JULY 30, 2016 THE OLD PICKUP TRUCK: A MALE RITE OF PASSAGE

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Pickup trucks have cultivated a strong image based upon their reason for existence: hard work.

 

They were designed to be mechanized beasts of burden and their owners were typically guys who earned a living with their hands.

 

‘New pickup trucks have diversified into other roles like family-haulers and annoying people with loud exhausts on massive diesel engines, but old school pickups will always be associated with the working man.’

 

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An old school pickup truck was built to handle rough roads with leaf springs that produced a buckboard ride and solid load capacity. It was likely equipped with a manual transmission that shifted hard and required finesse to move from one gear to the next.

 

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The cabs were not extended on the old trucks and there was a good chance the gas tank sat right behind the seat in the cab. The trucks were noisy and the creature comforts in them were minimal to say the least.

 

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Power steering was not on the check list for most pickups because the kind of guy who drove them was used to hard work. Air conditioning was provided by an open window and music was provided by the open road.

 

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The image of the old pickup truck had been preserved by Hollywood where they continue to show up in any movie where a hard-working hero needs a set of wheels. The old pickup truck has become a symbol of a principled guy who leads a simple life and has to defend his world against the impact of less principled peoples’ plans.

 

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We at MSCC recommend old pickup trucks to any young guy who needs to experience a less pampered world so he can edge toward manhood.  A no-frills old truck can provide a real road to manhood for any young guy whose imaginary pursuit of masculinity comes through the control stick on a video game.

 

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We would like to see these young guys get out of their parents’ basements and behind the wheel of an old pickup truck where they can experience real world adventures. The first adventure may be to learn how to actually drive the truck.

 

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Many younger guys would have no inkling how to handle a manual transmission-let alone the legendary three-on-the-tree version. Mastery of the clutch, gas pedal and shift timing on a manual tranny will test their coordination in a way that shooting cartoon bad guys in a video game could never match-because mastering a manual shift is a real world experience.

 

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Another way for an old pickup truck to help a young guy find his macho mojo is its original purpose. The trucks were built for hard working men and there is no reason that a young guy (newly liberated from his fantasy game world) can’t use an old pickup for the same purpose.

 

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Hard work builds character and fences because a project that involves an old pickup truck also provides a real world sense of actual accomplishment. The kind that a video game can never hope to match with their imaginary world achievements.

 

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Ultimately an old pickup truck can become a solution to a young guy’s search for his own sense of maleness.

 

‘Plus the old trucks will make them 100% cooler than their colleagues who stay behind in nerd world. ‘

 

Jim Sutherland

 

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