Looking back at and ahead to small trucks in America

You could get an extended cab at the time, The 720 could even be found as a crew cab in some markets.

The “King Cab” import trucks in the 1980’s didn’t have practical space for rear seating but did allow space for the front seat to recline. Imagine a vehicle today with seats that don’t recline?

Our standards have changed during the last 35 years, for the price of an uncomfortable truck with 100 horsepower a person can buy a used truck that seats 5 with 300 horsepower.

Back-in-the-day, lots of people had a pick-up as a second (usually, work) vehicle. Today, people buy trucks to be cars and often have multiple trucks in the family.

I’m still in that “truck as a work vehicle” mode. I prefer to drive a car.

1 Like

Odds of 12% interest are low.

What were the odds that the Fed would pay banks to borrow money prior to them doing just that?

Financing at ZERO interest is more amazing than at 12%.

I owned a 1981 Nissan Pickup with the Extended Cab.

Datsun Truck - Wikipedia

The vehicle was very reliable…but was also prone to RUST. Lots of Rust. The bed of my pickup was rusted out to the point of being unusable in 4 years.

1 Like

To be fair, all vehicles rusted like crazy in those days.

Today, it’s hard to believe what we considered no rust perforation in 4-yrs to be great quality. Remember replacing exhaust systems every few years? Today, the life of an exhaust system is measured in decades.

The Asian vehicles rusted out at MUCH FASTER rates then Domestic vehicles. It wasn’t until the mid 80’s that they turned things around.

That’s because of the Fed requirement of a 50,000 mile Exhaust warranty they forced manufacturers to meet. The easiest and best way to meet that was to use Stainless steel. I haven’t had to replace an exhaust system due to rust in over 30 years.

1 Like

I’m going to disagree. My favorite anecdote on this topic is a job relocation interview I was sent on in March 1983. I was sent to Milwaukee in late March. Dead snow and gray for miles. I flew into Chicago and drove a rental car to Milwaukee. I was greatly impressed by the number of new cars with surface rust on the door and fender panels.

I never had to consider the relocation…the corporation shutdown the Milwaukee plant 2-wks after my visit.

It wasn’t that long ago that the standard car loan rate at the bank for their best customers was 11%. Then 18% in the crazy 80’s-at the bank. Houses 9%. So zero or 2% on cars and 3% on houses makes a big difference for consumers. Beware though back in the daze we had hyper inflation because prices were so unstable people bought like crazy because to wait a year meant you were priced out of the market. $40,000 car today might be $50,000 in a year or the car might not even be available, and interest could be 8%. History repeats? People do what they need to do to protect themselves. Not a prediction on my part just a warning to be on guard. Living through it once was not fun.

1 Like

I’m about to replace the exhaust on my s10 for the 5th time. The stock exhaust lasted 10 years. The aftermarket walker exhausts last 4-5 years if you’re lucky. Nothing else is available.

The Asian trucks definitely rusted fast. I had an 87 pathfinder. I loved it and it was very reliable but there wasn’t much left of it at the end because of the rust. The rear seat actually fell through the floor.

Hyper inflation? Not really, but it was high. But then again, wages kept pace until the early 80’s…then wages went flat.

Volcker killed inflation with high interest rates. The recession of the early 80s stopped wage gains and they never really recoverd.

Low interest rates are fun for the consumer, but when money has no time value (i.e., when the prime rate is zero) your retirement savings will have no secure growth beyond the cyclical market boom/bust. So, enjoy the moment, but save 20% of your paycheck, so you can retire. Someday.

You have my sympathy. Doesn’t Midas still offer a warranty with their muffler? On my 91 Tacoma, Midas honored the first owner’s lifetime warranty.

But, seriously, how old is the S10? They’ve been out of production for a while.

It’s a 95.I remember getting midas mufflers ages ago on other cars. Their pipes would rust out in 2 years and only the actual muffler had the lifetime warranty, unless I’m remembering it wrong.

That Tacoma muffler is the only one I’ve replaced since the early 90’s

Had a local shop, life time warranty on the muffler, 8 years muffler went, $2.10 for a new clamp. I think if you plan on keeping it a while you should look into it. I did not feel bad, Had Dave do work on work trucks etc. over the years and recommended him to everyone I knew that needed exhaust work. He even welded a split cat for $10 and no problem at emissions test. He is one in a million, great guy and love his sprint cars at the races.

Yeah I had a lifetime muffler on my Park Ave. The muffler was way in the back and would rust out in two years from the two mile daily trips. The guy was a relative and when I asked him who paid for the lifetime muffler he said he did so I just couldn’t ask to get it free. We agreed on $20 as being fair to both. So much for lifetime mufflers. They’re all dead now and haven’t needed a muffler in years.

Hopefully you are talking cars, not relatives.

I should have been clearer. The relatives are all dead now and I haven’t needed a muffler in years anyway. Yeah.