As a general rule, pickup trucks are often viewed with a masculine sway. The truck is a worker, a laborer, rugged and tough, ready for whatever. That’s the setup, right? Here’s a hint, Boy Scout: not all trucks fulfill that role. Take one look at a Ford Ranger Splash or a Dodge Dakota convertible if you need a reminder. Or maybe a 1997-2004 Ford F-series. Trucks, yes, but none of those really convey the old-school blood, sweat and gears image that marketing agents and dads across the land would love for you to believe.
Okay, then. So a twenty-year old Ford isn’t rugged enough for you. And you’ve realized that you’re pretty much priced out of the market of a nearly thirty-year-old Cummins-powered Dodge thanks to a bunch of diesel freaks who consider them as good as gold. What then? May we suggest going back even further. Back to when wagon-spoke wheels were the normal, back when the rear bumper weighed enough to crush a human and was stout enough to crush a small car. Back when having air conditioning was a serious luxury and rowing your own gears was mandatory. You want a classic shape? Get an International. The thirteen-letter crap spreader is as square as the box it came in, packs the same 345ci mill that was in use in the medium-duty truck line. What do you need to get this lump of brutality going? A set of tires, a carb rebuild, some minor rust repair, and some work to the rear axle…and parts are included to take care of the axle.
Let these kids and their squatted Chevrolets know that a real truck has sidewall on the tires and the ability to drive over and through whatever the hell is in the way without cracking a plastic bumper cover. Do the right thing. Buy the automotive equivalent of a 72 ounce steak, medium rare of course. $2500 gets the truck, put the rest to good parts and think about offering your services to your local fire department as a volunteer. You’ll have the rig for the job!