“Here’s looking at you, kid!”
by John Bodden, Seattle,
We olde truck lovers keep and
restore many venerable cabovers (COEs). Though vastly outnumbered by
conventionals, something about them causes us to buy them. Look at these
beauties pictured in this article. Each with a pretty face.
What judgments do we make
when we gaze at these wheeled lovelies? Does a truck’s front face really tell us
anything or is it all fantasy? What do the engineers convey with all that sheet
metal, paint, and chrome? Were we tricked? Did we buy it because it had a pretty
Some wise person said: “You
can’t judge a book by its cover.” Neither can you judge a COE by its frontal
appearance. What looks strong may be weak. What looks solid may be a rattletrap.
What looks fast may be slow. Elegant trim becomes glitz. And so on. Let’s
analyze this American COE.
The truth is: frontal
appearance is designed primarily to sell the truck. The stylists and
engineers try to convey many messages to the buyer. Collectively, they are
intended to influence his judgment so profoundly that he selects this truck
rather than a competitor’s. What are those messages, and do they really mean
For the whole story, subscribe to Old Time Trucks® and read the
Aug04/Sep04 2004 issue.