.


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