Focus on the Backroads » Photo Journeys


Today you can visit any car dealership looking for a pickup and have numerous choices ranging from size, trim packages, and hundreds of colors. In early days pickups were purchased because of utility and considered as equipment – today most pickups purchased are for transportation. It is amazing that there are so many 4-wheel drive pickups in Texas that never get off the interstate – well you never know when you might happen upon a hill (not often). There is one thing for sure TEXANS ARE PROUD OF THEIR PICKUPS! Pickups were born in the early 1900’s. The automobile industry was booming. The big three were Ford, Dodge, and Chevy. In 1918 the US Army awarded the Dodge brothers a purchase order for a half-ton multipurpose truck. This accelerated the category of light-weigh truck. The Dodge truck was powered by a 35-horsepower, 4-cylinder engine. It had a maximum payload of 1,000 pounds. During this same period Chevy introduced the Model 490, named after it’s price of $490.00. For $490.00 you received a chassis without a cab or bed. You had the choice of building your own or buying a cab for $100.00 and bolting it on yourself. In 1925 Henry Ford began manufacturing the Ford Model T Runabout. Ford revolutionized the truck industry with the first factory assembly line trucks offering them to the public for $281.00 WITH A BODY! The Ford Motor Company manufactured 33,800 pickups that year. Over the next few years many improvements were made. The early 4-cylinder engines were replaced with more powerful 6 and 8-cylinders. Cabs and beds got larger. Even radios and air-conditioning was added. Many of the trucks from yesteryear still exist as a reminder of a period of American history when there were great industrial pioneers such as Henry Ford (Ford Motor Co), William Durant (General Motor Company), Louis Chevrolet (Chevrolet), Walter Chrysler (Chrysler Corporation), John and Horace Dodge (Dodge Motor Co), and many others. These men played important roles in the American Industrial Age and are responsible many of the conveniences that we enjoy today. Many of these old pickups have been restored by truck and car collectors while other are scattered throughout old town and pastures throughout the countryside. Although many are rusting away they remain as monuments and reminders of an important period of American history. The next time you are cruising down the Interstate – BETTER YET THE BACKROADS – in an air-conditioned, 4 x 4, extended cab, with luxury leather interior truck. While you are enjoying some classic rock on it’s satellite radio (BORN TO BE WILD) and being directed by it’s navigation system. If you happen to see one of these iconic trucks – pull over and salute that old rusty relic of yesteryear. Better yet TAKE A PICTURE! I hate the old pickup truck – YOU NEVER LET ME DRIVE Taylor Swift

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