I read a blog a while back bemoaning the disappearance of a 1970’s vintage 45mpg pickup truck. I remember the little VW diesel pickups and can’t imagine why we don’t see some modern version of that efficient hauler today. In my day to day life as a cabinetmaker and maker of things I am the proud owner of not one but two big-ass American V-8 GMC trucks.
Truck people like my trucks…I unfortunately am not a truck person. Worse yet I am a ‘not a truck person’ who owns two trucks and a new home in the country some 30 miles from my shop (this is the dark underbelly of bucolic life…big commuting!). Granted…I need a truck from time to time but honestly most days the monsters travel pretty light. Add to this a sizable dollop of eco-guilt plopped on top of my smoldering wallet every time I pull up to the pumps in one of my beasts.
Well friends…meet my new truck… a sweet 2009 35 mpg MINI Cooper Clubman. No…I didn’t ditch the GMCs but I do park them most days in favor of the funky little gas sipper. Eco-guilt is assuaged for now and damn if this thing isn’t a flat blast to drive.
Best yet, the little MINI and I just made our first pilgrimage to the Home Depot contractor’s loading dock. Anyone familiar with this bastion of American truck prowess knows that this is the place where building supplies, testosterone and horsepower meet in a daily dance of territorial chest beating and metaphorical butt sniffing. While I am in general a gentle-man…I am an unquestionably a large man so when my MINI and my 250 lbs frame rolled into ‘the zone’ nestled between a Ford F250 and a Dodge Ram to load a flat cart full of concrete blocks and sand…the dazed looks of the ‘hammer swinging set’ were priceless.
Until some enlightened auto company picks up the pickup where VW left it some 40 years ago…me and my MINI are going to be regulars at the big box rodeos for some time to come.