(energetic percussive music) – Like America herself,
the pickup truck has become the melting pot of the automotive world. (engine roaring) Everyone has their own idea
of what the pickup should be, but some people like to hate on the scenes they’re not part of. And that bugs the sh
(missing audio) out of me. So, today I wanna answer the question: What makes a truck a truck? Today we’re going to look
at the some of the most misunderstood trucks on the road today. First up is the mini truck. Back in the 80’s and 90’s, when the compact pickup
truck was still a thing, (funky electronic music) bed-dancing trucks emerged
from the low rider scene. Like their low rider counterparts,
these trucks borrowed hydraulic actuators that were installed under a detached truck bed and operated with a remote controller the size of a DJ Hero board that they used to make
these custom trucks dance. Chevy S10’s, Mazda B2200’s, Datsun 720’s, they were all fitted up
with tilt-bed technology. Some people will say that
this old-school trend doesn’t make sense. I mean, what’s the point? Take the functionality out of a truck bed, just so you can make the bed dance? But guess what? That’s exactly the reason
I love these things. This is America, man!
(“Star-Spangled Banner” plays) Live free, die young, (eagle screeching)
do whatever the heck you want with your car. Don’t tell people what
to do with their truck. Anyway, moving on.
(eagle screeches) Going from low to high is a
truck that shares some of the so-called “lack of
functionality” with mini trucks. This is the show truck. (smooth hip-hop music) These trucks are purpose-built showpieces meant to make you ooh
and aah as they roll by. I mean, look at this bed. It’s so high up, it’s
completely impractical. The owner even says he never
puts anything back here. But I think that’s cool. Very punk rock. SEMA show trucks are some of the most
tricked out vehicles around. Custom paint job,
intricate lighting setups, modified engines, and, yes, really, really big wheels,
really tall suspension. Driving through the mud in rough terrain isn’t what this truck was designed for. It was made to show off
and get your attention. Which it does. It’s also very good at blinding you, if you’re driving in front of it, but that’s another story.
(smooth hip-hop music) Sure, you might think it’s
too masculine, too machismo. After all, what’s the point of making a truck look off-road-ready if the wheels have three
coats of polish on them? But again, that’s not the point. The point is the passion and work that the owners put into their cars. You don’t have to like it, but I love the craftsmanship
that goes into these things. Both mini trucks and so-called
“bro dozers” like this one might be looked down on
by certain people, but that doesn’t really matter. (laughs) Because once you get up here, (clunk)
you feel good. Jacking up a truck and
throwing mud tires on it was initially used out of necessity. The boggy swamps and muddy
country roads of the South stranded drivers more
often than they’d like. And because of this, the
first monster truck was born. You might’ve heard of it. (engine roars)
Bigfoot. The big blue Ford that now lives in the Smithsonian. Bob Chandler, the creator of Bigfoot, owned a 4×4 business in the 70’s, and used it initially to
advertise his business. Bigfoot started out as a ’74 Ford F-250 that Bobby threw a camping
shell on the back of, that he used for weekend
trips with his old lady. He then got a knack for
customizing his truck, and started off by throwing
bigger tires on it. He went as big as he can go
until he started to break axles, so naturally, he threw bigger axles on it. But with bigger tires and bigger axles, you need a bigger engine
to spin those tires, and his obsession of creating
the biggest and baddest car-smashing truck in the world began. After Chandler videotaped himself smashing two cars in
the middle of a field, he was approached by a motorsport promoter to reenact the stunt in front of a crowd. And the rest is history. – [Announcer] (shouts)
Sunday, Sunday, Sunday! – This historic truck not only spawned the current-day monster truck scene, but it also popularized mud bogging. Lifted trucks with high horsepower motors race through man-made mud pits, and if they make it through, the truck with the quickest time wins. But making it to the end of these mud bogs was difficult for even
the most powerful trucks. If you’ve never been to a mud bog race, put it on your bucket list. It might look “simple,” but you gotta see it for yourself, really. It’s loud, it’s dirty, and it’s a staple of the South. (engine barks and stalls)
(crowd cheers) I once saw a guy mud
bog a Subaru Forrester with a straight pipe
exhaust, it was awesome. They had to pull them out
with a deuce-n-a-half, but that was a really awesome day. Anyway,
(suspenseful string music) back in November of 1991, Congress enacted a whopping 10 percent luxury surcharge tax on cars over $30,000. But that luxury tax
didn’t apply to trucks. So, car manufacturers
took advantage of this and started making luxury trucks. One of the first real
high-end luxury trucks that was incredibly
popular in the early 2000’s was the Cadillac Escalade EXT. With an MSRP of $49,000, it was
crazy expensive for a truck. And it didn’t even have a full-size bed. They’re also very ugly. For comparison, the
standard top-of-the-line Ford F-150 Lariat was $31,000. But what might be more surprising is that people bought them, a lot of them. And they continue to buy
luxury trucks to this day. You can easily walk into any major dealer and find a decked out truck
that’s close to a hundred grand. People might say that these trucks are more on the passenger
car side of things than the trucks of yesteryear, because you can daily them
and they’re comfortable. But I say, look how many different roles one vehicle can play. They can be comfortable, they can have dope entertainment systems, but you can also tow a house and haul anything you want with them. And that’s why people don’t
hesitate to spend so much. The high-end truck we have today might not fit perfectly into that classic high-end truck
category you think of when you imagine a luxury truck. But it is the most bad
ass factory off-roader the world has ever seen. It comes in ice blue, my
favorite Gatorade flavor, and it’s named after my favorite dinosaur. This is the Ford Brachiosaurus. I’m k, Ford Raptor (grunts mildly) you
know it’s the Raptor, c’mon. (smooth electronic music) You get a twin turbocharged,
3.5-liter, V6 EcoBoost squeezing out 450 horsepower
and 510 foot pounds of torque. You get Fox Live Valve shocks, Recaro front seats, Terrain Management System,
aluminum alloy body, and a ton of other fancy features that don’t come on the
bare-bones XL F-150. It’s the ultimate flex truck. In LA, I’ve seen more of these Raptors waiting in elementary school pickup lines than I have seen with actual mud on them. (slurps unduly loudly) It’s like the pickup truck
equivalent of owning a Lamborghini or a Ferrari. (smooth electronic music) This truck is capable of
some truly insane things. And most drivers will
never find those limits. But that’s okay. Because they’re bought it. So they’re entitled to
drive it how they want to. It’s their truck! (motor snarls) (jazzy electronic music) In 1958, Datsun started
exporting their 220 series, becoming the first Japanese truck to hit the market in the USA. It took some time for the
Japanese compact trucks to earn the respect of classic American
full-size truck owners, who doubted a tiny
Japanese machine could do what they wanted. But the practicality and quality
of these Japanese imports finally won them over. The evolution of trucks has gone from functional to fun to fancy, but the heart of the pickup truck is still the humble work truck, like this one.
(smooth hip-hop music) You can ask anyone who has a truck now, and chances are, their first ride was a good old-fashioned, beat
up, hand-me-down pickup truck (taps door) just like this one. Trucks like these aren’t flash. They don’t have a rear
swing-arm suspension with 12 inches of travel. There’s no full-length moon
roof or heated and cooled seats. It doesn’t have rich, castano leather. The bed doesn’t dance around
like it’s a 90’s break-dancer on a piece of cardboard on the sidewalk. But you can count on
it to get the job done. It’s the simplest, purest,
most awesome truck. This truck belongs to
our good buddy, Gabe. And at one time, this
Toyota would be scoffed at by any truck purist. It’s small, has a four-cylinder motor, and it’s two-wheel drive. What’s the point of a
two-wheel drive truck? I love trucks like these because they don’t have
all the bells and whistles. They’re the purest distillation
of what a pickup should be. They just work. (smooth hip-hop music) America the beautiful. Home of the free, land of the truck. It started out as a vehicle
for people to easily tote stuff around. And it’s transformed into
the ultimate bed-dancing, low-riding, mud-crawling,
car-smashing, off-roading, highway-cruising, grocery-getting vehicle that brings all sorts of folks together. There’s no wrong way to be a truck. Just like there’s no wrong way to be an American. (“Star-Spangled Banner” plays)
(eagle screeches) I’d like to thank Omar at SoCal Auto Paint for bringin’ out his enormous show truck. That thing is awesome. I’d like to thank Gabe for
letting us borrow his work truck. And I’d like to thank Ford for givin’ us that Raptor for a few days. That was really fun. ‘Ey, this episode of Wheelhouse is brought to you by Shine Armor. Shine Armor is a
ceramics-infused waterless wash. That’s a three-in-one compound
– Ew! – That washes, shines, and coats your car to protect it.
(shimmery spell chimes) So you don’t need a hose
to wash your car anymore, unless it’s super muddy. Things splash on there
and just drip right off, doesn’t leave any residue. I live in an apartment, I don’t have a hose hook up in my place. Shine Armor lets you just
do it in your driveway with a bottle of water
for your damp cloth. Click the link in the description. Get yourself some Shine Armor. I was super surprised at how
well it worked, honestly. Can’t wait to wash my car again. Thanks, Shine Armor. What’s your favorite kind of truck? Let me know in the comments. I really hope I’ve kinda helped you change your
mind on some trucks. Everyone has their own taste,
and I think they’re all valid. Follow me on Instagram @nolanjsykes. Follow Donut @donutmedia. Check out this episode of Up To Speed. Check out this episode of Wheelhouse. Ah, I really appreciate you. Thanks for watchin’. Be nice, I’ll see ya next time.