Yesterday, on my way into work at ACC HQ, I saw a near-accident.
The car in the lane next to me — a Chevy Tahoe hybrid — was tooling along at about 45 mph. I was more-or-less keeping up in my Charger and watching the road in front of me. The Tahoe driver didn’t notice three cars stopped in the lane in front of him, waiting for someone to turn left, and he kept on rolling at speed as we closed in on them.
I saw the whole thing play out right next to me in real time and real distance. The driver passed the point of comfortable stopping, passed the point of hard braking to avoid the cars, and kept going. At the last possible second, he finally looked up from his phone, panicked, and locked up his brakes. He just barely avoided hitting three cars with 5,000 pounds of SUV on autopilot.
About six months ago, the same thing happened to ACC’s Associate Editor Chad Tyson, only he wasn’t as lucky. He ended up with a sore neck, and his Jeep ended up totaled, thanks to someone who simply wasn’t paying attention.
Now, normally this kind of stuff wouldn’t bother me too much, but the more I think about what would happen to me in modern traffic if I were to be hit in my restored K10, the more it scares me. And I built my truck to be used, which means it sees a lot of modern traffic time — more than your average older car. And it’s not exactly the safest thing on the road in 2016.
I’ve been thinking a lot about buying a new truck and refocusing my old car attention back on my ’66 Caprice — working on its stance, fitting new wheels and tires, and swapping out some parts to make it run 11s in the quarter. But all that would mean that both my SRT Charger and my ’72 Chevy pickup would have to go — mostly because I’m out of space and I don’t need two trucks. Or so says my wife.
Then again, I know I’d miss that old truck and I’d probably try to get it back some day. That’s a car guy fact of life — go to any forum and count how many posts mention cars that owners “never should have sold,” and you’ll see what I mean. Even I’ve written about it with regard to my dad’s Chevelle.
So what to do? Sell the K10 while the market is still hot on those trucks and then get myself a 7,000-pound 3/4-ton tank of a modern truck? Or should I put brighter taillights in the K10 and just brave it? Or maybe I shouldn’t worry about it at all and just leave well enough alone. After all, the truck is the color of a road cone, and it’s survived this long without being hit.
This is a problem that we’ve all likely faced, so share your thoughts in the comments below.