The LeMay — America’s Car Museum’s latest show is not cars, but trucks. The show, which opened Saturday, is all about Ford F-Series pickups, which the museum calls “The Truck that Grew Up with America.”
The production was the brainchild of the museum’s chief curator, Scot Keller. The News Tribune talked with Keller late last week, as technicians were arranging the trucks on the museum’s main floor.
Answer: The F-Series has consistently been a highly requested exhibit by museum guests, and we felt the timing was right, given the much-praised launch of the new 13th generation.
A: The opening set is 22 trucks — 21 owned by private collectors and one from the ACM collection. The loaned vehicles are from the Pacific Northwest and were selected from an initial list of 100 trucks generated by personal outreach to collectors, word of mouth and invitations sent to members in our database.
A: Model year is only one criterion for selecting an exhibit display vehicle. We also take into consideration condition, rarity, visual presence and guest appeal. Variations in the models from the period are also considered.
In this case, one of the three 1951 trucks is the very rare Marmon-Herrington Ranger conversion. The other two are painted and equipped differently.
A: Given the rising popularity of classic trucks, I don’t perceive a material difference between the collectors of cars versus trucks. However, there is a broad range of preferences about how vehicles should be restored, from original “survivor” and heavily modified to authentic period restorations.
A: Like the majority of consumer products, buyers of trucks are demanding higher levels of quality, durability and technology. It also speaks to the American lifestyle where utility, prestige and luxury are increasingly important.
A: Actually, I think the rise in personal interpretation is a great sign. The availability, cost and design of the trucks makes them wonderful platforms to do a wide range of things.
A: The gallery has three platforms that give us the chance to present cars or trucks as heroes. We select the three vehicles we feel best represent the breed and will be most appreciated by our guests.
In this case, they’re representatives of the first generation F-1, from 1948; the fourth generation, which is 1961 through 1966; and the 13th generation, from 2015.
A: I’m not sure there’s an easy answer to that question. If you’re talking about a classic truck from the ’50s or ’60s, you can purchase trucks ranging from below 20 grand all the way up to 50-plus. It’s relatively easy to get into one north of a hundred grand.
There are hundreds of “it depends” caveats, but I think there is long-term value out there for informed buyers who do their homework. This subject alone could fill a book.
A: The time to go from idea and design to production ranges from six or seven months to 18 months. Planning extends 24 to 36 months into the future. The next exhibits on our 2015 schedule are vintage station wagons and American muscle cars. We’re also working on a new master collector exhibit for September.