Updated: Feb 3
The automobile has long been intertwined with status. It probably started out as the horseless carriage among the buckboards but quickly evolved into the biggest engine, highest fins, and lowest E.T.. Today, cars are all magnificent. The blandest of vehicles of today, the Toyota Camry, has considerably greater performance than the Corvette of yesteryear. We are truly at the end of the golden age of the automobiles, sadly being replaced by the idiocy of the E.V.. We have so much more performance than we need and yet, we buy high performance machines that we rarely operate above the speed limit...let alone into triple digits. We commute at an idle on Z-Rated tires, sticky as bubble gum, with contact patches the size of welcome mats. Why? We think that we look good in them.
Any of the AMG Mercedes or a BMW Ms are great examples of that. Fine, well-engineered and faster than a sorority girl during RUSH, but when was the last time you saw one cooking it on a twisty road? Statistically it is zero. They would be better off with the Camry.
The same can be said of the beforementioned Corvette. Chevrolet’s flagship has evolved into a true supercar, one that will rival the finest from Maranello. Of course they rarely get the chance. And it is not as though prancing horses are often getting their mane ruffled. It is all about appearance. In the case of the Bentley, proving to the world that you are rich enough to pay $800 for an oil change.
While a different kind of performance, we also purchase vehicles with amazing off-road capability and yet they ne’er stray from the asphalt. The Geländewagen is perhaps the most egregious example. We are talking about a vehicle with the ability to defy gravity. Despite their ability they mostly are driven by women with fake tits, fake eyelashes, fake hair color and parked near stores that sell overpriced goods emblazoned with large, tacky logos.
Down market from that is the Range Rover…perhaps the world's most idiotic automotive purchase. Like the Geländewagen , they are quite capable off road. Unlike the Geländewagen, they are as leaky as Biden’s bowels. In addition, they lose their value at a rate only surpassed by how quickly they shed parts. Most people that drive them are obsessed with their image, not realizing how stupid the vehicle is making them look.
This is not to say that the Jeep doesn’t have its share of pavement princesses, but at least some of them get off road. There is a thriving aftermarket that supplies roll cages, winches, lift kits and those forward leaning “anti flip” brush guards. A large majority of those modifications are used for nothing more challenging than mall-crawling. Still, Jeeps get a bit of a pass as the men and women who actually get off road truly look down on those that never engage the 4-wheel drive.
In many places, the 4x4 diesel pick up is a macho version of a vehicle as a prop. Of course, most owners do tow something once or twice a year as their justification for owning such a beast. One has to admit that their excuse, while weak, is better than the Geländewagen-driving bleach-blond that can’t stand too close to an open flame for fear of melting. There is, however, a trend in vehicular trend that one can appreciate. The anti-status symbol. It is a nose-thumbing to the world. The vehicle that says “I don’t care what anyone thinks.” That is, if course, the of the old pickup truck with “patina."
There is an honesty about such a conveyance. Whether it is owned by a rat rodder, a software engineer, a slope-shouldered county boy or the owner of the largest corporation in the world, it is a statement of independence.
A battered old truck is all-American, flag waving and never reeks of White Claw. It is the vehicular version of cowboy boots.
An old pickup truck, at least in Texas, is welcome anywhere. Pull into the finest hotel or restaurant and you are instantly loved by the valet. Unlike the bitch in the Range Rover, who expects her salad to be tossed, the driver of the rusty truck is not a complaint waiting to happen. He is a man that will appreciate you, shake your hand and give you a tip...in cash.
That, my friends, is the only status that one needs.