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Steve Jobs: The Most Unlikely Pickup Truck Driver Of All Time

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1977 Ford Ranchero

1977 Ford Ranchero

Long before Apple's Steve Jobs turned chips, glass and fingerprints into an unhealthy obsession, he may have had a little thing--okay, a big thing--for pickup trucks.

In an interview released today by Business Insider, the first CEO of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) says Jobs' sweet ride during the late 1970s, the car that shared garage space with him and colleague Steve Wozniak and lots and lots of hacky computer parts, was a 1977 Falcon truck.

Michael Scott, the organizer of what would become Apple Inc., had been brought in by investors to turn Jobs' and Wozniak's fledgling effort into a real computer company. Scott tells Business Insider that not only did Jobs drive a truck, but that the pickup was a key shuttle for the whiz kids while they toiled away at getting the iconic Apple II into production.

Scott may have his car chronology confused, since the Falcon pickup was more commonly known as the Ranchero--unless Jobs brought in a grey-market Falcon ute from Australia, that is.

The Ranchero, of course, is the Falcon-derived compact truck that eventually spawned a competitor from GM. Ford had Mustang and Ranchero; Chevy had the Camaro and the hipster classic El Camino. By 1977, the Ranchero story grew tawdry, when it was spun off the LTD platform, basically making it a Thunderbird with a truck bed. Not. Pretty.

We doubt Jobs did the full East Bay treatment on his Ranchero, like this tasty lowrider example, but it's kind of fascinating to think about how Jonny Ive would turn this into something sleek, expensive, and totally un-interoperable. Also, you have to love the irony of Palo Alto's toniest resident driving a truck, since just last year Jobs said the clunky PCs of today are the pickup trucks of the Web world--niche workhorses with no pizazz.

Steve, if you're reading, all our best. Care to weigh in on the Falcon--or on the "Chevy Volt is a PC, Nissan Leaf is Mac" mishegas?

[Business Insider, image via Wikipedia]

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Comments (4)
  1. Falcon??? The last Falcon Ranchero was model year 1966. From '67 on they were Fairlanes and Torinos and LTDII's.
    Yes it did have an open bed in the back, but to refer to it or an El Camino as a 'truck' further suggests the author has little more than a passing connection to these vehicles. Steve would be unimpressed.....
     
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  2. Steve Jobs was not Apple's first CEO, but I guess I'm missing the point: He likes pick-up trucks...
     
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  3. @Michael: I'm not saying Jobs is the first CEO. @Kent: They're trucks - there's no way you could "party in the back" like we have without open air.
     
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  4. I always referred to both Rancheros and El Caminos as "Pickup Cars". El Caminos are almost cult popular today. BTW, the earliest Rancheros were the 1957 model, based (of course) on the big (all new that year) Ford of the day. Of course there were no Falcons yet.
     
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