The $75 truck survives 38 years of commuting

By around this time next month we’ll be knee-deep in pitches for us to buy new cars.

The new vehicles, you may have heard, allow you to read Facebook while you drive, impress your neighbors, and satisfy your need to buy something — anything — as dictated by the new definition of a good American — whether you can afford to or not.

But KARE 11’s Boyd Huppert met a guy who harkens back to an earlier time. In Prinsburg, Minn., Bob Sportel bought a beat-up truck for $75. That was 38 years, several rolls of duct tape, and 300,000 miles ago.

Sportel has just retired from the grain elevator where he works, driving the same truck he drove on his first day of employment. The truck does the same thing the newfangled contraptions do: It gets you from Point A to Point B.

There’s no radio in the truck, which, of course, is the real crime here.

  • Jack

    I know of a man with a similar truck. Someone took it as whimsy to carve a “W” in the front hood with a bread knife.

  • Jack

    or maybe it was a cake knife.

  • joetron2030

    Also no airbags, no traction control, and no anti-lock braking systems. It also looks like it only has lap seat belts, too. So, yeah, it was dirt cheap and it gets you from point A to B, but I shudder to think what state he’ll be in if he gets into a serious accident in that.

    I’m not suggesting he should be buying a new car by any means, though. We’ve only bought used cars (we try to stay below $30k and buy as low mileage as possible) since we got married. We also drive them for as long as we can. Our usual calculation on maintenance costs is figuring out the number of months’ worth of car payments a particular repair is vs. the amount of time we can expect to continue driving the vehicle after the repair is paid for. It’s worked well for us so far.