Still Hammerin’
Rob Fortier headshot
Fill'er Up typography

egardless of how or where you get your news information from—be it from a televised corporate acronym source or via social media—the one major current event we don’t need any news source to know about that’s affecting each and every one of us is soaring gas prices. We’ve broached the $5 per gallon mark in the past out here in California, but that always seemed to be the peak before something was ultimately done to reverse that trend. This time around, however, nothing is being done (other than flippant remarks about buying electric cars as the solution) and before long, we’d likely welcome back the $5 per gallon prices, sad as that may be.

While I may be fortunate, to a certain degree, when it comes to filling up my daily at the pump—I drive a FlexFuel-optioned (E85) GMC—every other vehicle I own relies on petroleum-based fuel, and to combat I’ve gone to the extreme of no longer buying Starbucks on a daily (sometimes multiple times per day) basis. As dumb as that sounds, it’s actually making a difference! But I am still concerned—very concerned—about this trend, and the likelihood of prices ever going back down … at least anywhere near what they used to be before [insert your preferential source] caused all this nonsense.

In this “great” state of California, we gave legislatures the opportunity to remove the 51¢ (per gallon) state tax to help offer a bit of relief to residents struggling to keep their tanks full but, apparently, they weren’t having any of that. The mind-set that buying a $50,000-plus electric vehicle in lieu of paying $6-plus per gallon is a logical solution literally blows my mind. But then again, look at the people making these asinine comments—the same people who will never have to worry about anything financially related (healthcare, retirement, or the cost of fuel). I can’t speak for the rest of the nation, but I know everyone’s not only feeling it at the pumps, but at the grocery/hardware stores, hell anywhere that takes your money, for that matter. Life’s hard on the wallet these days … really hard.

And that leads me to this month’s quandary: How will the effects of the inflation affect us when it comes to basically anything classic truck related—especially the ability to drive them? We’re just now entering the outdoor show season, so I’m sure we’ll know simply by the turnout numbers at the bigger events. I’m truly hoping we won’t see much of a difference, but if we do, I’ll totally understand why. I’ve said before and I’ll say it again: I’ll pay whatever I have to in order to continue driving my fossil-fueled relics; I’ll eat PB&J seven days a week and grow my own coffee beans to help offset the cost.

To me, it’s not a political thing as much as it is a “my thing.” Maybe I was born 20 years too late, but I’m not giving in to the whole “EV as the solution” train of thought. Instead, why not do more to adapt the E85 option to all gas-powered vehicles? Why not push more for hydrogen or natural gas? Sure, we can all swap over to electric-powered classic trucks—with an investment above and beyond that of a new EV! That’s just not for me—there’s not even a smidgeon of a cool factor that attracts me. Maybe I’m just too old school, even for my somewhat young age, but the lack of pretty much everything associated with the internal combustion engine is just that: everything to me. And as such, I’ll do whatever I can to preserve its presence in my life, as “anti-green” as that may seem!