As someone that's had a truck for most of their driving life, I've gotten pretty accustomed to the requests that often accompany the keys to a pickup truck; requests like "Hey, I've a big desk at work that I'd like to bring home," or the always dreaded "my ex says I've got until Monday to get my stuff out..." Of course, with the killer combination of years of practice and an attitude that many friends refer to as slightly easier to endure than hanging from their necks until dead, I've gotten pretty good at turning these requests down. But, when you mother asks for your help in moving the last of your late grandparent's worldly belongings from their house, you don't say no.
I should probably mention here that I was pretty close with my grandparents. Like many young men, I will always regret not spending more time listening to my grandmother's laughter, but it will be the too-little time I made for my grandfather that will forever weigh upon my shoulders, head, and heart. He was a hard working man from an era when experience trumped accolades, and it is his attitude (and motto) of "some idiot put this together, so I sure as hell can take it apart" that's seen me both into and through countless mechanical scrapes. And although I may curse it at times, it's probably his taste for the bizarre that's landed so many strange, weird, and wonderful vehicles in my driveway. So, to roll his weathered and beaten workbench out of the otherwise empty garage and into the back of a brand new F-150 gave me very real pause for thought on the overall theme of the automotive market, and how this particular truck fit into it.
And as the brief drive turned into a run around the neighbourhood, which in turn became a lap of the city, I came to the realization that, although significantly removed from the Hupmobiles and Diamond T trucks of my grandfather's memory, it's precisely vehicles like this F-150 that deserve to crystallize into the same decades-old memories as did those particular and aged vehicles. But, even as I was urged along on my journey by its big, loping, all-aluminum 6.2L marvel of an engine, I came to the realization that for many such contemporary and deserving vehicles, theirs would be an ignominious existence. And if you ask me, that's tragic.
We are, after all, only here for a short while. Sure, it sounds cliché and is a phrase that's usually followed by ill-conceived ideas or advice, but it's also a simple fact. And after we've gone, we may end up being the first generation that doesn't really leave anything meaningful behind. What stories will we share with our grandchildren? I'm sure they'll get tired of hearing about how you stayed up at all hours diligently serving as sentry outside the Apple store not once, not twice, not thrice, not four times, just as I seriously doubt anyone will walk from your house many years from now with a tearstained copy of Windows 3.1 clutched in their hands after you're gone. We've become a society obsessed with progress for progress' sake, and in doing so, we've forgotten that there's still something to be said for permanence.
So, after pulling the unabashedly handsome pickup into the driveway alongside my grandfather's 1994 Cadillac Deville, I have just one thing to ask you, dear reader: please don't simply rush out and buy this truck. In fact, don't rush out and buy any vehicle. All of these new vehicles are absolutely amazing feats of modern technology that would have put the Apollo 11 engineers on their heels, and with the current crop of vehicles available to the public, there is absolutely no reason to end up with a vehicle that doesn't make you glance back over your shoulder in the parking lot, or goad you into a spirited drive on a lazy Sunday morning, or make you smile every drive you thumb the starter. Thinking this as I rolled the old workbench into my garage, and feeling my fingers over the various nicks, cuts, and scrapes on its wooden top while staring at the perfect paint and unblemished wheels of the F-150, I can think of no better word than grateful to describe my feelings towards this, and so many other new vehicles. Because they give those of us that hold the automobile in such high esteem an excuse to be optimistic that sometime, after the passage of countless emails, years' worth of BBMs, and Lord knows how many iPad launches, someone, somewhere, decades from now, might just happen to see a truck like this rolling down a road, and say "that's a nice truck, damn it."
|Test model||2012 Ford F-150|
|Trim level||Harley-Davidson AWD Super Crew cab (5.5')|
|Price range||$21,599 - $64,699|
|Price as tested||$65,749|
|Warranty (basic)||3 years / 60,000 km|
|Warranty (powertrain)||5 years / 100,000 km|
|Options||Tailgate extender Tailgate step White platinum tri-coat|
|Competitive models||Chevrolet Silverado, GMC Sierra, Nissan Titan, RAM RAM 1500, Toyota Tundra|
|Fuel consumption||6.2L V8s are not known for their camel-like thirst|
|Value for price||For this amount of money, you'd never find these features in a luxury sedan|
|Styling||Looks damn good, what is there to say...|
|Comfort||Easily one of the most comfortable vehicles to both sit in, as well as drive|
|Performance||Open up the taps, and those horsepower come thundering out|