$100,000 TRUCKS


The ever-observant Henry Ford noticed that farmers were modifying his Model Ts to carry bulky or smelly products outside of the cab. This prompted Ford to offer the first factory assembled pickup truck in 1925, and that set the bar for other competing auto manufacturers. Farmers continued to buy plain Jane, full-fendered pickups with outsourced 4WD options, until the Dodge Power Wagons of post-war 1946 started showing up and set the standard as former soldiers bought in. Next in line were vehicles that mated a forward cab nose with a pickup truck bed, and it lost appeal when there was very little crush zone in the design. The occupants were the very first people at the scene of the accident. After that, it was flat-paneled pickup trucks that moved the wheel wells inside the bed along with 2 toned paint and better amenities that created sales in non-farming occupations. The real transition that created the huge demand for these mechanical steeds was the release of the 1980, URBAN COWBOY movie. This was the start of the options blitz. Listing at around 5 grand for a functioning pickup truck, you could easily double the price with trim kits. Over the next 40 years, with movies promoting styling, lift kits, and custom paint, pricing took off for the stars, literally. Nowadays, you can order a stripped truck with crank windows and manual transmission for under 20 grand. You can take the same truck, stuff it full of brand name options, put in a race motor and custom wheels and send it off the lot in excess of 70 grand. Beef up the frame and suspension, jamb in a diesel motor, and plaster the inside with Corinthian leather and you now have a 90 grand vehicle that will probably never see a bale of hay. Taking a suitable form and bathing it in costly, cosmetic coatings is the American way. The future holds a $100,000 model that will double as a coffin. Just dig a pit, slide the deceased behind the wheel and drive the rig into the heavenly hole forever.

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