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Small Trucks

Discussion in 'Cars and Transportation' started by tonybelding, Oct 12, 2007.

  1. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Recently when I was in town, I saw an old Mazda pickup parked at the grocery store, dwarfed by the huge trucks on either side of it. Next door was parked a blue Toyota pickup. These were the tiny pickups made in, I think, about the late 1970s or early 1980s.

    Nobody is making anything like them today. What happened?

    They were cute, they were practical, they were efficient. They didn't come with a lot of extras, or options -- I think 2WD, standard cab, long bed was about it. They weren't heavy-duty work trucks, but they were perfectly okay for moving furniture, small loads of building supplies, tradesmen's tools and equipment, things like that. And they must have been pretty durable, since I'm still seeing a few around.

    They look startlingly small next to the big, full-sized pickups of today -- but they looked startlingly small next to the big, full-sized pickups of the 1970s too. That didn't stop people from buying them. Even here in Texas they became pretty popular.

    Today the smallest truck you can get is a Ford Ranger, which is quite a bit larger than those old Mazdas, Datsuns and Toyotas. I think the car makers are missing out on something here.

    Today there's a sort of craziness when it comes to pickup trucks. Here in Texas people are buying giant F-250s and F-350s and riding around town in them. If you watch TV commercials, I think car makers have sold people a fantasy that they're going to all become construction workers and drop giant pallets of concrete from a crane into the bed of their truck. It's absurd.

    When we were working on the cattle ranch, we had a Ford F-250 to pull our big gooseneck cattle trailer. For the rest of our every day ranch work, a 4WD Ford Ranger V6 handled everything. For most people who don't work on a cattle ranch or a construction site, those little 2WD Mazda and Toyota pickups would be fine -- if anybody still made them. AFAIK the Ford Ranger is the smallest truck you can buy today, and there's talk of phasing it out.

    I don't think this situation can last. I think the current trends and fashions in trucks are overdue for a "correction" as they say on Wall Street.
     
  2. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    #2 TEG, Oct 12, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2007
    The big pickup thing doesn't happen nearly as much in Silicon Valley. Those driving F350s likely *ARE* contractors. There are plenty of monster upscale SUVs though... The Hummers, Escalades, Navigators, and all that.


    My various web searching frequently finds me ending up on the very popular Tundra forums because there is so much posting activity over there:
    http://www.toyotatundraforum.com/

    It seems Toyota has a popular vehicle with their "Crew Max" behemoth. First and foremost Toyota is in business to make money, so if Americans (Texans in particular) want to buy big trucks, they will make em.
     
  3. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Well what people "want" is a flexible thing, or else the entire industry dealing with commercials had to close down :)
    It's not just old cars either but rather what you do get as an available option. I friend of mine just bought a RAV4 in the US and so for fun I checked the engine options on the Toyota RAV4 in US and Norway. In the US you've got two engine options 2,4L V4 166hp 223Nm or 3.6L V6 269hp 333Nm, both of these with automatics only.
    In Norway you've got Gasoline: 2.0L 4-inline 152hp 195Nm Diesel: 2.2L 4-inline 136hp 310Nm or 2.2L 4-inline 177hp 400Nm, most of these engines available in automatic or manual.

    So the point I'm trying to make is that it seems for some reason Toyota USA chooses to offer the less efficient and the bigger engine options because that's what american consumers are used to getting. It would have been interesting to see how many would be willing to go for the 2.0L instead of the 2.4 if that would have been an option as it gets you more hp relative to engine size and a slightly better highway MPG, all for the price of 14 horses.

    I've seen similar data with most other manufacturers as well, if there is tiny engine option and a huge engine option, you will get the huge one in the US and normally not in Norway, while the tiny one will be an option in Norway and not the US. Of course that is directly related to our sin tax on cars. If the huge engine option would be an option noone would buy it anyway...

    Cobos
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Well USA is the land where some people measure manhood in "cubic inches".

    I think Australia is similar that way.
     
  5. Cobos

    Cobos S60 owner since 2013

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    Well we do have a bit of the same in Norway as well but it's usually more of what brand or how expensive your car is as the size of the engine :)

    Cobos
     
  6. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  7. Takumi

    Takumi Member

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    #7 Takumi, Oct 16, 2007
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2007
  8. tonybelding

    tonybelding Active Member

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    Big Trucks

    I went to the hardware store yesterday looking for a door knob.

    Parked in front of the store was a huge Dodge Ram 3500 Cummins Turbo Diesel pickup truck -- with the engine running, clattering and blue smoke belching out of the tailpipe.

    Parked next to it was a huge Ford F250 Super Duty diesel V8 pickup truck -- also with the engine running.

    That's just crazy, isn't it?
     
  9. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    They were probably picking up a can of paint, or some nails and needed all that hauling capability... :wink:
     
  10. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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