I’m sure most of you remember a time when a truck was popular based upon it’s work merits and not how many cows were sacrificed to line the interior surfaces. I certainly do, and after a couple of good trips that involved getting stuck behind some chrome-laden barge with a bed, I’d be more than happy to go back to the good old days, where riding in the truck as a kid was a kind of privilege as heavier chores had to be run and if you were going, you had to help out. Having a small bit of brightwork wasn’t bad, but you didn’t have much more than an engine, a dash, a seat, and four wheels going on at any point in time. No heated/cooled/massaging seats, air conditioning was a luxurious option, and the stereo was simply there…no satellite radio, no aux ports, not even a multi-speaker system in many cases. You didn’t forget once you got into the truck that today was a work day.
Maybe one day, the automotive buying public will regain a little bit of sensibility. I doubt it, but I can hope. Meanwhile, trucks like this 1979 Ford F-250 XLT Ranger Camper Special will continue to give me fits. They are just…right. Everything you need, nothing you don’t. The 400ci mill underhood will do whatever task you want. The automatic transmission will be fine for what you should be using this truck for. The bench seat isn’t going to kill you, and neither is the carpet-less interior. Open the vent window, throw some gloves in the back, and get to work.