Actor Matthew McConaughey Pushes Lincoln, But Loves Trucks

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In the tidal wave of media coverage actor Matthew McConaughey is receiving for his role in the space thriller, "Interstellar," the editors at Business Insider can't get their head around one automotive story he told in a recent People magazine interview.

As retold in the BI article, McConaughey describes how he sold his much beloved four-cylinder pickup truck (describing it as "informal, rugged, social like me") in high school to buy a sports car. He quickly regretted the decision and sold the sports car to buy back his pickup.

BI's transportation editor Matthew DeBord is bewildered that McConaughey could call a pickup truck "social." He seems to understand how a pickup could be seen as "informal" and "rugged," and we might be able to help him out with the idea that a pickup is "social."

For those who appreciate and enjoy the values inherent in owning a pickup truck, the truck itself is designed to do work for the owner or anyone else. In much the same way a tool has an intended purpose: It is not unusual for that tool to be used by someone other than the actual owner.

We'd argue that anyone who owns a pickup inherently understands that owning the truck usually comes with an implied proviso that you may, at some point in the future, be asked to help a friend, neighbor or family member to move some gear or furniture across town; your boss might need you to move some equipment to the shop annex, or you get the call to meet aunt Edna at the airport as she comes into town with her eight pieces of luggage. A sports car can't do any of that.

What a sports car can do is go fast and make the driver (and sometimes a willing passenger) feel really good for a few moments going around that corner at high speed. Maybe the sports-car owner feels cool again at a stoplight where the mash of his pedal helps him beats the guy next to him a quarter-mile down the expressway. Of all the advantages there are to owning a sports car, helping someone you know or even those you don't know out or making anyone feel good (other than the driver) is usually not on the list.

We're guessing that's one of the reasons McConaughey liked the fact his character in "Interstellar" drove a one-ton Ram dually Quad Cab with a manual transmission. That's a cool truck. Not only did his character, Cooper, try to save his family farm, but he's able to communicate through time in an attempt to save the whole human race. No wonder he drives a pickup. And before we're attacked for giving away the movie's ending it's actually given away in the beginning when some elderly folks discuss the main character--even the people who made the movie want the viewers to know it has some kind of happy ending. Besides, the best thing about the movie is all the stuff that happens in the middle.

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It doesn't matter what brand your truck is,or mine.It's just a way of life that we all have and enjoy.Non truck owners don't get it,and who cares.We get it,and love it.

I have owned pickups all my life and grew up with them on the family farm. And yes I do feel good about driving down the road in a true American fashion. Yes, yes only in America.

How many times have we heard the guys from Top Gear BBC make fun of American's in our big over sized gas hog pickups? You know what I say, they are talking about us because they want to be like us.

Many people in America love and appreciate pickup trucks, and for good reason. I don't feel, however, that many have a true appreciation of trucks.

For many people, a pickup serves simply as a status symbol or something you have to own to be a true "man".

Pickup trucks have 2 characteristics that distinguish them from other vehicles:
1) Unmatched utility/versatility
2) Ruggedness, meaning the ability to be beaten to death and abused day in and day out, and still be on the road 20 years later.

This is where true appreciation for pickup trucks comes in. When I see someone who deeply understands the purpose for having their truck and what its capabilities are, that person in my mind is someone who really loves their truck. There are too many people out there driving a truck just to drive a truck. When someone drives a truck with a specific purpose, along with a respect for the capabilities and utility of their truck, that is much different, that is what truck ownership is really about.

Once you have one, you can't go back. Pickups do everything.

This is an emotive and subjective argument.

People buy vehicles for a reason. Sometimes the reason or logic behind their decision is beyond what many see or perceive as logical.

I do believe most pickups sold are sold not just for utility, but a perceived view they have regarding a pickup.

From what some of the comments state here is "we buy a pickup because we consider a pickup a very American ideal and we are supporting America because of this".

I do understand this logic, but then are you making the best possible choice? Or is your choice made to project an impression of how you want others to view you?

Australia, NZ, Thailand and many other countries do have a very large pickup market. Australia, like the US has this it's Australian to drive around in a ute. Here driving a ute is one of the most Australian things you can do. That's the impression many of the drivers of utes attempt to project.

What has allowed this to occur is our relative wealth. If we didn't have the wealth we have we would not be driving the amount of large vehicles we do.

Wealth is the driver behind this American and Australian view that driving a V8 or a pickup/ute is success.

The impression of not wanting to be perceived as "rich" but someone who has made it is driving a new twin/crew cab pickup or ute.

I was extremely close in buying a nice SUV a Disco.

Why I bought a pickup was it was cheaper and it fulfilled the needs I have. These needs are all unnecessary, ie, off roading, camping, fishing, touring, etc.

It's wealth that allows us what we use and have.

So, driving a pickup is about flaunting wealth and justifying it with it's an American or Australian thing to do.

Pickups used to be a cheap and cheerful way to travel, no longer is this the case as the average transaction cost of a pickup in the US is $39 000. Then you have the running costs which in many instances is much higher than a car/CUV that would have achieved 99% of what your real lifestyle demands.

I do see pickups down the track dwindling in numbers as the cost vs reality tightens.

This is a pity as I really like pickups. But the sports car comment by Mark Williams doesn't really exist here. If I want I can buy a supercharged 6.2 HSV Maloo or a supercharged Falcon ute.

Quicker than most any muscle car globally and it handles like a sports car. It even has a bed to carry a quad or bike.

As Al made reference to, most of what we discuss/troll/rant about on these posts are first world problems....

I love pickup trucks as much as the next guy, buy I'm not going into crippling debt to buy a $40,000+ oversized truck I don't actually need (it is just a want).

Yea, you place a good looking man driving a Lincoln MKZ and the sales go thru the roof.
All the vehicle makers should be knocking down my front door begging a BETTER looking man like ME to advertise their vehicle!
I am BETTER looking than McConaughey ! ! !!

Many people tell me I look like the younger Mel Gibson, I take that as an insult cause I believe I look BETTER than him!

I totally agree with your last statement about pickup owners.
If I may add to that my pickup keeps me active and physicial by physical labor or loading and unloading almost everything in the bed.
I believe there is a strong correlation that most pickup owners are active, the working, always busy. Also the strong outdoor type, hunting, fishing , camping.
I also see a correlation with motorcycle and atv owners and pickup owners.

did you get your left tie rod replaced under recall yet? Yea, I know its a bummer that they don't have enough new tie rods to go around.

I wonder what sportscar and small truck he was talking about.

@Big Al--I am not a big truck owner so I am not into status and being a manly man. I like the utility of having a truck and that a truck is not as easily influenced by fads as other vehicles. Trucks have morphed from a practical affordable utilitarian vehicle into an expensive sporty recreation vehicle which is more about status. I like comfort and the extra options but after a while when does a truck become more about luxury and status and less about what makes a truck a truck. If you read Cain's article about trucks on TTAC he shows that the peak sales of trucks was in 2004 at about 19% of new vehicle sales to about 13.8% in 2014. Trucks to those of us on a site like this are more than a status symbol but to many others it has become the must have vehicle that is cool to drive and the more bling the better. For those seeking cool they will move onto the next must have vehicle like a CUV and then after that to something else.

I enjoy driving a big pickup but there's no way I would own one if I didn't need it. People like big al assume nobody needs a big truck. Where I live the people that don't need a full size truck are in the small minority. People outside of america don't seem to realize that everything here is bigger. I can't take my family camping fishing or hunting with anything other than a full size truck. Without full size trucks I couldn't tow most of my farm trailers. I can hardly take my four dogs in a small truck. People see a guy alone at walmart in a big truck and assume he doesn't need that truck, but the reality is in america most people that have a truck depend on it regularly.

This site used to have comparisons of all sorts, different rear ends, limited slips, all manner of truck comparisons. Now it is running stories about Matthew McConaughey? has been falling apart since Mike Levine left, but it has really plummeted throughout 2014. Site is a joke.

Sorry. My truck has nothing to do with my way of life. It's a tool. It has a job to do. Our relationship is strictly business, not romantic.
The second something comes along that does it better and cheaper and I'll trade it in for a newer model.

I would argue that pickup trucks are not social at all. They are very costly to drive places to socialize with people and unless you've got a crew cab, you've basically got a two seater because nobody wants to be crammed in the back. So aside from people asking to borrow your truck to move some furniture, you're never going to share a ride somewhere with people. A tool. Not a way of life. Not a social butterfly. A truck.

I drive pickup bc I need it to carry stuff and camper,,
and even with 2WD I can get thru any deep snow here easily
IF GM built UTE or ElCamino here it I'd most likely be content with that

Posted by: Chevrolet builds a better way to see the USA |

You could not pay me any money to advertise a Ford product!

I drive my 03 Ram 4x4 to haul my quads and tow my 24' toy hauler. My truck equals fun and more importantly freedom. It allows me to go anywhere at anytime. Rain, snow, sleet, mud. I am going to get there. I enjoy driving in the snow up mountains and in the sand dunes. Planning a trip with some beer and fire wood up a mountain fire road with some friends while it's snowing. Going to build a fire and drink some beer with the bears and mountain lions. Had to fix my gate last week. Cutting wood with my skill saw. Using the back of my tail gate to build it. Perfect work bench. I love my truck. It has never failed to do exactly what i want to.

I am hoping to buy a car this next year. A Dodge Challenger Hellcat. Having a truck and a sports car is the best of both worlds. Carving corners and blasting of the line is fun. Their is no doubt if i could only own one vehicle it would be a 4x4 truck.

I don't think the direction that Ford is going with small engines is the right way for trucks. Hopefully this is a fad just like the diesels were in the 80's. Trucks need power to get the job done. If you can't afford the gas you don't need a truck. Rent one. Can't wait to buy a new 6.4L Hemi in my new Power Wagon.

@HEMI V8 - if it is snowing you aren't going to have to deal with bears.

I do agree that 4x4 trucks are great for getting places with gear that you can't get to with other vehicles.

Are trucks social?

They can be. It all depnds on what the truck is being used for.
Camping with friends and family, dirt biking, quading, fishing, and multiple other activities are made possible and/or made easier to do with a truck.

In that aspect, a truck is more "social" than many other vehicles.

I can think of other things that would be more social than driving a truck. I agree with some of the above comments that I own a truck to use and not to be a social bug. If I didn't use my truck I would probably get a very base econo box.

@ Jeff S - a vehicle has a "social" aspect if part of a lifestyle. Dirt biking is an extremely social activity. Guys I know with Harley's tend to ride as a large social group. I found the same phenomenon when I rode sport bikes. Drag racing or any kind of motorsport tends to be very social. A machine can be a focal point for a social group.

My truck is part of my way of life but it is not my life.

@Lou BC--You have some good points. I understand Harley riders even though I was more into Jap bikes because of their reliability and price.

@Jeff S - I never could wrap my head around the mystique of Harley Davidson. They have improved immensely in relation to quality but are still heavy, poor handling, poor braking, and over priced bikes.
My brother bought one 4 years ago and paid 40k out the door with taxes, warranty, insurance etc. and my truck was 45k out the door. Crazy really.
I used to joke and argue with my Harley buddies. one guy was bragging up his custom Harley with aftermarket frame, engine, tranny and all sorts of other goodies. I pointed out that my bone stock litre class sport bike could still kill his bike and i still had cash over for 2 dirt bikes and a quad. He and his tribe did not like my comment.

I guess it is no different than arguing with one's wife.......... logic will never sway an emotion based decision. LOL

@Lou BC--I have nothing against Harleys but they are a dated bike and much better bikes are available for the money. I could get more excited over Ducati which are some really nice bikes. Overall I would choose a Honda, Suzuki, or Yamaha over a Harley just because of their price and reliability. I would definitely take a BMW bike over a Harley. My older brother had a Moto Guzzi once which is similar to a Harley except the shaft drive. The Moto was much better at highway speed than cruising around town but the V twin is similar to a Harley (even the sound).

@Jeff S - the bike I want is a Ducati Diavel with the carbon option maybe all black. Nasty looking bike with a cool sound. it hauls azz more like a sport bike.

Ducati's are beautiful bikes. Got to hand it to the Italians they do make some nice bikes and sports cars. That would be a cool bike in black.

Where I currently live there are really only two lifestyles.

You have outdoors, ie, camping, fishing, hunting, dirt bikes and off roading. But off roading is a must with any of the above. It's also done in groups from a couple of friends to families and work groups.

The other life style is sports. This is mainly the young who just play sports on weekends.

BBQs and drinking beer is also a very entrenched aspect of life.

There are some who just sit in their aircon'd homes. They don't last.

So, as you can see a 4x4 is a must in most instances.

@Big Al from Oz - even with my son's boy scout troop I've had to run into the back country and need 4x4. Their leader is a hardcore outdoors-man. He had a 3/4 ton crewcab 4x4 but now has a Jeep Wrangler. I am going to be doing much more back country work since he swapped out vehicles. Gear for 14 kids aren't going to fit in his Jeep ;)

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