17 December 2013

Rise of the Classic Truck

It’s hard to believe the summer driving season is nearly over, though certainly autumn gives us some of the best driving days before the weather turns. Let's hope we still have plenty of those ahead of us. And if the Fall issue of Hagerty Classic Cars is a transitional one as winter looms, then we're determined to go out on a high note.

We’re fortunate to have legendary humorist P.J. O’Rourke back in these pages, with his take on the rise of pickup trucks. It’s a great read, and it helps explain why vintage trucks are the fastest growing and most accessible segment of the hobby. In the last few years, we’ve seen this phenomenon spread from the heartland to all kinds of collectors, and I’ve caught the bug, too. I’m having a blast with my recently acquired 1951 Ford F-1, but trucks aren’t new to me. I learned to drive in my family's '33 Ford pickup, and in high school I drove a 1947 Ford truck.

Along with some of the high-profile milestones we have covered this year, 2013 also marks the 40th anniversary of the start of the “Malaise Era,” that awkward time for automakers which followed the end of the muscle car era. Bumpers grew, horsepower shrank and it seemed like we’d never see tire-smoking performance again. But don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, because amid the malaise were some great cars. Publisher Rob Sass reminds us that maybe it wasn’t so bad after all.

In “The One That Got Away,” Executive Editor Jonathan A. Stein writes about a topic all of us can relate to: the cars we failed to pounce on, leaving us to wonder what might have been. And in “Leap of Faith,” Matt Stone tells the story of two guys who took on incredibly daunting restoration projects. You’ll see that they did what any sensible car guy would do — just dove right in and started taking stuff apart.

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