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Point/Counterpoint: What truck goes best with cowboy boots?


On this day in 1901, a large hole drilled into a small hill outside Beaumont, Texas exploded to life. The Spindletop derrick spewed 3,000 gallons of oil a minute that day and enabled a young auto industry to expand at breakneck speed. Cars (and Texas) would never be the same. So, In My Garagers… 109 years later, the critical question arises: What truck goes best with cowboy boots?

DUSTIN SAYS: The Toyota Tundra

Some historians believe that had a major oil field in Texas not been discovered, the internal combustion engine would not have been the power plant of choice for motorists and manufacturers.  When I went about trying to discover which truck would go best with my cowboy boots I knew I had to set a few qualifications.

First, it had to be big. Cowboys and oil workers have a lot of stuff, and most of it’s dirty. The Subaru Baja just wouldn’t cut it (again). The truck also had to be big enough for a family pet. A real honest- to-goodness manly pet, like a wolf or a bear or an eagle. Next, it had to be well built and available with lots of power. You just can’t have your truck breaking down in the middle of your 5,000 acre ranch. Last, it had to have some creature comforts. Even oil rig workers take the time to Speed Shine their truck and take a pretty farmer’s daughter out on the town once in awhile, so the truck can’t be all business.

With my qualifications in place, I scanned almost 100 years of pickup trucks trying to find one that fit all my criteria. Escalade? Nah, it’s pretty, but way too fancy-pants. Hummer H2T? Nah, impractical with its useless bed. Honda Passport? Well, it is based on a car chassis so it would be comfo… never mind. What would the perfect truck be? A Dodge Power wagon, the Chevy Silverado, the Ford F-150?

There are some awesome trucks in history, but for power, efficiency, convenience and economy, modern trucks reign supreme. It came down to my favorite… the new Toyota Tundra. I know I’ll get some quizzical looks for this but here are my reasons.

Power. The Tundra has a big engine available (the 5.7 liter V8). This bad boy was specially developed for the Tundra, and cranks out a whopping 381 hp. You can wrangle a lot of cows with that many ponies. Less obstreperous 4.6 liter V8’s are also available (for the rhinestone cowboy types who want the show, but not necessarily the go).

Creature comforts. If your boots are made for walking, working even dancing, they’ll find a nice home in the Tundra. Available with everything from moon roofs to navigation, leather to seat warmers, the “platinum” level Tundra models are comfy. Standard options on all Tundras include an auto LSD, the new Star Safety System, and a whole host of extras you just don’t find on other trucks.Plus,  the Tundra looks good, with snazzy wheels and lots of chrome bits in the right places. The TRD color-matched grills look awesome cutting through the mud and snow while you’re laying down a fence or catching a cattle rustler.

Space. Not really a concern for Tundra. There are no weird tool boxes built into the rail that take up valuable bed space, no strange flare sides digging into the box. Interiors are spacious. The single cab is big and roomy, and the rear doors on the double cab swing open to reveal an almost luxurious amount of room( in what appears, from the outside, to be a cramped space). An average interior width of just over 63 inches gives your pet osprey room to stretch its wings and leaves enough room for your pet wolverine to curl up on the floorboards with your kids’ Sumatran tiger.

Reliability. Is the Tundra reliable? It would be too simple to use the “well, it’s a Toyota” phrase in this instance, so I’ll bring a few new facts to the table. First, it’s made in America at an all new plant in San Antonio built specifically for Tundra manufacturing. Next, it’s a Toyota. And last, well, it’s a Toyota. You just don’t get more reliable than that!

Tough and well built with plenty of power? Check. Ability to hold large, manly animals? Check. Comfortable when needed? Check. Stylish enough to woo the green eyed girl-next-door? Check! I’ll turn the reins over to you Derek. And no, the BMW E30 convertible doesn’t count as a pickup.


Dustin's pick: The Toyota Tundra

DEREK SAYS: The 5th-Gen Ford F-Series

Dustin, have you been moonlighting over at the local Toyota dealership? Next time you should include your business card with a sales pitch like that.

Sure, your truck is being built in San Antonio. And yes, the Tundra has some horse haulin’, gas-guzzlin’ ponies under the hood. But really, cowboy boots in a Toyota? There’s a certain soul that goes along with a real Southern truck, and you won’t find that under any marquee other than that of an American car company.

So what’s it gonna be… The Ford F-150 King Ranch? How about a 60’s Chevy with their classy style and 5.4L V8? Don’t forget RAM with their new look and tank full of optimism. Nah…

While those good options (and all much better than Dustin’s Tundra), I’ve landed on the 5th Generation Ford F-Series. These trucks encompass everything that trucks should be; simple, durable, and powerful.

Ford’s simple design used for the F-Series in the late 60’s and early 70’s is timeless. The pale color schemes flow perfectly with the dust kicked up by your cowboy boots, and that large rear window showcases your prized gun rack. Even the Coen Brothers know this is the epitome of a Texas truck, as one was highlighted in their Academy Award winning film “No Country for Old Men”, which is set on the border between Texas and Mexico. You’d never see a Toyota used for that.

As far as durability, these things are bulletproof. It’s been nearly 40 years since Ford stopped selling this generation and you still see them everywhere! It’s the type of truck you’ll find running strong and moving hay on a farm 20 years from now. A true family heirloom.

Power? It’s got plenty. Sure, the 255hp put out by Ford’s 6.4L V8 won’t hold a candle to that of the new Tundra. But when was the last time you slid on your cowboy boots and jumped into the truck to go tow a train back to the station? The 5th Gen F-Series has the right amount of power to haul the horses to the ranch and lumber back to the barn. There’s no room in my stable for the unnecessary power in the Toyota.

So, as you make your decision on which truck goes best with your cowboy boots, don’t be fooled by the flashy colors and clever marketing of Dustin’s Tundra. Think of the simplicity of the Ford, which would be at home on any ranch in Texas.

And I know I’m going to lose some votes for this, but… Bite me Toyota boy!


Derek's pick: The fifth-gen Ford F-Series.

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  1. Tundra was designed and built in the USA by American workers. Toyota has the benefit of looking at the history of the trucks built over the years as a whole, they were then able to address the needs and wants of todays “cowboy”.

    Quote from Derek:
    “While those good options (and all much better than Dustin’s Tundra), I’ve landed on the 5th Generation Ford F-Series. These trucks encompass everything that trucks should be; simple, durable, and powerful.”

    What about Functional, Reliable, Safe and Capable?

    If you still need further proof.. Hitch up a 7000 pound trailer to the Tundra and take it down the coast or some other windy road with hills, then perform the same exercise with the F-150.

  2. While I know I too am biased, I will have to go with the Tundra for an entirely different reason.
    When the new Tundra was first released I had the *pleasure* of attending an indoor car show with *awesome* music… In an effort to escape the din of bass and neon underglow kits I laid down in the back seat of a Tundra crew cab and was amazed. It has to be the most comfortable back seat ever (not speaking from experience, really) and once I shut the door I could lay down almost fully extended and enjoy a quiet cab that blocked almost all exterior noise.
    Speaking as a member of the “farmer’s daughter” gender group, the Tundra wins out!!!

  3. Jennifer says:

    I vote for the Tundra as well. A few years back there was a road track at the local fair here in Washington and I was the pleasure of a ride along on a track. It showed how the truck handled and what it could really do if it were put to the test. The track had steep hills, deep mud and lots of berms. I was pleased at the feel of the ride, the power, and as Gabi stated the room in the back seat was quite nice. Personally I would love to own one of these.

  4. This one was tough. I’ve had the pleasure of driving both. I’ve even rebuilt the breaks on my dad’s old 73′ F250 camper special, with the 390 V8 and the granny gear 4 speed. The ford is a tank (i actually had a head on with a poor 89 corolla 2 door, which turned into my 2nd toyota when the dust settled lol) But it’s clumsy, trannys are loose, difficult to shift at the best of times and that bench, while nice for snuggling up, is not supportive, the vinyl easily cracked and fell apart. Yeah it’s a working mans truck, if that working man is too poor to get anything newer or blows alot of money on drugs instead. Bottom line it is like a sledge hammer, blunt, square, heavy, hard on the back but will get the job done year after year.

    Now the Tundra is something I’d want to show up to a job site in. It gives the impression of professionalism and reliability while still saying “I can haul ass and that load of cement forms at the same time.” It’s overbuilt without being over the top. And what good looking girls do you know that would choose your beat up old pickup over the smooth and imposing lines of the Tundra? And nothing gives you the giggles more than taking off all the traction “nannies” and lighting up the tires and smoking that little rice burner Honda in the next lane, not that I’ve ever done that ;).

    So while I have nostalgic memories of piling in the old 73′ Ford and driving all the way to the ocean and back, My vote is the Tundra.

  5. So far in my experience, the only people that will argue against the Tundra are those few that need more than it can offer, very few indeed, and those that have neither driven one or put it through it’s paces.

    The problem that I’ve noticed with it not appealing to the “Cowboy” types, is that it seems too good to be true. If the truck runs that smooth and is that comfortable, there’s no way it can be a good manly truck right?

    It just comes down to history and some of the points made above. People expect their trucks to break down, and have to be fixed and have the problems american trucks have had forever, and anything else just ain’t right.

    The simple fact is, the Tundra is a 1/2 ton truck that could do the work of a 3/4 ton, more comfortably, smoothly and efficiently.

    Even some of things as simple as this, there are only 2 manufacturers that use a 4 valve per cylinder setup on their full size trucks, and Toyota is one of them. Anything else is just old technology. Not to mention all the other tech that Toyota throws into this thing that not only gives it the power it has, but the ability to be the only full size to get an Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle rating. That’s just outstanding.

  6. The person who uses the word “obstreperous” probably doesn’t wear cowboy boots anyway, so I went with the Ford.

  7. All the trucks mentioned are just child’s play in my world. The truck which goes the best with the boots is any Peterbilt Model 379 extended hood with the highest horsepower engine and a 13 speed Roadranger. If it is back in the 1980’s then it needs to have the 12v-71 Detroit Diesel engine with twin turbos and air to air aftercooling. Go to youtube and type 12v71 and take a listen to one of them. Ohhh baby!

  8. You can come up with all the justifications you want to try to justify the Tundra truck. But it has NO place anywhere near a cowboy or cowboy boots, not even if they are made in China. Keep that Tokyo tin up north and let the Yankees and the sodbusters buy them. Any cowboy who buys one is about as much of an authentic cowboy as Pee Wee Herman is.

  9. Texas Billy says:

    Sorry, cowboy boots and a Toyota just don’t go together at all.

  10. Tundra trucks are just fine for cowboys—if you are a Japanese cowboy. Otherwise:



  11. Oh the Tundra for sure—-IF your boots are made in China.


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