Friday, September 28, 2012

Found in the Yard: The Last American Truck

Do you love strippers? Because that's what we've found today; the most stripped down of stripper model trucks Chevy offered that year and in my mind, the last real American truck. Allow me to explain.

Trucks used to be brutal hairy chested things built to heave coal to and from the mines and drag beached whales to canning depots. They were were loud, bumpy and completely uncivilised. Using a truck to commute in the 40's would have been a bit like trying to drive a tractor to school today. But little by little, that began to change.

As early as the 50's, pickup trucks began to soften around the edges for the mainstream market. Still workhorses mind you, but things like power steering, power brakes and air conditioning began to matter to consumers. Today's leather lined trucks have gone full tilt to the other side and are unlikely to ever come back. Remember: If you can't toss a bundle of lumber into it off the roof of a house, it ain't a truck.

Today's most basic of base models two wheel drive 1972 Chevrolet C-10 is most certainly a truck. It features (featured?) a pushrod straight six, (reportedly each block was milled out of a solid chunk of granite) three speed manual transmission and no power assist brakes or steering. The bumpers were even painted white rather than chromed to save money!

While each new generation of trucks was softer than the last, the new for 1973 generation was the first to be designed with some actual "civilian" livability in mind. Power windows and multi-speaker sound systems heralded the end of the dinosaurs. Today the 1972 Chevy pickup stands as a reminder of how far we've come we've fallen in trucks today.

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