The focus-group participants have wanted more in their trucks, for decades now: more power, more doors, more shoulder room, more towing capacity. Pickups are more likely to be used as commuters than cargo haulers today, and so they need the same luxury appointments found in comfy sedans. The size goes up, the weight gets past two tons, and before you know it your small and nimble pickup is a Town Car with a cargo bed.

But go back a decade or four and American showrooms were full of new LUVs and Arrows and the like, pickups that scaled in at closer to one ton than two, with two-digit horsepower ratings and no back seat. They were bouncy and cramped and slow, but they were cheap and worked hard. If such a truck were available today (assuming that it could get through the NHTSA's crash tests, of course), would you consider buying one?

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