Wow, time flies! PickupTrucks.com is celebrating its 15th birthday on Monday, Feb 22. The site was started in a college bedroom in Tucson, Ariz., back in 1995 when Netscape and Mosaic were about the only web browsers you could find, and really fast downloads were over 56K dial-up modems.
But before it was PUTC, it was called The Pickup Truck Homepage. We didn't buy the domain name PickupTruck.com (which we were called for the first thirteen years) until late 1995 -- for only $35. Adding PickupTrucks.com cost us thousands of dollars just a few years later.
Getting our first pictures online wasn’t easy. We couldn’t download them from a manufacturer’s media site, and digital cameras – Apple or Kodak were about the only choices -- were primitive and expensive. So we’d visit truck dealers, grab as many brochures as we could and then head to the computer lab at the University of Arizona, where we’d spend hours scanning the brochures on a $1,200 flatbed scanner. All of the words and data were done by hand in HTML.
By 1999, we were attending auto shows, where we started to learn the ropes of the industry. Typewriters outnumbered laptops, and there were still push-button phones on desks.
In 2000, GM invited us on our first press trip to drive the 2001 Heavy Duty pickups. We were considered an oddity by some of the other media on the truck because, after all, we only published on the Internet.
We also looked for venture capital in 2000 (all the cool kids did back then) to turn PickupTrucks.com into a huge site. In hindsight, we’re lucky we didn’t get any because we probably would have cratered if the site staff hadn’t stayed lean and mean. We turned to friends and family to grow the site.
We survived the dot-com crash and had some tight years after Sept. 11. We went back to work full time at other jobs while the site coasted along.
In 2003, we held our first Shootout, which we think is one of the most unique and challenging comparison tests out there for pickups because it only takes place when there's a significant change in a truck segment. Since then, we've had two more Shootouts and our fourth will be this summer.
In 2007, we went back to working on PickupTrucks.com full time, and in 2008 we joined the Cars.com family - a perfect fit for the site.
Today, things couldn’t be better for bringing you all the truck related content we can produce and helping buy or sell new and used pickups.
Finally, we'd like to send a big thanks to our readers. It's your support that has made this incredible journey possible. We’re looking forward to the next 15 years!