Where Have All The Small Trucks Gone?

Above is a picture from my parents old Thunderbird sometime in the late 80’s, early 90’s. It’s just a random picture from somewhere in California during a trip. Notice anything? How about the three small pickup trucks? When i was growing up these things were everywhere and I simply do not understand why they have gone away.

If you didn’t need or couldn’t afford a full size truck you grabbed one of these, that’s what my parents did in 1984 (as seen below).  It made sense, not everyone is going to be pulling a horse trailer or a full load of steel bars (does this really happen outside of commercials?). You don’t need a big old V8 truck to haul a couch across town.

Here is a list of every compact truck available in 1990:

  • Toyota Pickup
  • Nissan Hardbody
  • Mitsubishi Mighty Max
  • Mazda B-Series
  • Jeep Comanche
  • Isuzu Pickup
  • GMC S-15
  • Ford Ranger
  • Dodge Ram 50
  • Chevrolet S-10

Here is a list of every compact truck available in 2013:

  • Null

That’s right, instead of 10 choices you now have zero. Every one of those trucks was either replaced with nothing at all or it was moved up to something midsized (Frontier, Tacoma, Colorado). Why though? 98% of the full size trucks I see have an empty bed and no passengers. The auto manufacturers like to blame the CAFE standards but with direct injection, turbos, and tiny tiny engines everywhere that is an awful excuse.

I wish there were a statistic on the billy badass effect, I’ll bet that has more to do with it than anything. If people demanded them they would still make them.

At least they will live on through pool boys and mini truck has-beens.