By Mike T.
(This is the first in a series of articles by readers sharing their experiences and memories of their first real truck.)
It was the spring of 1999 and I was finishing up my junior year of high school. I had my driver’s license but no vehicle to use it.
I borrowed my dad’s car when it was available. But that arrangement never worked. I wanted the car a lot. My dad didn’t want to give it to me.
So the old man hatched a plan. He didn’t want to spend a lot for a vehicle for me to trash around, and he wanted me to learn how to drive a stick shift.
The result: a single cab Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck. I still don’t know what year it was … had to be something from the late ’80s.
There was just one big problem: I hadn’t the slighest idea how to drive a stick.
Oh, there was another problem: I didn’t really want a pickup.
Looking back on it now, I can’t believe I felt that way. Now I don’t want anything but a pickup. I thank that old S-10 for my passion for trucks.
But I didn’t like it at first.
I hated that it was standard, and I hated thtat it was a truck. Making matters worse, was its beat up gray color. How was I ever gonna pick up chicks with this, I thought to myself.
First, I had to figure out how to drive the thing. Unfortunately, my impatient dad wasn’t the best teacher. Despite that, I eventually figured it out and passed my dad’s driving test. The final part of the test was this: stopping to a dead halt on the middle of a steep hill in town and then continuing to ascend without stalling out.
I made the engine roar. That sound warmed my blood.
Turns out, I loved standard. And I loved that truck. It had character. It had rust. It had a bed to haul shit and people. It had a cassette player that I used to jam out to Aerosmith.
I beat that truck up pretty good. The spedometer stopped working, but I kept driving throughout my senior year. I had a lot of good times in that truck with good friends. I had my first kiss in it with a girl I haven’t seen or heard from since high school.
I forget her name, but I’ll never forget that truck.
Funny, I don’t remember the day we traded in that beat up S-10 in for an upgrade. But what I do recall is that my love for trucks started there.