Tuesday, August 5, 2014

2014 Concours of America, Part 3 -- Pickups

Another batch o'cars from the Concours of America, this time an assortment of classic pickup trucks featured in an exhibit called "High-Style Haulers: Pickups of the Jet Age."

1957 Ford Styleside Pickup (owners, James and Linda Costa of Lenhartsville, Pennsylvania) -- The Styleside was one of the first pickups to move away from the step-side pickup truck bed to the square box style that carried through today's pickups.

1957 Ford Ranchero Pickup (owner, Joseph M. Conlon, Sr., of Taunton, Massachusetts) -- Okay, a confession. The next few photos aren't really quite what I would consider to be pickups, even if they were in the "Pickups of the Jet Age" display. They're the half-car, half-pickup vehicles that had a great run from the late 1950s through the 1980s, when compact pickups bumped them out of automaker lineups. The Ranchero was an instant hit when it was launched in 1957 and Ford produced them all the way until 1979. Chevrolet followed up quickly with its own car-based pickup, the Chevy El Camino in 1959:

1959 Chevrolet El Camino Pickup (owner, Jane Argenendt of Jefferson City, Missouri) -- The El Camino was launched in 1959 by Chevrolet and immediately attracted a strong following of its own. This initial style ran from 1959-60. The El Camino was relaunched in 1964 and ran all the way until 1987.

1959 Pontiac Safari El Catalina Pickup (owner, Wm. "Tom" Gerrard of Manalapan, Florida) -- Pontiac considered trying to capitalize on the success of the Ranchero with its own car-based pickup for 1960. But after building this 1959 prototype they decided not to proceed.

1965 Dodge Deora Custom Pickup by the Alexander Brothers (owner, Tom Abrams of Canton, Michigan) -- Today's final truck is a custom-built hot rod that won the Ridler Trophy as Best in Show at the 1967 Autorama show in Detroit, Michigan. It started life as an A100 forward-control pickup. One of the neatest things about it is that the front opens to let in passengers kind of like a BMW Isetta, but on a much larger scale. The Deora was so popular that it gained its name as part of a model kit company contest and it was featured in the original 1968 lineup of Hot Wheels toy cars:

I think it still would've done quite nicely had it shown up at this year's Autorama. It's a great-looking truck.

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