Written by Eric Becker
Trucks are a big deal in America – so big, in fact, that out of every six cars sold stateside, one is indeed a pickup truck. To add a bit more context, in 2019 the top three bestselling vehicles in the U.S. were all full-size pickup trucks. Combined, over 2.1 million pickups were purchased, with nearly 900,000 units alone for the best seller, the Ford F-150. That even far outpaces America’s best-selling car, the Toyota Camry, which sold 336,978 cars in 2019.
If it’s not obvious, Americans love their pickup trucks. Yes, pickup trucks are offered in other countries, but none can match that same adoration as in the United States – so much so that the pickup has become as institutionalized in American culture as baseball and apple pie. It comes as no surprise, then, that the pickup has remained the best-selling vehicle in America for 35 years.
For decades, the pickup would serve as a workhorse, to be loaded up with cargo and used for the long haul. As early as the 1950s things began changing and the pickup became more than just a hauler, also serving as an in-town runabout. As time moved on, the pickup evolved further, becoming more luxurious and often the sole vehicle for many American families.
Now, both classic and modern pickups are getting the limelight at auction, and not just American trucks either. Pickups from Toyota, Nissan and even Volkswagen are becoming hot commodities at auction. At the Barrett-Jackson Online Only July 2020 Auction, we have more than a dozen pickups ready to cross the digital auction block, many of which are selling with No Reserve (you can check those out in the gallery below). But first, we thought we’d share some details on two that caught our eye.
In the 1970s compact Japanese pickups established a reputation for dependability and toughness. By the 1980s Japanese pickups were as commonplace on the American road as any domestic rival. The 1983 Toyota 4×4 SR5 pickup (Lot #175) in the July Online Auction, which is selling with No Reserve, has been an Arizona truck its entire life, and was recently treated to a cosmetic and mechanical restoration. Finished in a brilliant shade of white, the freshly repainted truck sports new factory stripes in black copper and bronze. Matching the stripes are a set of factory bronze powder-coated wheels wrapped in new Goodyear tires. Power comes from a 2.4-liter 22R inline-4 engine paired with a 5-speed manual gearbox and a dual-range transfer case. The pickup features factory air conditioning, new SR5-style bucket seats, new carpeting and faux wood accents on the dashboard. Additionally, the interior features a RetroSound radio, as well as touched-up trim and switchgear. The winning bidder of this Toyota won’t need roads where they’re going.
A fully custom-built 2020 Jeep Gladiator (Lot #176) on the docket won’t need roads to get where it’s going, either. Upgraded with a Mopar lift kit and Fox shocks, it’s sure to traverse even the nastiest terrain. Jeep’s venerable 3.6-liter V6 sends drive to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The truck rides on a set of custom Fuel wheels wrapped in 37-inch Toyo tires that pair brilliantly with the gray exterior. The Gladiator lives up to its name and provides a true “Road Warrior” aesthetic, wearing custom Road Armor front and rear bumpers, a custom-made removeable roll cage, a spare tire carrier and Dirt King strap, and a custom-made light bar. Brightening up even the darkest corners of the “Fury Road” are Rigid Industries LED lights. The interior features customized diamond-stitched leather seats with blue piping tracing the seams. The Gladiator was Jeep’s return to the pickup truck market and is one of the most capable off-roaders from the factory. This example features just 578 miles and is ready for any kind of topography.
Check out the gallery below for more pickups at the July Online Auction, where bidding starts July 6 and wraps up on July 10, and click HERE to view all the vehicles on offer!