Light-duty pickups became more practical in the 1970s during the oil embargo and subsequent gas crisis. Compact trucks or “minis” were, and still are, popular with the younger generation. Women, who tend to prefer smaller vehicles, have become increasingly involved in the selection and purchase of pickups. Like most pickup owners, they want the confidence of driving a vehicle that projects an image of strength, reliability, and durability, according to the release. The release states that these qualities are well represented in the exhibition by a 1977 Chevrolet C-10 with step-side box.
By the 1980s, pickups were an extremely popular everyday vehicle, common on urban and suburban roads and as a family vehicle. “Weekend warriors” in the suburbs purchased pickup trucks for big jobs such as hauling their own appliances, yard tools, furniture and do-it-yourself projects.
Sales of pickup trucks soared in the 1990s, along with sport-utility vehicles and Jeeps. Exterior “good looks” and powerful engines are combined with increased interior detail. Big pickup trucks returned, now with comfort and convenience that rivals luxury passenger cars: Roomier interiors, fully adjustable large seats, behind-seat storage and a fold-down armrest that can accommodate a computer and peripherals.
For more information about The Farmers’ Museum and events related to this exhibition, visit FarmersMuseum.org.