Sunday, May 1, 2011

You don't need it.

One thing I'm constantly astonished by in the US is the prevalence of what I can only call monster trucks. Pickup trucks in general are far more commonly seen over here than in the UK, no doubt because over here they're available with far more plush interiors and lower registration fees than cars, not to mention laxer controls on emissions and consequently less strangled engines, but a truly amazing number of owners seem to have decided that now they have their pickup truck, they must of course modify it; which they achieve by altering the suspension and wheel sizing such that the truck now rides with the floorpan at roughly shoulder height to an average person. This lifting is generally described as being a benefit to off-road performance, which makes it all the more remarkable in its popularity; the vast majority of the moster trucks I see on a day-to-day basis are in near mint condition, with perfect, undented sheet metal, suspension components blazingly orange, and paintwork so carefully shined one could use it as a shaving mirror, although the acres of chrome brightwork would be somewhat preferable. I will admit to having seen a few trucks which had been lifted and had been offroad. I could identify them by the fact that they appeared to be held together by dried mud, rust, and maybe the odd wodge of chewing gum, and if they'd ever been painted, the ripples in what sheet metal remained were ample evidence that it had all flaked off long, long ago. There's no real middle ground when it cones to lifted trucks.

I suppose that this fad, much like the fad for putting two foot diameter mirror-finish wheels with tyres of approximately the aspect ratio of a rubber band (a cost of roughly a grand per corner) onto clapped-out rustbuckets worth maybe $200 on a good day, and whose handling may once have enabled them to negotiate the corners needed to parallel park, or the fad for replacing reasonably functional suspension with hydraulics with all the compliance of a housebrick (but which can cause the car to jump in place), will forever remain a mystery to me.

It would seem that I've become one of those people who doesn't understand the youth of today. I like my car because its seats don't hurt my back. I drive at reasonable speeds. I park carefully, unlike the inspirer of this post, who this morning parked their monster truck in four spaces at once. There were multiple cars circling the parking area looking for spots...

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