Car charms

Op-Ed by Paul Wimsett

The interior the came with your car is just a place to start—you may want to customize it a bit, you know add your own touches. For many people this means more bohemian.

Perhaps a pair of dice or a pine tree hanging up from your rear-view window but no, that’s not enough. And some of you drivers go a whole lot further.

An example of charms are those made of silver and crystal. A silver charm has the advantage of making your interior look more expensive, but a crystal charm (or glass) may be too distracting. A simple cross is less ostentatious, but just try things out and see what works for you.

Some charms display wealth too much and do you really need diamond charms hanging from your car especially when you’re not there. You want to attract attention, thieves will certainly notice.

Common Cultural Charms:

There are several cultural charms out there, for instance if you’re Turkish charms to ward off the Evil Eye. What exactly is the Evil Eye? It goes back to Greek myth (Greece being a country next to Turkey) about the 6th century. It gives a glare to someone who is unaware they are being looked at, though what an Evil Eye can do to an individual is less clear. Wearing a charm or having one in your car is one way of avoiding it.

Seasonal Charms:

Some people decorate for their favorite seasons. You could hang Christmas decorations in there to give a seasonal feel, no doubt the odd individual chooses to keep the decorations up all year, despite most saying that this a bad luck symbol, each to his or her own.

Lucky Charms:

You may not see it as a charm, but some people hang a symbol of their baseball team, basketball ball team, or American football team up there. There are probably no end of symbols which people believe bring them luck, or as said before, make their cars more individualistic.

Should you wish to make your own charms you could do worse than check out craft websites, which repurpose feathers and old stones and crystals in its taste. One of the ideas located was a crocheted steering wheel cover, but that may be too individualistic for most.

Other Ideas:

Other ideas suggested are woolly car hangers made from macramé. Dreamcatchers, also known as the spider web charms, tend to be associated with Native American cultures; it is willow hoop hung with feathers and beads. Traditionally they were hung above cradles, but they can be positioned in cars too, usually in the back window.

If you pass your driving test there are special charms out there for your keyring. Or you can obtain a St Christopher figure, which is the patron saint of travelers. As with the charms in the car it may be more about making your keyring more personal to you than giving you any actual luck, but then again, who knows?

The Mistake That Was The Edsel

Have you ever heard of the Edsel? Probably not, as they only manufactured for three years during the fifties, but if you work in car manufacture it is hard to forget them.

The Edsel was to compete against the Buick and the Dodge. They were marketed as cars of the future at medium price. In hindsight this seems mad, they were the same price as a Ford Mercury but not considered to be for the same market sector, so why?

It’s possible you do need to innovate during a recession but creating a luxury product?

Ford claimed at the time that was adequate product development involving sophisticated market analysis. In reality no such research had been carried out. The manufacturer of cars was a fairly new enterprise so maybe they should have known better, but they didn’t.

What’s in a name?

Ford Motor Co named this giant mistake after Henry Ford’s own son, which added weight to their claims that they didn’t do this as a joke. Then they created several different versions of the vehicle (four sedans and three station wagons), which had strange working names– for example the Edsel Citation.

The strange names, indirectly because of the influence of comic poet Marianne Moore who worked for the company at the time. Although her names were not used, they still leant the cars a tongue in cheek aura that didn’t help people take the project seriously.

Buzz and Foreshadow.

When Ford previewed beforehand pictures of the Edsel to promote it they appeared slightly blurred, which was probably an accident or an attempt to create an air of mystery, but it felt almost as if the company knew what was going to happen. When the pictures were shipped to the sales agents they were always done under wraps as if it was something illicit. Again, this was likely a sales tactic, but it struck many as if they were postponing the inevitable.

Looks that Kill.

Although the station wagon version had a superficial similarity to other station wagons but with innovative designs such as a rotating dome speedometer and a deep ditch steering wheel, the “horse collar grille” and powertrain features to the hood struck people at the time as bazaar. (It wouldn’t really move the needle by today’s standards but cars at the time were classy and fashionable not “other worldly.”)

September 4, 1957 was known as E-Day. This is where the first inklings of what the public felt about the vehicle was discovered; that it was far too unconventional a build.

It was thought to be reborn “LaSalle” a car also known for its design problems; it didn’t seem to be like any other car. And if it’s not like a car you know, how can you drive it?

Although some of the body panels were toned down in 1959 and it was given a vertical central grille the car still had trouble with its teletouch transmission system, no one could understand it. So still the sales numbers remained extremely small and it was eventually removed from the market.

Where did they Go Wrong?

It’s probably a case of hubris. Ford had a strong record of innovation and leading the car market. To some degree they may have believed that whatever they thought was cool and edgy would be adopted by the public as the next great thing. They may have been hoping that people in the market for a new car during a tough economy were advanced thinkers who would want a car that reflected their iconoclastic success. The truth is when people get their fingers burnt they get a bit cautious for a while.

They leapt to far beyond what people were accustomed to and at the worst possible time. However, looking at pictures of this car one wonders if there was ever a good time for the Edsel.

Given the amount of money involved it seems ludicrous that Ford employed none of the usual business safety procedures, such as getting the proper amount of feedback from the public including or having average consumers test drive it before it hit the market. Although Ford may have learnt its lesson, there will be further disasters masquerading as vehicles to come…

What Is The Car Etiquette?

People aren’t always sure of the etiquette in cars and sometimes they test the driver’s patience, or the driver tests the passengers’ patience. Here are some rules suggested from sites around the internet…

Generally Good Advice

  • You shouldn’t smoke or eat in another person’s car. (If you are the driver you shouldn’t eat or drink while you are driving.)
  • Do not keep giving the driver instruction from the back seat.
  • If you borrow someone else’s car make sure it is fully insured and then top off with gas before returning.
  • You should pay attention even when you are not in motion, the lights may change suddenly or the traffic in front may alter quickly.
  • It’s not a good idea to bang doors especially the trunk doors shut, just close them firmly. Speaking of doors, do not look into other people’s door compartments, it’s just nosy. Try to stay out of their glove compartment too.
  • Do not use the climate controls without the driver’s permission. Many of them don’t like you touching the radio or music system either.
  • You are allowed to move the seat but it’s best to move it back when you’ve finished the journey.
  • Another source of complaint for drivers is touching the windows or leaving trash lying around so make sure you clear up after yourself.

It’s sounding as if most drivers are temperamental, but drivers are ultimately responsible for what happens in a car and knowing expectations ahead of time will help keep the peace.

Who Gets Shotgun?

Let the lady or the most senior member of the party sit in the front seat. Other people suggest that the guest should have the first choice. After that you should offer them the seatbelt. Most people do try to open the door for a lady and close it for them.

Because of the amount of legroom, it is best for a pregnant woman to sit on the back seat, though other etiquette experts suggest a couple always have to sit together. This may be interpreted as saying that a couple always want to sit together, but this is not always the case. Ultimately it is up to the driver to decide.

Children shouldn’t be allowed to sit on the front seat until they are 13 years old. 8–10-year-olds need a booster seats though it is dependent on their size.

If you are in an Uber it is best to travel in the back as it helps you to exit quicker, you can use either door. It’s possible to sit in the front seat in Ubers, but don’t feel obliged to do so. Lyft often invite passengers to sit up front as a way of differentiating themselves from Uber, but the practicality of sitting in back often trumps that.

Rideshare Etiquette

Also, on the subject of Uber it’s hard to specify a female driver (presumably you can ask for one) for Uber and Lyft cars. With Safr you can.

Many people don’t know you can request more than one stop with Lyft or Uber by pressing the + sign after typing in the first destination. Remember though like a taxi waiting time will be added to the price of your journey.

A Couple Final Thoughts

If you are on the back seat with pets you should make sure they do not disturb the driver. There’s some logic here, no one wants the driver to lose control.

You should respect that sometimes the driver may need to concentrate at certain points in the journey and conversation needs to be kept to a minimum.

Most of this stuff is common sense, but maybe it’s worth reiterating as people forget. We are only human so give each other some grace.

Passenger and Commuter Cars

Op-Ed By P. Wimsett

Does it matter if you commute in a passenger car or drive your family in a commuter car? Probably not, but we still have these distinctions.

Do commuter cars just exist for lonely single people who desire an extra mile per gallon in exchange for not being reminded that you don’t have a family to fill the rest of your vehicle. What happens if you neither commute nor have a family?

To complicate matters…

…All cars may have the description “passenger cars,” since all commercially produced cars these days can carry passengers. By that token, all cars are commuter cars since they are transportation after all. An alternative to the commuter car and the passenger car is the pleasure car, one used purely for weekends but it’s yet to catch on with the general public.

There are other ways to define cars – a minicompact, a compact and midsize, though a midsize vehicle can also describe pickups and vans.

The truth is it’s hard to market anything that’s all things to all people so it’s practical to put a primary use forward when describing your car to the marketplace—even if consumers don’t always use a certain car for that purpose.

Then the question is, is there a design difference between Commuter and Passenger Cars? Yes! But not a huge one. Passenger cars make a priority of seating capacity, with legroom, smoothness of ride and gas milage a bit behind in the design priority list.

So, what is a Good Commuter Car?

Dacia Duster

Now to commuter cars, you need a way of dealing with excess amount of traffic such as the infotainment system. The greater the size the greater fuel bills. Commuter cars tend to be vehicles such as a subcompact or coupe. There’s no reason to have a big car if you only use it to commute.

SEAT Terraco

Dacia Duster and Toyota Corolla are two examples of regular commuter cars. Electrical alternatives include the SEAT Terraco and the Audi 35 TFSH. If you have an especially long commute you need to look at air conditioning and possibly heated seats for your own sanity and maybe health. Look for a car noted for comfort, cruise control, wifi and hotspots, look at the Vauxhall Insignia or the Ford Focus which has eight engines and a strong EcoBlue color.

The Toyota Hybrid may not have the best hood, because it is a crossover, not a regular SUV.

Another Toyota, the Camry makes the most of not being a hybrid in terms of its four cylinders.

Can you do Both?

Sure, the Vauxhall Passat for example, has features you don’t automatically expect – those being the spacious seat area and the trunk. It’s a good all-rounder rather than purely a commuter car? Who said sorting out these cars was easy?

VW Jetta

The VW Jetta is a small sedan which offers a smooth ride with its supportive and stylish seats. Its selling point is that some people don’t like a hatchback. (The VW Golf has cornered the VW hatchback niche). According to Volkwagen’s own figures it has sold about 14 million units of this model since it was introduced in 1980.

The passenger and the commuter car owner want different things from their car. True there are more convenient ways of dividing the drivers; no one can convincingly say there are two types of driver.

In the end, it’s nice to have a primary function a car was designed around as a handy starting point when you start searching for a car.

Campers and Adaptions

If you wish to take to the open road a camper is a great option as you are not hampered by locating a suitable hotel every night. You can stay a lot of places, but officially, it’s advisable to sleep in a registered camp site It’s safer, and has a few amenities like showers and shore power, maybe even a place to empty your wastewater. Of course, if you got too tired to drive, in a pinch you could pull off at a Walmart and park overnight.

Well Known US Campers

Any talk of campers wouldn’t be complete without mention of Winnebagos. Winnebagos have been going since 1958 and have variants such as Journey, Farza, Adventurer and Vista.

Vista, for example, is a four-person Winny with two double beds, toilet and even a shower.

The Winnebago Solis is for more glamorous camping, what with its insulated walls and a plumbed-in wet bathroom. For this design it has a sleeping sofa rather than the usual bunk area.

Well Known European Campers

1961 Bedford Dormobile

Alternately, would you choose a European model like a Dormobile? The Dormobile company started in 1956, just after the VW camper known as “The Camper Box.”

The Dormobile had an estate car roof (AKA a sunshine roof) which could be extended to give two extra berths.

There have been conversions of Land Rovers by a Colorado company into campers but they aren’t Dormobiles themselves.

The reason Dormobile created campers is because they were exempt from purchase tax as long as they had cookers and the most basic washing machines.

The Dormobile had a lifting roof that was side-hinged, slightly resembling a Jack-in-the-box. It was made of a plastic canopy sometimes with red stripes, the top had two windows for ventilation. The inside looked reminiscent of the curve of a wheel’s spokes with two large poles or struts keeping the structure. It allowed for an extra meter of interior space even if it’s only purpose was to sleep in.

Before putting the roof down, you had to remove the mattresses from the bunks, otherwise the roof wouldn’t fit right. It sounds awkward, but no doubt you got used to it.

Another plus point was the 4-wheel drive which is unusual in a camper. It was definitely designed as a vehicle which was not afraid to go off road. This could come as a surprise given its streamlined shape.

Conversions

With enough money you can convert vans and SUVs into campervans. There are two ways to do this-one is to just use the space as is, the second is to create an “extension” part like an overhanging caravan, also known as a pop-up.

Though the first of these is easier and creates less disruption you will be hard pressed to find a place to fit in a bathroom! What you end up with is a table and chair area in the back which can be turned into a flatbed at night.

When creating a conversion use lightweight materials. Because of the need to store away tables/chairs/mattresses the active storage space is only available when its being used to camp in not when packed up to travel.

But as conversion is so complicated, most people tend to like the specialized vans. After all, why mess with mid-century design? And if you don’t like vintage, choose an up-to-date version.

Why The Car Industry Is So Vital

OP-ED By P. Wimsett

The building of cars is the number one industry in the US and other countries. This is why in a pandemic economy it has been protected by the government.

There’s more to it than that though. You need to able to travel to school or work. Then you have business conferences, expos and similar. Added to this, various aspects of the entertainment, travel & leisure industry/hotels, theaters and sports arenas…the list goes on and on. It’s all about people being at the right place when you need to be there. So, there is a definitely an argument to be made that transportation impacts ever other industry on some level.

But is domestic manufacture vital as an industry?

The History of American Car Making

The mass production of cars was famously begun by Henry Ford. He also created large plants or super factories as well as moving assembly line. This was the only way a Model T could be created every 24 seconds.

The superfactory infrastructure was also vital in getting the time down, having a glass factory and a steel mill as well as a number of other plants in the general vicinity. If you have to rely on deliveries the process breaks down.

There is an argument for assembling cars one at a time in a shed using parts (glass frames, radiators etc) but it would be very unlikely to make a profit. Some luxury sports cars are made this way. This business model relies on having a car ordered in advance of making it and these cars are by definition, luxury (not needed) meaning if they aren’t made the buyer can simply get a different car elsewhere.

If we’re only looking at vital cars, then we’re looking at affordable cars or vehicles built to a vital purpose like hauling goods to market. Affordable cars need to be mass produced not made to order. A modern car factory needs to work at 80% capacity just to break even. You also have the difficulty of maintaining working conditions in a small environment. So, a superfactory is better.

Well, this might be an exaggeration as it would be hard to visualize the big-name cars being “clinker-built.” It wouldn’t be safe, it wouldn’t be quick and it wouldn’t be economical. So, it could be said that the superfactory system is the only way.

As well as the factories you also need showrooms and forecourts (auto lots) as well as the annual motor-shows for the system to work. With motor-shows being cancelled (most notably the one in Detroit but there usually hundreds around the world) and car lot sales so restricted that sales in general are breaking down.

Detroit

To examine how vital the industry is, it is probably worthwhile to focus on the city of Detroit. What sort of city would it be without the Big Three-General Motors, Ford and Chrysler? And what would the US economy be without these three names? There are so many questions and because we are still living through it, so few answers as yet.

Although the Big Three are no longer the biggest names in car processing they are still big enough to the US economy to be protected.

So, this is where we are, in a non-industrialized state of limbo. For our own good this state of affairs cannot continue for that much longer. There is the health risk, true, but poverty in a country causes mental complications. How long can the US economy survive on handouts from the government, which is really barrowing against the future? No one knows, but it appears we’re going to find out.

The Choice of Paintwork for Cars

How do you change the color of your car?

First, you could choose another solid hue.

This is reasonably easy, solid finishes only take three layers; the primer, the paint itself and finally the lacquer. This may be achieved in what is known as a “two-pack” where the paint and the lacquer is mixed together. There aren’t that many colors to choose from, just the usual red, black or blue.

Mixing Colors:

Most people don’t consider a mixing of colors and for good reason, it only works by placing light colors on top of dark ones, such as blue on top of black. And it’d be hard to keep to the same color, it will alter over time or through a repainting.

A problem that could occur if you’re not careful is layers separating creating a peel. These are caused by moisture entering the paint in the application process. Because people don’t like applying paint indoors it is a common occurrence, the only alternative is to apply the paint on a non-misty day.

Best Color:

The best solid color to paint the car is gray or silver as it doesn’t show the dirt as much as black or white. But even a gray car needs the occasional polish to make it presentable. Well, if it’s your pride and joy it makes sense to keep it in presentable condition.

Finishes:

Matte finish paint needs a special polish and shampoo when cleaning the car. Certain marks can create a permanent effect, for instance bird droppings, and should be dealt with straight away.

Another option is metallic finishes, providing a brighter shine than a solid color which is created by having aluminium or similar flakes in the paint. Unfortunately, it doesn’t add that much value to the car, so it’s only really done for cosmetic reasons. The refraction is best seen on a sunny day, though even when the skies are overcast it still creates a strong effect. There are further down sides to these types of paint as they show the dirt more and can make repairs more difficult.

Wraps:

Because a matte finish requires a number of products such as polishes in order to keep it free from blemishes a compromise might be to use a vinyl wrap. Using something like a car wash may still be out of the question though. The advantage of wraps is that you can simply redo the entire wrap without too much effort or expense.

The Best Answer:

The best type of paint is pearlescent, but this can be hard to purchase from the mainstream names. The pearlescent effect is caused by little pieces of ceramic which both reflect and refract natural light. As with metallic paint it does tend to show the dirt. Again, there’s not that many colors to choose from but pearlescent is a mixture of colors really so it makes no difference.

A Final Note on Cleaning:

When looking at shampoos one idea is to consider other people with a similar car such as yours. After all they will know what works with that type of paint.

Probably in custom painting your car you’re presenting yourself with problems further down the line. Whenever you get into a fender bender you will have to custom match that paint on the new panel. But if you’ve got the time it will definitely increase the look and the value of your car.

Fill ’er up…

We do it every day, fill up the car with gas or diesel. But it might be worthwhile looking at gas stations themselves. Many are owned by the big names such as Shell and Gulf, and fair number of the smaller names have gone under.

What we commonly call a “gas station” in the US is more technically called a “Filling Station” as the idea was to supply automobiles with whatever sort of fuel or lubricant they needed—be it gas or deasil, oil, and yes, Propane.

They became known a little later as service stations when they were combined with small mechanic shops to provide basic tire and engine repair functions. Later still, the service portion was remodelled to include snacks and beverages, which came at a high mark-up because they were convenient. This was, of course, called a convenience store.

A Little About Gas Station Design

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Filling_station

Filling stations typically offer one of three types of service to their customers: full service, minimum service or self-service.

Full service An attendant or gas jockey operates the pumps, often wipes the windshield, and sometimes checks the vehicle’s oil level and tire pressure, then collects payment and perhaps a small tip.

Minimum service An attendant operates the pumps. This is often required due to legislation that prohibits customers from operating the pumps.

Oregon and New Jersey forbid you to pump your own gas.

Self service The customer performs all required service. Signs informing the customer of filling procedures and cautions are displayed on each pump. Customers can still enter a store or go to a booth to give payment to a person.

Unmanned Using cardlock (or pay-at-the-pump) system, these are completely unstaffed.

The First Gas Stations

The first filling station in the US (and also the world) was built in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1905 at 420 South Theresa Avenue. (The 2nd was in Seattle, WA. BTW). You could get your hands-on fuel prior to that, but it was an add-on to an existing business—like a dry goods or general store. When Henry Ford made the automobile a middle-class purchase the need for a boutique store became obvious. By 1909 a third station was built in Altoona, Pennsylvania. But none of these stations would have looked quite right to the modern eye.

The first “drive-in” station came December 1, 1913 when Gulf Refining Company built it in Pittsburgh, PA.

Historic Gas Stations

In America, when you think gas, you probably think of Texas. There’s an obvious reason why, the oil boon from the start to the middle of the 20th century. The Oil Boom moved Texas from a rural state with lots of ranches to a largely industrial state where petroleum dependent manufacturing could be near the source. Texans depend so much on gas for daily living- so much so that they are known as the “oil patch community” and many of the towns located throughout the state are known as “oil towns.”

Additionally, several oil patch museums are located within the State which are no doubt worth seeking out for anyone with an interest in how Texas became so prosperous. Here are a few examples of Lone-Star States historic gas stations.

The Old Sinclair Station was built in 1933, an interesting part of the façade are the wood-sash windows (metal ones are much more common nowadays). It exemplifies Spanish Colonial architecture service stations which at one time could be found all over the US. These have become increasingly rare, unfortunately.

Schauer Filling Station

The Schauer Filling Station, completed in 1929, can be found in Houston. It consists of a blue bungalow with a wide veranda (where the gas pumps used to be). The building has fallen on hard times, described in 2013 as being in a ruinous condition. Scavengers have been salvaging parts off without asking. It has since been listed as a national historic site, which will hopefully attract someone willing to restore the building, or at least prevent further pilfering.

Jenkins-Harvey Super Service Station

The Jenkins-Harvey Super Service Station and Factory was also built in 1929 and has an Art Deco style with various foliage designs. It was built by local architect James P. Baugh and funded by local businessman Samuel A Lindsey. The gas pumps were removed in the 1980s but it is still in relatively good conditions, probably due to how much concrete is in its construction.

The Phillips 66 gas station in McClean, Texas has a gabled roof and has a general Tudor revival style, as well as a front chimney. Unfortunately, this specific one was completely remodeled in 1991 but still bears some of its old style.

Gas Station Memorabilia

Dino

Not only do gas stations themselves offer an interesting history but sometimes it’s the logos, mascots or other paraphernalia associated with them. Sinclair Gas was associated with a green dinosaur for instance called Dino which can still be found throughout the US. Other mascots included a figure looking at a flame wearing white with the message “Happy Motoring” on their top (Esso), a beaver with a red hat (Buc-ee’s, which also run convenience stores and fast food restaurants) and a blue X with a long nose (Idex; the mascot’s name is Idekkun). There are too many mascots to mention them all here, but generally speaking they are all quite colorful in order to get drivers attention.

Dealing with an emergency vehicle

So, who is in charge when you are on a driving exam? Even though the person grading you on your exam is giving instructions and even though they hold your fate in their hands, you are ultimately responsible for the vehicle because you are the driver.

Actually, the law always takes precedent over the exam proctor during a driving test. They won’t tell you things like, “the speed on this road is 45MPH.” However, the most stressful thing that can happen during a driving test is when an emergency vehicle enters your route. Sometimes an exam proctor will give you instructions in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances but many times they simply wait to see how you react to it.

One of the challenges is that many drivers on the road don’t know what to do when an emergency vehicle comes on the scene. Other vehicles on the road may not behave exactly as you think they should.

So, when you see an emergency vehicle what do you do?

Well, its simple really; pull over. If you don’t pull over and it was safe to do so you will fail your driving test. A police car on the scene can site you for failing to yield but they generally don’t have time.

If you are stuck somewhere where it’s impossible to pull over, you may have to pull over as far as possible for the emergency vehicle to get through. You should also beware that another emergency vehicle isn’t following it (it may not be the same type by the way, for instance if you have an ambulance you may get a police car following on behind).

Remember though it is always advisable only to stop if the situation isn’t hazardous; do not put yourself in danger.

The Toughest Thing About Emergency Vehicles!

Because the sirens are generally on it should give you plenty of time to respond, though you might have initial confusion on where the emergency vehicle is coming from. As with all times on a driving test it is essential not to panic. If you aren’t on a driving test and you were listening to music turn it off until the emergency vehicle has passed.

It is always a good idea to stay especially alert in a situation such as this.

Although you might be tempted to follow an emergency vehicle through traffic, especially if its an ambulance carrying a loved one, do NOT do this. You should be more than 500 feet away from the emergency vehicle at all times.

When you overtake an Emergency Vehicle.

When you see an emergency vehicle at the side of the road you should reduce your speed slightly and change lanes if it is safe enough to do so. If you can’t change lanes you should proceed with caution.

Emergency Vehicles from Different Directions

How exactly you deal with an emergency vehicle depends on where they approach from. If they approach from behind (that is, if you see one in your rear view mirrors) you must attempt to pull over, staying as close to the curb as you can.

If they are approaching from the front you must still stop and pull over. This is in case the drivers in the opposite lane cannot pull over fully.

The difficulty with emergency vehicles may reveal itself at intersections. Ideally, no part of your car should be impeding the emergency vehicle’s progress.

This specific law is known as the “Move Over” law, but it also known as the “Steer Clear” law in Pennsylvania. There may be a specific speed limit for cars that cannot get out of the way of an emergency vehicle, for instance in Texas it is 20 mph below the advertised speed limit.

According to information released by Taylor & Francis Online more firefighters die in traffic accidents than the fire itself, though it does refer to these vehicles being a hazard to other road users. It’s difficult to think of a solution to this problem as a fire engine must get to the incident as quickly as possible.

Rare Pickups on The Market

GMC Crewcab

Although pickups seem designed to carry a load, only 15% of them are designed for work. One reason is that they were built as a passenger vehicle only with a little more cargo capacity. Regardless of the original design intent, many car makers have tried their hand at making a pickup and many pickups are quite collectable.

Collectable Trucks

The Lincoln Blackwood doesn’t look like a regular pickup, it barely has enough room for a load. Nor does it have a 4×4. A crossover in all but style, you may say.

The Sierra California Sundancer has such a huge cab and the sunroof is another unusual addition. It was only sold for one year in the state of California in 1987. They appear rather cumbersome and either didn’t catch on or they were just too expensive to make.

VW

VW Rabbit

The VW Rabbit doesn’t have the iconic VW look but it was a breakaway design created in the 1970s to satisfy those who wanted a pickup with qualities similar to the Datsun Truck and Ford Courier.

Created in a plant in Pennsylvania with a choice of 1.6L diesel and 1.7L it was strange that the VW Rabbit didn’t do better. A notable feature was that the normal gear was marked “E” for economy – a low gear is best for the bank balance – instead of “D” for drive.

Chevy

Chevy Cameo

It’s weird to turn the design of Chevrolet into a pickup but the Cameo attempts this. Again, it had limited manufacture, in this case in the 1950s. Still, it remains a stylish pickup.

Other Chevy pickups include the Chevrolet Colorado has an extended cab size and a payload of 1,575 pounds (the payload is the amount that can be carried); also it can tow 7,000 pounds. The most successful Chevrolet pickup model has been the Silverado which has both basic and luxury models. In 2020 a Silverado HD model came out.

Dodge

A strong red model with a huge hood is the Ram Heavy Duty. It has 1000 pounds weight of torque. The torque is the power it needs to work through gear changes; because a pickup truck carries or tows more weight than a sports car it needs to have more power, especially when driven at low speeds.

Cadillac

How can you improve an ancient pickup? Take the 1949 Cadillac Diamond T201, it’s wise to repaint the black fenders and handlamps and re-upholster the leather interior. Unfortunately, as it’s a traditional pickup it only has a cab so no room for backseat passengers. You still have the 6-cylinder engine and 4 speed transmission to their credit.

With less than 10,000 models around this is an ideal pickup to rejuvenate, especially given the walking cane gear stick – it just oozes class in a way unusual in a pickup, but that’s what you would expect from Cadillac.

In conclusion

Ultimately these types of vehicle require strong suspension to allow them to carry heavy loads, an SUV provides a smoother ride for you. The pickup is there if you want the option to move heavy loads too. You have balance out the need for smoothness or the need for storage space.