Sweet Chevy - 1972

FTLComm - Tisdale - Sunday, June 24, 2001
The ultimate pickup has yet to be created despite the fact that the auto makers have been working at the problem for a long time. Ultimately, you want a smart looking vehicle that gives you a safe ride but can do so work if you need it to and be confident enough to pick up "Sheila" for a date Saturday night. The tubs of today have missed the mark, besides being enormous and sloppy they use far more fuel than anything should and are downright unsafe. Both Ford and Chrysler pickups recently failed insurance underwriters test for head on collisons and the GM ones were only marginally better.

GM began making its modern pickup in 1988. The vehicle that they replaced was a descent explosive machine. (explosive because most of them had their fuel tank amidship and a side impact resulted in flames) It was pretty much able to cover the bases as a truck and car but the best compromise was the design before that which was replaced in the mid seventies. The mid sixties pickup, both Chevy and Ford were trucks, they were utility vehicles and tended to have austere interiors and the GM ones had power glide transmissions. Cheap and sensible they were less than what could be, built for the money. But the early seventies saw the same basic design tuned up a bit and this absolutely pristine example is as close so far, as we have come, to the ultimate pickup.

Lots of reserve power, excellent fuel mileage, great handling, a reasonable ride and ready to work when called upon. Ford machines of the era were tougher and strictly utility vehicles and the Chrysler pickups of the period were painted scrap metal.

Every pickup to be built will have the be measured against this one and right now the safest and closest compromise to this beauty is Toyota's full size machine, which by the way the insurance testers claim is the safest modern pickup.