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A RetroGrouch Has a Good Day and a Bad Day

It has been quite a few years since I went over to Algodones, Baja California Norte, Mexico to get my teeth cleaned. Thus it was time for a little bit of nostalgia -- I hadn't been to Mexico since the early Aughts.

As I walked into the lobby of the oficina dentista, my heart sank. It had been gringa-ized! Pretty decorations, glossy magazines, nice furniture, and a marble floor. One of the attractions of going to Mexico used to be that it helped you to realize how much of what you pay for in the USA is just worthless overhead.

Ideally you should walk into the dentist's office and find a dirt floor. Then you would sit down on a bale of hay. In front, a burro or two would be snoozing. To kill time during your wait, the customers could throw snacks down on the ground for chickens and roosters.

Then you would go into the dentista's room, and find it full of state-of-the-art dental equipment from Siemens. It used to be somewhat like this idealized picture.

Back in the USA I went to a Ford dealer to ogle some pickup trucks. Much to my surprise I found a white F150, rear wheel drive, regular cab, low-trim-level pickup that had been recently sold to one of Yuma's agricultural firms. I wanted to swoon like a lady of the Victorian era. The truck had roll-up windows and non-motorized seat adjustment levers.

It wasn't a base model: it had the V8 engine, the tow package (for only $400 or so), and an eLocker differential ($450 option).  In other words it had low-cost options that made it more useful as a pickup truck -- a working tool -- for a real guy.

No power mirrors, leather seats, eight speaker stereo, or premium cup holders. I'm still waiting for the hot new trend in the $60,000 pickup truck market to be a telescoping thermometer probe that RAMS up your wazoo, takes your rectal temperature, and then adjusts the power to the heated leather seats. In contrast this pickup truck oozed integrity, one of the rarest qualities in modern America.

So I was smitten. Now I must find the right way to add an aftermarket locking differential to a used pickup truck. (It will probably be too difficult to find a used truck already equipped with one.) People in four-wheel-drive (Jeep) clubs are good for advice. One recommended a local shop that had installed an economical "True Lock" locking differential in his Jeep. Even though his Jeep was four wheel drive, the locking differential made all the difference. Imagine what it would do for an economical, rear wheel drive pickup truck, pulling a little trailer, on muddy roads during the monsoon season!


edlfrey said…
Did said "Yuma agricultural firm" trade in one of their older trucks? That may be your source of a good used pickup.
Don't most commercial/industrial/agricultural firms keep their trucks for many, many miles? I am not sure. But I don't want a high mileage used truck.
Jim and Gayle said…
I think this is the first time I've ever laughed out loud at one of your posts. Love the part about the rectal thermometer, and the image of your ideal Mexican dental office. But knowing you you weren't trying to be funny and as usual I missed the whole point of the post;-)
Dagummit, people aren't supposed to be laughing when I am trying to be serious!
John V said…
If the price is fair and the condition looks good, you should buy that truck immediately. It won't be there for long. There aren't many trucks that fit that description anymore.
The truck had already been sold. The only thing that was really rare about it was the eLocker differential on a rear wheel drive truck. It turns out that Ford has been offering the eLocker on ALL trim levels since 2012. Good for them! But I doubt that I'll get lucky enough to find one.

Thus I need to add a locking differential AFTERMARKET.
John V said…
What makes it unique is the "V8 engine, the tow package (for only $400 or so), and an eLocker differential ($450 option)" along with "No power mirrors, leather seats, eight speaker stereo, or premium cup holders." It's really hard to find a good used truck at a good price that has all of the useful options and none of the superfluous options. It's hard to even buy them new (at least since 2012 when we last bought ours new). It probably sold the same day it hit the lot. Happy hunting!