Ah, the work truck. If you ask enthusiasts online, the perfect truck is probably something like an old Ford Ranger. It’s a truck where the best luxuries are paint with clearcoat and a radio with more than a single speaker. Second to that, people seem to love the idea of a work truck. These are the kinds of trucks devoid of luxuries. Buckets? Sure, but pool noodles would give better support. A large touch screen? No, you get the smallest screen possible and it’s only there for the reverse camera. Interior materials? You’re going to get rubberized flooring and dashboard plastics that smell like the inside of a Harbor Freight.
Heck, David recently wrote about how much he loves a U-Haul pickup and I’m pretty sure those have just as many features as Jason’s Yugo. Even as I’ve moved to fancy BMWs, I totally get David’s love. My old Ford Ranger was great. It got 30 mpg and it just worked, in part because there was so little to break.
This morning, Jason may have accidentally found the work truck in its purest form. The Mazda T2000 has three wheels, a small cab, and an 11-foot bed. That’s long enough for a STOL aircraft to land on!
COTD winner StillNotATony feels that this truck is a good way to playfully jab at work trucks:
If anyone ever says they’ve got a basic work truck, I’m going to show them a picture of this and mock them for having luxuries like four whole wheels.
I can see it now: “You have four wheels and an eight-foot bed? Oh gee, look at Mr. Moneybags over here. I bet your truck goes faster than 60 mph, too!”
For another COTD winner, we look to Jason and David’s ruining of a poor innocent Scion, you know, for science. I highly recommend reading that article and watching the video. For a short version, our founders decided to figure out the safest foods to eat while driving a Scion xB. What they don’t tell you is that after they totally ruined the Scion’s interior, it was never cleaned out. I went to David’s former abode months after the test and found that the food left in the car had become a science experiment of its own. This triggered this comment from me:
Something missing from this article is the fact that they never cleaned up the car after the experiment. When I first saw the Test Car I opened the driver door and nearly vomited from the stench of whatever horror movie beast was growing in there.
That car is absolutely a Superfund site today.
This spawned an entertaining thread:
Wasn’t this thing mold infested worse than your Smart?
So you’re saying they’re flying your wife out as the official Autopian Superfund reclamation expert?
I doubt my wife is going anywhere near that car. It’s somehow better than my Smart was in that the seats aren’t moldy, but man, the food is something else.
Then there was a whole side thing going about how to vomit in a car and I’m glad I’ve never experienced this. I’m going to save you from the comments in case you’ve had dinner recently, so just click on this link.
Also, this comment from Sklooner and reply from A. Barth got a giggle out of me:
Hot oil fondue is a definite no no
Full synthetic or dinosaur-based?
Have a great evening, everyone!
WOO-HOO!! COTD!! Thanks Mercedes!
You got 30mpg in a ranger? Rangers are fun but I’d never buy one specifically because of the fuel economy. A couple years ago I took a road trip in a 2wd 4cyl auto and it got a whole 18mpg. Which is worse than my fullsize. The other ranger I’ve been around was a 4.0 4wd and it got about 14mpg around town. Which is also worse than the fullsize.
Small pickups are cool, but only if they’re better than big pickups in some way. If it hauls less, has less interior space, and doesn’t make up for it with fuel economy, then it’s kinda worse.
Dad had a 1995 4.0 4WD 5spd and he could usually get it to 21 MPG on the highway through some sort of manual transmission magic, but yeah, those things aren’t exactly fuel-friendly.
I average about 21 mpg in my 2002 2wd Ranger w/3.slow and slushbox, which is significantly better than most gas full sized pickups will do, but I don’t drive a small pickup for the fuel economy, I drive it because it’s so much more maneuverable and has a nice low bed height, so you can actually PICK UP items over the bed sides. The fact that it has a 7 foot bed and 1650lb payload capacity means its carrying capacity equals or beats most of the newer 1/2 ton pickups on the road.
I’d buy a new one in heartbeat if anything like that was still made – I’d love a Maverick if it ditched the extra seats and gave me more bed length.
Woohoo – thanks, Mercedes!
And thanks to Sklooner for the setup 🙂
The three-wheel freight trucks (Dreirad-Kleintransporter) were very common in Germany in the early 20th century: Tempo Hanseat, Tempo Boy, Goliath Goli, and Neckar Pully.
They fell out of favour in the 1950s and replaced by ones such as Volkswagen T1 Kastenwagen (cargo van) and Pritschenwagen (pick-up truck), DKW-Schnelllaster, and such.
When i holidayed in Tuscny, the house next door was renovated with building supplies hauled in by a Vespa 3 wheel “truck”. It was the only vehicle that could fit down the street, it was ancient and it did a great job.
Pretty cool! Quite likely that it was a Piaggio Ape (‘Ape’ being Italian for ‘bee’ in keeping with how ‘Vespa’ is Italian for ‘wasp.’)
I was in Italy a couple years ago, the Apes were still all over the place doing work. Expensive gas, narrow streets and winding roads and lastly but not least, European tradition, push trucks over there in a whole different direction.
You mean they’re not behemoths with 5′ high hoods designed for tough guy cosplay?