August 12, 2022

That Really Bunches My Panties…by Brendon Marks


A few years back I was sitting in my office and heard a sound coming from the parking lot that I had not heard since I left the snowdrifts of upstate New York in April of ’82. It was the sound of a vehicle being shifted alternately between forward and reverse accompanied by the sound of spinning tires. I immediately looked out my Phoenix, Arizona window to see if it had snowed while I was in that last meeting. I was relieved to see that it had not. After all, how far do I have to go to get away from that stuff?

It had rained lightly, the blacktop parking lot was damp and I soon discovered the source of the sound. There was a small Japanese import pick-up that had been lowered so far that it was actually hung up on a speed bump. The driver was shifting back and forth between first gear and reverse, trying to get off the bump, but the thin little bologna-skin tires would only spin on the wet pavement.

After a minute or two the driver got out of the truck, walked completely around it, got back in and tried again. Nothing changed. He got out of the truck again, walked halfway around the truck, turned around, retraced his steps, got back in and tried it again! Still nothing changed. I was thinking that this was the reaction I would expect from anyone who would do something like that to a truck.

When the very first cave-person carved the first wheel, the teen-age son took one look and said, “Ugh sitay thumpa kue saran keely.” This means, “That would be cool if it weren’t so big around.” And people (mostly guys) have been carving up cars ever since.

That’s OK, because a car isn’t much more than just a way to get somewhere and back. If you want to drive around in a car that has the tires stuck out so far that it looks like a hen starting to settle down on a nest of chicks, that’s fine with me, but a truck is a tool. You don’t mess with tools.

One possible exception is the addition of a hydraulic ram converting a normal pick-up into a dump pick-up, thereby drastically reducing unload time. However, making it a side dump never made any sense to me.

It shouldn’t be any huge news flash that a truck that can’t get over a speed bump is about as valuable as a cardboard box strapped to the back of a Big Wheel toy tricycle. You might just as well scrape off the word Toyota and replace it with Eunuch.

Besides, everybody knows that no matter how low they already are, you make cars lower, and no matter how high they already are, you make trucks higher. It’s a rule, but don’t blame me I didn’t make it.

I also have noticed that even though guys have been modifying cars for years, you rarely see cars or trucks mangled like this more than a few years old. What happens to them? Are they hoarded away somewhere like priceless works of art in a private collection? Or maybe they travel from one car show to another in the back of a semi, never serving any useful purpose other than supporting a major portion of the car wax industry. Or do they all eventually get hung up on a speed bump somewhere and rust down to dust?

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