Does owning a pickup truck make me a redneck? It’s a question that’s as old as, well, rednecks and trucks. The debate goes back and forth. It does! It does not! It does! The fact of the matter is these debates are ridiculous. There is a firm, steadfast, inarguable answer to this burning question. Does owning a pickup truck make me a redneck? Maybe! The question is not in the truck, for the truck only partially defines driver. To get the full story one must turn to their attention to the real tell-tale, the truck’s accessories.
Cinder Blocks/Bricks – Your car has no wheels. Instead, it’s sitting on stacks of bricks. Redneck? We need to ask one more question. Where’s the truck? Is it at a car repair shop? Okay, not a redneck; although the repair shop is skuzzy for not using lifts. Is the truck in a parking lot? Then that sucker got robbed! Is the truck in your driveway? Redneck. On your front lawn? REDNECK. A truck, on bricks, in someone’s front yard is as redneck as it gets. It’s even worse than having your new, working TV sitting on top of your old, non-working TV. Not only does having your truck on bricks on your front lawn make you look like a redneck, it makes all of neighbors look like rednecks too; heck, it makes your street look like a redneck neighborhood. The truck actually has a redneck aura to it that effects everything within range. Score on the redneck meter? When found on a front lawn? As high as the meter will go.
Mudflap Girl – We’ve all seen her, even dear old mom. From coast to coast, from the cities to the farmland, she’s the one, the only, the mudflap girl. If truckers have one piece of bling on their truck it’s probably her. Hood ornaments? Forget about it. When was the last time you saw a hood ornament with its own Super Bowl ad, or campaigning for the libraries of Wyoming? So does having a mudflap girl on your truck make you a redneck? Well, that depends. Is this an 18 Wheeler we’re talking about or a Chevy pickup truck? The mudflap girl is trendy in the trucker world, so the driver is likely just trendy too. On a pickup though, that’s probably a down-home redneck trying to sex up his truck. Score on the redneck meter? Medium.
Spinners & Lowered Suspension – Since we’ve already established that redneck territories often necessitate the need for an off-road kit, accessories such as spinning rims (spinners) and lowered suspension should be seen as the antithesis of a redneck accessory. In other words, no full-blooded redneck would be caught dead in a truck with lowered suspension and spinners. Score on the redneck meter? As low as the meter will go.
Off-Road Kit – Big tires, raised suspension, exterior hi-beam lights all over the car. Redneck? Not necessarily. It just means you like to drive off-road. It’s a sport; I’ll give you that. The redneck angle on off-roading comes from the opportunity, no, the NECESSITY of it in certain redneck territories. So ask yourself this, “Do you need that off-road kit to get home?” Are the roads in your area paved? If not, then yes, you might be a redneck. But there’s another question to ask here, “Do you even use that off-road kit, or is it just for show?” If it’s just for show, then you’re not a redneck, you’re just a poser and a jackass. Only get the off-road kit if you’re actually going to use it, or at least drive through a vacant lot to get some mud on your car if you don’t. Then you’ll at least be a good poser. Score on the redneck meter? Medium.
Wood Paneling - This is a tricky one. In the beginning, wood was actually a major component within a cars construction. The body, even the frame could be made of wood. As time progressed though, wood became more of an aesthetic, either used in the car's interior or as wood paneling on the outside. Often more associated with wagons, trucks do at times find themselves subject to wood paneling. Wood should be considered an extreme, when done right, it can be the embodiment of class and taste. When done wrong though, watch out. For today’s trucks, it’s best to avoid wood paneling altogether (it just doesn’t scream “rugged”), but for certain vintage models? A pristine wood paneling job may be just what you need to take the blue ribbon at your local car show. Score on the redneck meter? Very low, or very high.
Bed Lining – You’ve got a truck. What’s it for? To toss stuff in the back of of course. If you own a truck and you never make use of the bed then you’re either a doofus or you don’t own the truck by choice. It only makes sense then that you’d want the bed of your truck to be as rugged as possible. To have paint back there is just asinine. It’s only there to look pretty and kills the functionality of having a truck in the first place. To have a bed liner isn’t a statement, it’s just common sense. Although the rubber bed mat kind is a lot more manly and rugged than the chintzy spray-in kind. Score on the redneck meter? Plastic insert? Low. Rubber Bed Mat? Very Low. Just Plain Ole Paint? Redneck City.
Air-Fresheners – When it comes to air-fresheners and whether or not you’re a redneck one might ask, “Well... what does the air freshener look like? Is it an island girl? A pine tree? A Confederate flag?” Sure, these can be indicative of a redneck, but I have a better question, “Why does your car smell?” What is so wrong with your automobile that you are actually forced to take conscious action in masking its stench? Is there a dead deer in the back? Or do you just smoke while stuck in traffic? The answers to these two questions combined will give you your answer. Score on the redneck meter? Medium.
So there you have it. Own a truck? Redneck and proud? Put a gun rack on that beauty and get it up on some bricks. Not a redneck? Then you might want to get license plate frames of your favorite sports team to go along with your trailer hitch grill. Remember, the truck may define the man, but it’s the accessories that define truck.