Exit Lane: Derek Dier

Derek Dier
Owner,
Watches to Buy.com

2007 Ford Ranger
2.3-litre inline four-cylinder, 143 HP
165,000 kilometres

I’VE HAD THIS for a little less than a year. I live downtown and wanted a simple commuter car, and I’ve always wanted a small pickup. I liked the simplicity and the basic design. My kids were embarrassed; my wife looked at me sideways. I’ve had Porsches and Mercedes, but I’m just not that much of a car guy anymore.

IT’S COMPLETELY ANALOG—roll-up windows, no power anything. Being a mechanical watch guy, it’s a perfect fit for me. I also think it has a bit of a military look to it, which I enjoy. I like military clothes and utilitarian design.

IT SMELLS LIKE a mixture of wet dog and nicotine from that last owner. Maybe one day I’ll deal with it, but I’m used to it.

ONE OF THE really great things about this truck is no one looks at you. It’s old, the tan colour blends right in with the surroundings and the tinted windows help, too. You’re basically invisible, which is really relaxing.

NO QUESTION, MOST people think I’ve gone downhill. I’ll pull up to a restaurant for dinner with friends and they’ll say, “What happened to you? What is this thing?” I tell them it’s exactly what I want to drive. They’ll shake their heads and we carry on for the night.

I’M ALWAYS ON the look for vintage and interesting things. I’m a garbage picker, and a pickup is great for collecting aluminum, copper and the mid-century stuff I find at the side of the road. I haven’t had it a full year yet, so I’m really looking forward to student clean-up in the spring. I’ll have a blast, and my kids will think I’m crazy again.

I PLAN TO keep it for a long time. I’ll keep zapping the rust, and as long as it doesn’t start to drain my wallet, I’ll keep it around. My 2004 [Volkswagen] Jetta Diesel, which I bought in 2007, is still running strong. My son drives it now. I like things to last and to get as much use out of them as I can.

I LOVE THE drive to Stratford. It’s a simple drive and a great change of scenery, and there’s great restaurants and culture. We like going on Mondays when it’s a little quieter. My wife will try to steer us into her car, but I’ll say, “Let’s take the truck instead.”

MY DREAM VEHICLE is a [Land Rover] Defender 90. Eventually I might treat myself, but they’re getting so expensive it might get out of the realm of possibility. In the meantime, I’ll settle for the pickup. 

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