Whether the classic variety or brand new straight off the production line, U.S. consumers love their pickups.
For so many Americans, the truck is king. This love affair is ignited right after the first mass produced truck, the Ford Model T Runabout, rolls off the assembly line on April 25, 1925. These trucks were built to transport materials and little else. Their basic design offers no creature comforts like heating or padded seats. Some came with only a soft convertible top -a far cry from the trucks we see on the road today.
As pickups evolve from primarily utilitarian vehicles to the family car, America’s love affair with the truck deepens. Nowhere else in the world do people buy pickup trucks at the rate they do in the United States. As a result, nowhere else in the world do people collect and restore the classics like we do in America. At the recent Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale, AZ, a beautiful 1940 Ford Boyd Coddington red pickup went for the amazing sum of $374,000.
The 50’s era introduces us to the Ford 100, the Dodge D100 Sweptside and the Chevy Cameo Carrier, a few models that begin to incorporate the public’s demand for comfort and style. These models came in a variety of colors and offered options like passenger style seating. Go to any car show in the country and you will find an appreciative crowd gathering around these beauties. Everyone can see the hard work and passion that goes into restoring them.
Truck Love a Generational Phenomenon
So when someone says they have decided to restore a classic truck, realize there may be more to it than bringing an old pickup back to life. For many, these classics are symbols of their childhood. They remember how they hauled everything from lumber to kids, day in and day out, on old country roads and city traffic. Our love for the truck is a generational phenomenon. In his book, Pickups: A Love Story –Trucks, Their Owners, Their Stories, author Howard Zehr documents the lifelong relationship folks have with the American pickup truck. He shares stories of individuals who have lovingly restored vehicles they remember from their youth. Like Sali Hott, who recalls listening for the low rumble of her father’s 53 Ford, signaling his return home from work in the evenings. “Its engine was beautiful music to my ears,” she says. She remembers Sunday drives with the entire family piled into the cab and playing with her toys in her own private playground right inside the truck bed. It is her love for her father and his trusty truck that sets her on the path to finding a vehicle she could rebuild, and re-capture those wonderful memories.
Remembering the Good Old Days
Restoring a classic truck speaks to who we are as individuals. It speaks to memories we wish to hold onto and pass on to the next generation. Some collectors will lovingly recreate their trucks exactly the way they remember them from childhood while others will personalize their trucks into artistic expressions of their adult personality. Some will store their trucks and bring them out only for shows or an occasional spin. Others will drive them every day. Regardless of how a person arrives at the decision to take on the challenge of restoring a classic truck, the “why” is still the same: The love of a man (or a woman) for their truck. It speaks of forever memories and of adventures that lie ahead, an American love story that stands the test of time.
Count on Classic Auto
We love classic trucks, too. Let us help you protect your “family member” with just the right vintage truck insurance policy. Our streamlined claims process makes dealing with life’s little bumps in the road a lot easier. Learn more at www.classicins.com.