By on November 6, 2014

 

And sidewalls too, apparently.

Cafe regulations be damned, the regular cab truck is a fantastic design. It deserves a better rep: working for people with multiple vehicles, value-conscious fleet buyers, and bottom-tier credit risks dying for a cheap new non-econobox. Or a new lease on life, after an unexpected trip to the hospital.

(photo credit: www.foxeyephoto.com)

I’ve never regretted regular cab ownership: it’s right for my wallet and clutter-free lifestyle. But after a few laps at a local Rallycross (seen here at full ABS braking) the lighter, shorter regular cab became a Miata with a BedBut I digress…that Time In The Hospital Thing.

After getting progressively weaker/sicker for no reason, as I lay circling the drain for hours in a hospital bed, the diagnosis of Stevens Johnson Syndrome came for an allergic reaction to over-the-counter medicine. (NOTE: watch where you Google, S.J.S. isn’t a pretty sight.) YES I’m making a full, 100% back-to-normal recovery: the on-call allergist was Johnny-on-the-spot and my family supports me. While never missing a beat for TTAC, I couldn’t function elsewhere for a week.

Later I drove in a mere car with a large cabin and a huge cab-forward windscreen. Then the Houston heat/sun adversely mixed with my healing skin: to the point I was boiling in my own flesh. The pain from just being in the sun, from wearing non-cotton clothes, from lying on a warm bed, from trying to do anything…it was frustrating. Cue my friend, the Regular Cab’d Texas Ranger.

With a certain foreboding-yet-southern-fried Jan Hammer tune in my ears, I learned why I love this body style of pick ’em up truck.

The Ranger’s HVAC normally freezes me, no matter the outside temperature. It was enjoyable for long days of outside labor, I reckon many truck owners understand that. But now it was to the point fingers must freeze to the shifter and glasses shall fog after leaving the regular cab…and re-fog after the first wipe.

Anywhere I went, I felt better than before I left.

There was no place more comfortable for my Stevens-Johnson Syndrome affected skin than my silly regular cab Ranger.

So what’s the point of this self-pity infused blathering?

  • Full Size or no, the regular cab pickup is one of the best designs on the planet.
  • Regular Cabs do not deserve their endangered species designation.
  • Feng Shui isn’t just for new age types, it’s for right sized truckers that need no CUV in their pickup.
  • Space Efficiency isn’t just for architects, car designers must know that “cab forward” windshields literally bake our interiors.
  • Trucks work extremely well in their “original”configuration forthepreviously stated reasons…BUT…
    • …let’s also add a little known allergic reaction to ordinary medication to the list.
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144 Comments on “Vellum Venom Vignette: In Praise of The Regular Cab...”


  • avatar
    pragmatic

    Your preaching to a choir of at least one.

    Since my truck is only used for moving bulky items for home improvement and occasional other trips when I feel like it or my main vehicle (a sedan) is unavailable a regular cab is all I need. Short length is easier to park and maneuver. Plus highway mileage with the lowly 4 cylinder Ranger and MT can reach 30 if I’m not carrying heavy loads (dips to 27 on loaded trips to VT). And yes that air conditioning can chill the cabin quickly and to quite a low temperature.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    Guess what? I got a fever, and the only prescription is more regular cab truck.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    I’ll be damned, we never had a regular cab pick-up in the family.

    I stand corrected. My Brother-In-Law had a very-highly lifted Silverado from the early 80’s. That thing was SWEEET.

    I cringe thinking of the fuel that thirsty bird consumed, BUT… sure enough, we’ve always had extended cabs.

    So I either A.) have too many people in my family or B.) have an underlying obsession with multiple seating areas.

    Question: does one NEED Steven Johnson’s to appreciate the regular cab, in all of its simplistic glory?

  • avatar
    kkop

    Hope you feel better soon.

    I own a regular Cab 2014 Ram.

    While I love it, and would buy one again, there are downsides to it. For instance, my tall frame could do with a few extra inches of seatback ‘lean’ room.

    Other than that, there are only upsides, including a pretty good weight-to-Hemi ratio that bigger cabs just can’t match, and a better tow rating than the bigger (and heavier) cabs.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      I can’t justify a regular cab when I can get a quad cab for the same price. I live in the snow belt, thanks to incentives, onces you tickets off a few boxes for 4×4 and power power windows it’s the same or less than regular cabs. Put the hellcat in a short bed regular cab 4×4 and that all changes though

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Regular-cabs don’t sell for the same reason the neither the Smart Car nor many two-seaters don’t: car buyers place real value on the possibility that they might need to seat more than two people in a pinch.

    Work buyers might be able to get away with regular cabs, but when it’s your own money? No.

    I couldn’t justify a regular cab; I’d want at least jump seats in the back. Hell, even Porsche still puts a vestigial second row seat in the 911.

    ETA: You, my father and my ex are the only people I’ve known who’ve gotten SJS. It’s awful; you’ve my empathy for that experience.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Oh yeah, I love the “for insurance purposes” rear seat.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Two-seaters of any type get eaten alive by insurance rates. For some reason if the vehicle claims only two seats, rates skyrocket because it is assumed they’re being used for sport driving and not everyday commuting.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      In the “good” old days, extra passengers would simply climb into the bed for a ride. A lot of states now have laws banning that sort of thing. Might be interesting to see if there is any correlation between the introduction of those laws and the rise of crew cab sales.

    • 0 avatar
      Quentin

      Having been crammed with my 2 brother and dad on the bench of multiple regular cab F150s/F250s through the 80s and 90s, I can fully understand why few people want them just based on the childhood trauma*. My dad, to this day, always drove a manual transmission, too. That just made things even more painful.

      *I come from an area where every dad had a truck growing up. I couldn’t name a single uncle of mine of the 12 that didn’t have a truck as a daily driver. Every darn one of them was a regular cab, too. They didn’t ditch the regular cab because they were forced to. They ditched it because something better came along when they started adding doors to get to the extended cab.

    • 0 avatar
      stuki

      Reg cabs can seat three. It makes a huge difference.

      • 0 avatar
        56BelAire

        Regular cab, long bed, bench seat, stick is how I roll(my daily driver). Would never own a 4 door P/U just because I might some day need to carry 3 passengers…….that’s what my DTS or Enclave are for.

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        Regular cabs back then also had a lot of manual transmission, really hard to shift that long throw with someone in the middle

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Well, I have an extended cab on my F250 because I do long road trips in it, and it’s very handy for gear and overnight bags and suchlike, more than to hold more people.

      I’ve never liked the idea of a truck without even enough room behind the seats for a proper toolkit and such, let alone gear and serious groceries.

      (Yes, the bed. But I always have a canopy, because that’s my use model, so no toolboxes, and gear and groceries end up scattered over the entire 8′ length.

      So, no.

      YMMV, but mine says “no short cabs”.)

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      @psar – As you can tell by the comments, regular cabs are very much in demand by everyday, civilian retail consumers. The price point of midsize RCSBs put them price range of Corollas and such. Fullsize RCSBs are in the range of Camry and such. They’re the best bargains around, if you’re not bent on always hauling around a crowd of people.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Glad to hear you are feeling better, Sajeev.

    Did your evil twin, Sanjeev, survive?

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Reg cab is real pickup-truck truckin’. I recently made a deal on a 2014 Ram Tradesman for a friend. Reg cab, 2WD, Hemi, 6 speed auto, 8 foot bed plus trailer tow equipment. Black bumpers on a black truck doesn’t look too bad either. A good honest truck for 21k.

    • 0 avatar

      Wow, that sounds like a great deal. I am one of those guys who values small trucks, but I don’t think I would go for an 18-19k ranger, when I could get a big truck with a big V8 for 21k.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Indeed. This is the crux of the problem with the compact/midsize truck market today.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          … for some people. For others, the grossly oversized full-size truck is simply too much truck for their needs and desires.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            For each consumer that thinks them “grossly oversized”, there’s scores or hundreds that don’t mind the proportions of fullsize, especially when opting for regular cab fullsize. I prefer the size. Just right.

            My mom had a reg cab Tacoma, but it felt cramped to her. I thought it was a blast to drive, like a lifted 4X4 Miata. But I drive differently. I’d get the 3-wheel-motion on tight turns.

            She then tested the extra (Access) cab Tacoma, and to her, it seemed freakishly long, for so narrow a truck. So the Tundra RCSB was her final choice and winner. It’s like an Access cab, with all the room behind the seat.

            Midsize trucks are just in a weird spot.

          • 0 avatar
            stuki

            For city use, the turning radius of reg cab, long bed 1500s are such a pain it very well may make more sense to get a heavy duty. Aside from that, they’re great trucks. Do wish they all followed Toyotas lead in building in enough flat space behind the seats to store a suitcase, toolchest, rangebag etc., though…..

          • 0 avatar
            Sigivald

            Per Edmunds, comparing the 2011 Ranger (since it was mentioned) and the 2015 F150 (because Apples-to-Apples suggests keeping it Fords), short bed, all of ’em short cab:

            69.3″ W, 189.4″ L, 66.2″ H.
            vs.
            79.9″ W, 209.3″ L, 75.2″ H.

            The Grossly Oversized one is … 10 inches wider, 20″ longer (of which about 5 inches is the longer bed), and 9 inches taller.

            That’s “Grossly Oversized”?

            (Note that except in height, the F150 is within a few inches of the *Taurus* in every dimension.)

            Modern full-sizes look “bigger” than they are because of their proportions and height. They’re not ridiculously large, if you want a short one.

          • 0 avatar

            “10 inches wider, 20″ longer (of which about 5 inches is the longer bed), and 9 inches taller.”

            That’s a pretty huge difference.

            And there’s no way it’ll break 30MPG like the 2.3DOHC/5MT Ranger.

            BTW, what was the weight of the grossly oversized one?

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            The minimum curb weight of a 2015 F150 is 4050 lbs. That is down 500-600 lbs from the 2014.

            And that length is about the same difference in length between the Focus sedan and Taurus. It’s pretty significant.

          • 0 avatar
            Eiriksmal

            Yeah, 20″ is pretty massive. That’s the difference between a Mazda2 and a Mazda3! The difference between a 3 hatch and a 6 sedan is ~15″.

          • 0 avatar
            dal20402

            10 inches wider is colossal. My G8 has about 4 inches to spare pulling through my garage door. An F150 is about 6 inches wider than the G8 and wouldn’t fit through the door unless you folded the mirrors every single time.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            10″ in width is a significant figure when you’re on narrow city streets or meeting another truck on a 1.5-lane country road. But I wasn’t comparing to an ’11 Ranger, I was comparing to an ’83 D-50 or even an ’85 Ranger, which would be maybe another 6″ narrower. Length, too, would be down a bit, a regular cab long bed running maybe 15 feet (180″). But the biggest point is the simple ability to reach into the bed from either side without having to climb onto a step-stool to do so or load the tailgate at knee height rather than waist height.

            So no, it’s not JUST the length that makes them grossly oversized for the vast majority of people who want smaller trucks.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “Grossly oversized” is the combination of height, length and width. I should also include weight since on average a full-sized pickup is over 1,000 pounds heavier than an ’85 compact.

          • 0 avatar

            “The minimum curb weight of a 2015 F150 is 4050 lbs. That is down 500-600 lbs from the 2014”

            And that’s about 800lbs heavier than a regular cab DOHC Ranger. Aluminum motor but steel body.

            Ouch.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      The world’s largest Chevrolet dealer in Texas Sells that package with 4×4 for 19,995 otd. It’s their door buster to get you in. That’s a hell of a Lotta truck for the price.

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        Sajeev, the width and length are compounded by the battleship turning radius of the rwd truck. An extra ten inches really helps in three point turns and parallel parking situations

  • avatar
    mikey

    I had a few regular cab long boxes over the years. I had fond memories of them. I bought a used 2011 Sierra 4X4 reg cab last year. I only kept it for 6 months. Nice truck, but too big,too hard on gas.

    My wife has some health issues. She just couldn’t coordinate using the grab handle, and the side bar, to step into the truck. She didn’t do so well getting in and out of the Camaro either.

  • avatar
    carguy67

    Only thing I don’t like about regular cabs is the bulkhead right behind your head (yeah, I’m a bit claustrophobic). Had a ’96 Ranger with extended cab and a couple jumpseats–a good compromise and I even used the jumpseats a few times.

    • 0 avatar
      Occam

      For some reason, those jump-seats (which could hold an adult) have been replaced with forward facing seats that make a Mustang’s back seat look spacious.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        Side-facing jump seats are pretty unsafe in a collision; the forces on your body cause unpleasant things to happen.

        Granted, the Ranger wasn’t really safe to start with.

        • 0 avatar
          Occam

          The forces from a head on collision would be comparable to a side-impact. A side impact would be comparable to either a head on or rear-ending. The use of the rear window as an impact absorber for your head seems questionable though!

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        That has something to do with taking them off the sidewalls of the cab so the half-doors could be opened.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        That has to do with said jump seats being taken off the sides of the cab so the half-doors could be opened. Then to make the design simpler, then just stuck a full-width bench across the back instead of two fold-down jumps. I’m plotting an aftermarket mod if I buy an extended-cab pickup to replace me old F-150.

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          One of my earliest memories was riding in the back of Dad’s first “nice pickup,” a ’75 F-250 Ranger SuperCab. Two inward-facing jump seats with a cooler sitting in between; that was enough to keep us kids entertained on a long trip.

  • avatar
    mistermau

    My first car was a 1990 regular cab Ranger, purchased by my parents in 1996 when I was in college. My father’s logic was that it would be safer for me because I could only carry one passenger, and that in a pinch I could put all of my stuff on the back and just go!

    Loved that truck.

  • avatar
    Occam

    “•Space Efficiency isn’t just for architects, car designers must know that “cab forward” windshields literally bake our interiors.”

    You are not kidding there! I’m glad that the “giant greenhouse” fad in cars has finally died down. It only really seems to persist in a few small cars – the Honda Fit, for example (a car with very weak A/C – not the best combination). I like cars with small windows and will usually tint them to the darkest level allowed by law, with the best tinting film I can buy. Living in the sun-belt, I want to keep Mr. Sun at bay!

  • avatar

    I love my reg cab and wouldn’t consider another configuration for my money. Hell, if for no other reason that because it’s cheaper to either buy a beater car for times you need it, or pay for the gas of two vehicles than to add crew cab or extended cab to the options list. Most American vehicle shoppers don’t buy vehicles for 364 days, they buy it for that one day they might need something else (hence AWD is mandatory for so many shoppers of CUV/SUVs in temperate climates with good snow removal)

  • avatar
    nwa2014

    Greetings from Northwest Arkansas, and possibly the only other South Asian regular cab ranger owner in the contiguous 48 states! I’ll agree that in a two-car household there’s no great need for a second pair of doors on a truck. That steep windshield is a real magnet for rock chips, though.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    I had SJS, an allergic reason to a newly prescribed drug. Felt like my skin was being blow-torched from the inside out. Awful! Fortunately it was diagnosed before it got too advanced.

    I prefer an extended cab model for the times I have to take a couple of people somewhere. Throwing my briefcase or a purchase on the folded rear seat is also handy. They’re only a little more expensive than a regular cab and retain most of its attributes.

  • avatar
    honda_lawn_art

    Aw love it! I daily drive a ’97 Tacoma, the cheapest one they made. It’s about the size of a Scion xB, and well smaller than the wife’s Impala.
    It has three seat belts for some reason. Whoever sits in the middle has to shift, even if they’re nine.

    • 0 avatar
      pdieten

      When my father was a teenager in the mid-’60s, one day he had to drive two girls on a 15-mile trip in a floor-shift pickup, I forget why but the reason wasn’t interesting. Anyway, he was too much of a gentleman to reach between the legs of the girl in the middle seat to shift, so he had to get her to work the 3-speed while he operated the clutch. She’d never operated a stick shift vehicle before.

      I guess it took a couple of miles before they got their timing down. :)

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        A three-on-the-floor?

        • 0 avatar
          matador

          They made them. This is a picture of one from a Buick GS

          http://www.buickperformanceclub.com/Buick3Speed4.jpg

          We had a 1989 Scottsdale K2500 (GMT400 styling), with a 4 speed manual. One of those 4 speeds was a granny low gear, though. It had 3 speeds, basically.

          I learned how to drive a stick with that truck. It was great for learning! You upshifted to 2nd at 15 MPH, and to 3rd at 30-35 MPH. It was great for learning.

          For gas mileage and power, though, not so great. In the mountains, we would climb at 35 MPH, because even empty, we couldn’t hold third. In my F-150 with the 5 speed and 300, I can make that climb at about 50-55 MPH in 4th.

        • 0 avatar
          JustPassinThru

          Yup, a three-on-the-floor. Jeep made them in their Gladiator/J-Series and I doubt they were alone.

          GM trucks in the 1960s had some wear-related issues with the column-shift three-speeds; the linkage would get sloppy and sometimes bind or not latch up. If you went under the hood you’d see how Smokey-Stover-ish the column-shift linkage was.

          A floor shifter gets rid of all of that.

          • 0 avatar
            mikeg216

            All truck makers back then had a three speed floor shifter and later the 4 speed with granny low, which I know was an option in the base f-250 up until 97 as well as the c-6 3 speed auto with the 460 big block. Those cannot be killed.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    I didn’t know you were ill, I hope you feel better Sajeev.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Love the regular cab because of the short length.

    I have a tight parking situation, like most city dwellers. I’ll never drive a pickup as my primary vehicle. If I own a pickup, it will be a secondary vehicle used only for pickup things. So smaller size is more important to me than back seats.

  • avatar
    Carlson Fan

    As someone who owned a ’93 Toyota extended cab compact PU for 11 years you couldn’t give me a standard cab compact truck. A standard cab for me wasn’t an option and the extended cab made the truck so much more capable/useful. Plus the extra weight and longer wheelbase made it a much better tow vehicle. Anytime I left town I had a place to put stuff where it stayed warm/cold , dry, safe and accessible. If your compact truck is nothing more than a weekend toy that never leaves town, then maybe you can get by with a standard cab. My truck needed to work and do pretty much everything. That meant no standard cab and all the limitations that go with it.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      Hear, hear!

      Poverty spec’d extended cab FTW!!

      Hell I even like the rubber floors. I’ve got enough little pompous cars.

      • 0 avatar
        Carlson Fan

        Can’t agree with you there. Biggest mistake with my truck was buying the cheaper “Deluxe” model versus the top of the line SR5. Kicked myself more than once those 11 years for not spending the money on the “nice” one. Hated the bench seat, hated the crank-up windows, hated the crappy sound system, hated the cheap ass door panels. At least it had AC. 197K when I was done with it and who knows how many hours behind the wheel, would have been money well spent! Give me all the amenities and comforts, doesn’t affect the trucks usefulness or ability to work one bit!

        • 0 avatar
          raresleeper

          I find poverty spec’d cars endearing. More specifically, no-optioned models on anything that’s not a cheap econobox to begin with.

          I.e.: Police Interceptor Crown Vic (rubber floors and steelies), but of course with that, you’ve got stiffer suspension, etc.

          Who could forget the “Gubmint Model” (and I’m not talking 1911’s here) Suburbans? Even them big base models have power windows, though.

          Love me a workhorse stripper model pick up, especially with extended cab. Crappy plastic door panels and crank windows be damned!

          Now if I could only find me a workhorse stripper (*AHEM* not talkin’ vehicles here, gents)…

          • 0 avatar
            Scoutdude

            The P71 also comes with power windows and locks, since Ford never made hand crank regulators for aero Panthers.

            I just picked up a P71 for my Daughter and it is an interesting contrast between it and my Grand Marquis and Marauder. I’ve gotten way to used to having auto lamps, steering wheel controls, remote entry, keyless entry and automatic climate control though.

        • 0 avatar
          Brian P

          Haha. The first four-wheeled contraption that I bought with my own money was a 1984 Toyota 3/4 ton standard cab long box, 5-speed manual, 2 wheel drive. I bought it used, and it was the poverty-spec model. Vinyl floor, vinyl bench seat, no power steering, no A/C, no nothing. Carbureted 22R engine. It was awesome, but I’ll never buy a standard-cab truck again. Not enough interior storage space. (I have a Ram ProMaster van now, which is pretty much the opposite of the little Toyota!)

          • 0 avatar
            mikeg216

            The 90’s poverty spec suburban gubmint models had absolutely ni window tinting drive one around in the summer and get a sunburn but the cookies you made on the dash will be delicious

          • 0 avatar
            mikeg216

            What’s this 3/4 ton Toyota regular cab wizardry you speak of?

      • 0 avatar
        matador

        I own a 1987 Chevrolet R10 Custom Deluxe.

        No rubber floors. You get painted metal.
        No headliner. You get painted metal.
        No dashboard vents. You get floor or defrost (or a mix of the two).
        No A/C.
        Vinyl Bench Seat.
        Manual windows and locks.
        No door pockets, or lower door panels.
        No delay wiper option.

        You do get pull knobs in the footwells that tilt a little door, letting fresh air in. They’re nice.

        If I were ordering a new Chevrolet (Back then), I’d have to take the Scottsdale to have the A/C. Other than that, though, I’ll take the Custom Deluxe. In a pickup, you don’t really need dash vents. The cab is small and heats quickly.

        I like my “Poverty-Spec” truck. There’s less to go wrong.

      • 0 avatar
        mikeg216

        Even in my poverty trucks had to have the beer can window, if not. Junkyard swap

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Wishing you a full and speedy recovery, Sajeev!

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    No more regular cabs could mark the end of the BOF/RWD class of small trucks. Like the last blow, final insult. They’ll come backs a FWD based, or what the Honda Fridgeline is now.

    • 0 avatar
      raresleeper

      DenverMike, you shouldn’t say such things.

      My God, think of the children!

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Definitely — because the regular cab is what makes small trucks small. With crew cabs they’re still narrower than the full-sizers but they’re almost as long. With a regular cab a proper small truck can fit into a compact or midsize car’s space.

      • 0 avatar
        Occam

        Every time I see these crew cab fullsizers, I wonder if the owners just don’t go out much. They’re fine for wide open suburban parking lots, but awful when you go downtown for a theater, or to a restaurant or event in an older part of a city with parallel parking and tiny, awkward spaces.

        I suppose full-size pickup drivers probably aren’t exactly “culture” people, or will have another car they take out for such occasions (i.e. the truck is just a practical appliance).

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          For a night on the town, they have something called “Valet Parking” you need to be aware of.

          But any space that’s too small for my F-150 super cab, the typical midsize SUV/cross over driver would struggle to get themselves into.

          People think they need more space around them, than they actually use. They need a 2 or 3 ft buffer zone around them, in parking situations. What they really should say is, a fullsize pickup is just too big for THEM to park.

          The difficulty they think they’ll have parking a fullsize pickup in the city is really overstated.

          1st you have to want a fullsize pickup. The parking thing is a breeze once you start doing it.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Until you come back to your truck after being inside for a while, only to find out you can’t even get IN to your truck because cars have crowded your truck on both sides just trying to fit into their own spots.

            You’ve got to stop being so selfish and realize that in some places a full-sized truck is a handicap, not a help–no matter how you yourself feel about your truck.

          • 0 avatar
            Occam

            Valet isn’t always available – it depends on the type of event or location. If you’re going to a new restaurant that has popped up in a arts district, the best case is often looking for spaces between parked cars and driveways, fire hydrants, or no parking zones. These spaces are plentiful, and often overlooked because larger vehicles can’t fit in them.

            An F150 Supercab is 250.5 inches in length with an 8-foot bed, 232 with a 6.5 foot. The suburban office worker’s Supercap F150 short-bed is 243″ long. The difference between parking those and a car between 175″ and 200″ inches in length is more than trivial.

            That the average driver is not competent at parking a smaller vehicle is irrelevant – the skills I learned parking an Ext-Cab pickup in normal spaces opened made me even better at squeezing my car into tight spaces. If I’ve got a foot of buffer space between the front-right corner of my car and the car ahead of me as I cut the tires hard left while parallel parking, I simply would not be able to fit in the space with a larger vehicle.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            There really can’t be parking spaces as tiny as what’s concocted on the interwebs. Fat drivers couldn’t squeeze out of their compacts if it was true. They have to kick the doors wide open as it is.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Never say “can’t”, Denver. Somebody will always prove you wrong. Say it’s unlikely if you will, but what you say “can’t happen” will almost certainly occur before you close your mouth.”

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – It’s just overstated and exaggerated. Tiny parking spaces are just an interwebs meme. Show otherwise.

            Play that video again of Clarkson’s ancient Medieval village that’s too small for the F-150. Freeze-frame on the parking spaces… Yep, they’re big there too!!!

            You can’t have tiny parking spaces without the public up in arms. Especially the fat, elderly and inept. Or any combination thereof.

          • 0 avatar
            petezeiss

            “Especially the fat, elderly and inept.”

            And we’ll still park at an angle & slob over into your space :-D

            What’re you gonna do, beat up an old fart?

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            No, Mike. It’s not overstated. While I agree that the typical parallel parking spot is roughly 25 feet long, row type parking at the local mall is frequently only 8 or 9 feet wide–which is fine for most cars and compact trucks, but really starts to impinge on whether or not you’ll even be able to open your truck’s doors when you get back to your spot. I have personally seen cases where the truck’s tires are ON both parking slot stripes since not every mall/business/attraction uses a standardized width for their parking lots. In many cases they paint as narrow as they dare to allow as many customers as possible a parking space–even when they don’t really have room for that many cars.

            You tend to make assumptions that every person and every place are the same or that they should all think like you. Well guess what? They don’t. Just because YOU haven’t seen those narrow spots doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

          • 0 avatar
            Roader

            Designing a multi-family building in Congress Park, Denver a few years ago, zoning code called for min. 8.5′ wide parking spaces but under certain conditions 7.5′ wide “compact car” spaces were allowed. The zoning code recently changed and I don’t if those dimensions are still the law.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – OK time to put up or shut up. We have something called Google Earth. Pick your mall, anywheres.

            Here’s mine in Costa Mesa, known for its shopping in ritzy Orange County, CA. (OK never mind Santa Ana though).

            This is a random mall, Bing maps (birds eye). Fullsize trucks everywhere. Some s!de by s!de by s!de. It’s blocks from the ocean.

            http://www.bing.com/maps/?FORM=Z9LH2#Y3A9MzMuNzkyMjc0fi0xMTYuOTIwMTc0Jmx2bD00JnN0eT1yJnNzPXlwLllOMTAweDE1MjUwMjB+cGcuMX5yYWQuODA=

            Mesa Verde Plaza, 1525 Mesa Verde Dr E Ste 209, Costa Mesa, CA, United States

            This is a random cafe on the Pacific Coast Hwy. (Hwy 1) Google Street View.

            https://www.google.com/maps/@33.7242919,-118.0773949,3a,75y,209.88h,85.12t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sy_f2XtPwCd-81mL5ARsf-Q!2e0

            Harbor House Cafe, 16341 Pacific Coast Hwy, Sunset Beach, CA, United States

            Again fullsize SUVs, s!de by s!de by s!de. No problem

            Now your turn…

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ok, DM, you asked for it. https://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&ll=38.931461,-74.911971&spn=0.002548,0.004817&t=h&z=19

            Cape May, New Jersey. ON the waterfront. In Google Earth this parking lot shows small cars overlapping the parking spots at one end and those slots are NOT large enough for a full-sized truck.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – I’m looking at drivers too drunk the night before, to not partly *MISS* the parking space… There clearly was absolutely no reason, ZERO, to park 1/3rd into the next space!!!

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Here’s a “bird’s eye” of the same hotel with fullsize SUVS out front.

            http://www.bing.com/maps/?FORM=Z9LH2#Y3A9MzkuMzUxMzAzfi03NC42NTc5MDYmbHZsPTEwJnN0eT1yJnE9bWFkaXNvbiUyMGFuZCUyMGJlYWNoJTJDJTIwY2FwZSUyMG1heSUyQyUyMG5ldyUyMGplcnNleQ==

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Better look again, Denver; at least two of those “full size” SUVs are decidedly overlapping the next spot over in the picture YOU linked.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            @Vulpine – I can’t help it if drunk drivers can’t negotiate a parking spot!

            Most drivers are inept when it comes to parking. You’ve heard of (parallel) Park Assist features in cars, no? Check any parking lot. Same thing as the shot.

            I’ll park my Mustang far, far away from everyone else to avoid door dings, but invariably, I’ll come back to find some jack is parked right next to me, no other cars around. I’ll be like wtfs!! This is b/c drivers need the other car to orient themselves in the space. Otherwise they park all cockeyed. My shot just proves this. Same as your’s.

            I think you’re one of them. Just admit it!!!

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            “I think you’re one of them. Just admit it!!!”

            Ok, I admit that I can park a full-sized long-bed pickup truck in a parallel space that a mid-sized SUV driver fails to manage. That doesn’t mean I LIKE them, only that I am a better driver than most–especially when it comes to parallel parking.

            Your argument also emphasizes the fact that some people CHOOSE to make things more difficult for the big pickup drivers because said vehicles are simply too big for modern driving and parking situations. Back when true compact cars first came out, some shopping centers painted groups of spots labeled “Compact Cars Only” and I’d still see a full-sized sedan trying to squeeze into them. Add to this that some areas even today have “minimum 8.5′” laws and the trucks measure in at 7.25′ and you get issues where even when the truck fits, you simply have no room to open the doors.

            I have to chuckle at the commercials for come cars now that advertise Power Folding Mirrors to squeeze into those spots and the guy has to climb out the back. Why? Because I’ve SEEN people doing exactly that in some parking garages (like in inner-city Philadelphia AND Baltimore.)

            Fortunately, my JKU Wrangler isn’t that wide.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            True compact spaces were the closest spaces to the main entrance, but fat and pregnant patrons complained. They were all replaced by handicapped parking anyways. The rest of the parking remains normal.

            As we’ve seen in your example, drivers with compacts have just as much problems with undersized parking as anyone else. They ended up making their own “spaces”. Annoying if property managers do that. I’d make me want to shop some where else or stay at Motel 6, even if I’m in my Mustang. $crew that!

            But parking garages are in the business of accommodating fullsize pickups and SUVs. They don’t skimp. Bes!des, I’m paying good money to park my fullsizer. So I would take two spaces if they ever make them all too narrow. It’s not happening for a reason.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            By the way, two different parking garages in Philadelphia have designated locations for full-sized trucks–as far away from the pedestrian exit to the convention center as possible.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            That’s a different topic, but new fullsize pickups are the same width as early ’70s. About a half inch narrower actually.

            Store parking lots must accommodate fullsize vehicles, year round. If they want to stay competitive. Look around to what’s on the road. Does that change at Christmas? No one wants their money? They’re probably there to buy the biggest stuff… Stop making me lol!!!

        • 0 avatar
          mikeg216

          Also the only people who live on the coasts have to worry about not having big enough parking spaces.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Sure small cars have the advantage scavenging parking space scraps, but who wants to cramp everybody into a Yaris for a night out on the town?

          Most fullsize pickups are of the 232″ variety. Crew cab and short bed. The 250″ super cab and 8′ bed is sort of a rare bird, especially after the Early Bird.

          You say it’s not worth a little added effort because you’re not a fullsize buyer. Or lover. I say it is.

          If there’s no valet, there’s a parking garage. Worst case, you roll the dice. But you can drive around all night looking for a place to park a Yaris too.

  • avatar
    Roader

    …”regular cab truck…deserves a better rep: working for people with multiple vehicles…”

    That’s the rub, isn’t it? A long drive in a regular cab is like being stuck in the non-reclining row on a long flight. Around town, sure, they’re fine but you need a car for drives longer than an hour or so, at least if you’re average height or taller. I recently replaced both an Accord and a regular cab F-250 with an extended cab 1st gen Frontier. Manual everything, it gets 30mpg if I keep it under 75mph and it still has room for groceries inside the cab and seating for four in a pinch. Yeah, it only has a six foot bed but that OK for 90% of my cargo needs.

  • avatar
    Bored383

    I find the basically complete lack of blind spots that standard cab trucks have to be one of their greatest aspects. That plus the upright and generally elevated seating position means fantastic sight lines and a terrific view of the road / traffic / etc. So easy to drive.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      I totally agree.

      I drove a 1990 f250 for 3 years. Can see everything with that truck.

      It’s also easier to park than my Camry do to visibility and being rear wheel drive you have some great turning radius to work with.

      Still have the truck for truck stuff.

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    I had SJS, an allergic reason to a newly prescribed drug. Felt like my skin was being blow-torched from the inside out. Awful! Fortunately it was diagnosed before it got too advanced.

    I prefer an extended cab model for the times I have to take more than one other person somewhere. Throwing my briefcase or a purchase on the folded rear seat is also handy. They’re only a little more expensive than a regular cab and retain most of its attributes.

  • avatar
    JK43123

    I am allergic too–to the cost of buying and operating these whomping big trucks. Give me regular cab or give me death!

    John

    • 0 avatar
      highdesertcat

      JK43123 – John, I used to feel that way too. All my pickup trucks were Regular/Standard Cab up until 1988 when I bought my first brand new truck, a Silverado 2Dr Extended Cab with an 8ft bed.

      Since then I bought a 2006 F150 2Dr SuperCab and currently drive a 2011 Tundra 2+2 DoubleCab Long Bed.

      However, my next truck will be a 4Dr CrewMax Tundra since I no longer have a need for an 8ft bed. I have learned to appreciate those four doors on my pickup truck. Comes in pretty handy.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    “The Ranger’s HVAC normally freezes me, no matter the outside temperature.”

    There’s another reason to love regular cabs–since the HVAC is built to keep up with extended and crew cabs, it’s waaaay overbuilt for a little ol’ single cab. Our work truck, an ’08 F-350 V10 6-speed RC, will heat up to too-hot in below-freezing temperatures within two minutes of ignition. The only thing I don’t like about that monster is, as the smallest guy on the farm, having to always sit “on the hump,” and I can’t even straddle the shifter, since it’s a manual 4×4 too.

  • avatar
    Drzhivago138

    Uh-oh–looks like my comment got lost. Hopefully it shows up. All it said was about how regular cabs have much faster HVACs, since they’re built for extended or crew-cab trucks now.

    As someone who drove a ’98 F-250 LD SuperCab as his vehicle for nearly 6 years, I do have to say that an extended cab/6.5′ bed is probably the most useful configuration if you don’t want an extended cab/8′.

  • avatar
    plee

    My 2008 F150 regular cab is perfect for my use. It is the last year they offered 4 doors on a regular cab. There is storage space behind the seats and there is enough room for the seats to recline before they hit the back window. With the 6.5 foot bed I feel that the truck is better proportioned styling wise than the crew cab models and it is easy to park. I consistently get 16-17 mpg with the V6 automatic and no problem driving on interstates with the 70 mph speed limit here in Tennessee. If you do not need to carry more than two passengers, a regular cab is much less expensive to buy, new or used.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      The storage space is still present on the 09-14 models, the doors were just lengthened so that all 3 cabs used common parts. I don’t know how much, if any, space will be lost on the 15+ model, since the regular cab has been shortened by 4 inches.

  • avatar
    George B

    The missing configuration is “classic sized” regular cab short bed full-sized pickup with a bench seat. Something like the F100 or C-10 from about 1970, but with flush glass, better fuel efficiency, and improved safety. That configuration has just enough width for 3 across seating and occasionally hauling 4 x 8 foot plywood with the tailgate down, but still fits normal parking spots. The classic configuration is short enough to easily lift cargo over the side of the bed. 2015 pickup trucks are designed primarily for the extended cab configuration with poor proportions in the shorter length.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    How’s the shifting in that Ranger?

    I had the “pleasure” of driving a 5MT Mercury Mariner (no kidding).

    At 120k miles, the second gear syncro was going out.

    And going into second was: “Ker-THUNK!”

    Applying generous clutch action did little to soften that transition into second. It popped every time.

    Rowing through the gears in that Mariner made my 6MT Accord Coupe’s gearbox seem like a vision of perfection.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      Mercury Mariner = Ford Escape? (I don’t think the Mercury was sold here)

      If so, the drivetrain layout is completely different, the Escape/Mariner are transverse engine, so obviously the transmission is different.

      My Toyota had very direct shift lever feel, given that the lever went through the floor and straight into the back of the transmission with no cables or linkage to muddy up the shift feel. Of course, the length of the lever made the throws pretty long, and it also juddered sideways with engine torque, but that was just part of the deal.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I didn’t even think the Mariner had a manual option, seeing as that would have necessitated the 2.3L four-banger, something else I didn’t think a Mariner trying to be more upscale than a pedestrian Escape would have.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        It didn’t, that’s why I think he means Mountaineer

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          No Mountaineer had a manual trans, either.

          • 0 avatar
            Lie2me

            Then I don’t know what he was driving, because it wasn’t a Mercury

          • 0 avatar
            raresleeper

            Twas a 5MT Mariner. 2008MY base model.

            I do not deceive you.

            5MT w/ four cylinder. It was coarse, noisy, rough. My old Galant from waaaay back when with 2.4L felt more refined, and THAT’S saying something.

            Meh.

            Watch that second gear shift….

            Here’s a site that recognized it:

            http://www.autoevolution.com/cars/mercury-mariner-2008.html#aeng_mercury-mariner-2008-25

        • 0 avatar
          Drzhivago138

          Some quick wiki-fu says that the first-gen was available with either engine but only the automatic. Also says second-gen had either engine, but is mum on the subject of trans. More research is needed, preferably tomorrow because I’ve stayed up too late again.

    • 0 avatar
      mikeg216

      You had some rebuilt crap box, there never ever was a mariner manual transmission, the Mercury’s were the luxury models!

  • avatar
    wstarvingteacher

    There is something for everyone. My last two were strippers with reg cab and wind up windows. Loved them but the grandpa in me took over.

    Traded the 7 ft. bed for a 10 ft. trailer and the truck for a 4runner. A little inconvenient at times but sure a step up in comfort and security. Also the dog now is in the back seat and I don’t get licked anymore.

    If we had known you were sick the piston slap fans in Conroe would have done a chili cookoff in your name. Probably just as well. Sanjeeve would have probably stolen the receipts.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      Really, the damage was done when the compact pickups stopped offering a 7-7.5′ long bed on their pickups (or 8′ in the case of the Dakota). Why else would someone get the smaller cab if they weren’t getting more bed to make up for it, unless they wanted a smaller/sportier/cheaper package?

  • avatar

    Get well Sajeev! Yes, regular cabs are a nice design. Extended cabs also do the trick. Double cabs are trickier, why not just buy a CUV or SUV?
    Regardless. The pick up in its simpler forms has a standing and in place in automotive history. Whiel the overwhelming love of Americans for them is befuddling to the rest of the world, I can and enjoy the simplicity of the lines. No extended beds though. Those just thrown the proportions off.

  • avatar
    matador

    My next truck will be a Chevrolet 2500 with the extended cab and the long bed. I need the full bed space. I do electronics recycling events, so I need space. I use the full bed, and a trailer.

    I’ve hauled our gear in a regular cab 1987 Chevrolet and the front of an E350 box van. Even with the bench seat in the Chevy, there is not enough room for two people. I keep tools behind the seat, and can stuff ropes and papers back there. Our vinyl banners sit on top of the seat behind our heads. The middle section of the bench gets a heaped pile of our other stuff (Tablecloths, smaller signs, clipboards,…) and this pile extends on top of the hump.

    Give me an extended cab. Everything can stay in the back of the cab, and I can stretch out, recline the seat a little, and actually enjoy the trip.

    I use my truck as a truck. I need more space than a regular cab can offer. I’ll use the back as a Chevrolet Bonus Cab setup (Back not for seating people), but that is space that I need to have.

  • avatar
    dr_outback

    I’m happy you’re ok. A friend of mine was stuck in PR when he was diagnosed with SJS. Scary stuff.

  • avatar
    JustPassinThru

    I’m of two minds here. My work car right now is a ’99 Tacoma truck with an extended cab; and it’s sized perfectly. Not too big; not too high; not too thirsty. Plenty of payload space; and yes, I can push back the seat. In fact, I have to pull the seat forward to sit properly; and since I’m six-three, that’s rare.

    I have had a Nissan Hardbody standard cab…a penalty box and echo chamber all in one. The little extra room the extended cab offers is a great feature. I suppose it helps, too, that the Tacoma was designed expressly for the American market.

    But I do not, repeat NOT, need one of these four-door chromed-up high-and-mighty butched out modern trucks! Even current Tacoma has overdone the steroids; with a towering grille and odd wheel cutouts. Like a Hot Wheels parody.

    I don’t need the extra space OR weight. In my middle years I seldom find myself needing to haul more than one other person around. Like, never. The last car I bought new and later sold…NO ONE had EVER sat in the back seat.

    I was wondering why the standard cab is disappearing; that four door family-sedan trucks are the thing now…with abbreviated beds and useless-to-many-buyers backseats.

    Now I know. Maybe eventually some of this silliness can be reversed someday…

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    Almost every regular cab even here in Australia is used as a work truck.

    Many people don’t want or need the longer beds now. The pickup has become a SUV.

    I have owned regular cab trucks and I used them for work. Now that I don’t use them for work I buy either a SUV or a dual/crew cab.

    If you don’t use your truck for work, or any specific need for bed length and you don’t want a crew cab I do think extended cabs are great. Especially with bucket seats. Why would you want a bench seat? Sliding around and uncomfortable.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Sajeev ! take care , you’re very much needed ! .

    I prefer the regular cab pickups too ~

    My 1931 ‘A’ Model Ford pickup’s cab was really narrow and tight , I never tried to squeeze three people into it .

    my 1946 Chevy 3100 OTOH , made plenty of trips near and far with three of us jammed in tight , musta been funny looking .

    I like the width of my current 1969 Chevy C/10 , as I’m now old & fat , the new cab I’m having painted and installed right now , is an AC one , I look forward to feeling cool in there in the Mojave Desert .

    I’ve owned dozens of trucks over the years , I don’t recall ever having or wanting a space cab although my brother’s 1979 Dodge D (?) I forget , it’s a 3/4 ton , crew cab is nice to go camping in .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    rocketrodeo

    I always keep a small truck around. My Y2K Ranger succeeded a pair of 22R Toyotas and a Datsun 720, all three regular cabs. The Ranger is a supercab, though, and I’m darn glad of it. Fits me way, way better. Loved the efficiency of the RCSBs, but being able to recline the seat is a supreme luxury in a truck that doesn’t have many others. I have upgraded wear parts with quality replacements–good tires, Bilstein shocks, and Moog suspension components, as well as the Roush handling kit that HIllbank was blowing out for $45 for several years.
    BTW, I see that you have installed the Alcoa 8-hole forged wheels–did you have to machine them at all to fit? That’s high on my list of things to do as the steel wheels have taken to deforming between alignments. Never knew wheels to be a wear item.


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