CARSON, California — This year I started following football again after taking a hiatus from the San Francisco 49ers—a team I became fond of as a teenager. At thirteen, I had a crush on a boy next door who was a big-time 49ers fan and I thought that by pledging allegiance to his team I’d smoothly win his heart. Though my game plan failed, my pain made a turn for a gain and I have supported the 49ers ever since.
Timing is everything as the exact week my beloved 49ers were taking on the Los Angeles Chargers there was a 2018 Ford F-150 4×2 Lariat SuperCrew in our HQ convoy. It was a match made in heaven.
When my brother handed me a ticket to the game I offered to drive the entire group to the Sunday match in the tailgate party ready Ford F-150 SuperCrew. Given there were a total of five passengers in our squad the four-door F-150 suited us graciously.
Our tailgating Ford F-150 SuperCrew sported the Lead Foot shade of gray and came modestly equipped with the Lariat sport appearance package, black leather interior, and 20-inch painted aluminum wheels. At the heart of the F-150 a 3.0-liter Power Stroke V-6 turbo diesel engine graded at 250 hp and 440 lb-ft of torque. The engine is mated to a 10-speed automatic transmission.
The manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $54,620. I want to digress for a moment here to briefly venture into the topic of truck prices. Things I often hear from non-truck owners are: trucks used to be cheaper, people need to stop buying those gas-guzzlers, I want a new truck but they’re too expensive, etc.
That prices in the truck segment continue to rise is not enlightening. What is enlightening however is how more capable, luxurious, improved, and accommodating trucks are. Trucks nowadays are not just exclusive for work use they also serve as the family car and are widely used for long distance trips. Comparing the cost of a truck from a decade ago to today’s market is not a valid argument. Trucks will continue to be driven off dealership lots even if gas prices surge because in America we love trucks like we love sports and green lawns.
The growing army of brand new trucks I witness invade Los Angeles on a regular basis is an indication that consumers are not refraining from buying them. According to a recent sales report by our Detroit Bureau Chief Todd Lassa as of September 2018 year-to-date sales of the F-Series were a whopping 679,018 units.
On game day the guys loaded the F-150’s 5.5-foot bed with a cooler, grill, canopy, beer pong table, groceries, and chairs. As my sister-in-law and I enjoyed our morning iced coffee we took over the cabin and directed the guys to the backseat.
In transit to StubHub Center, the now home stadium of the *cough* Los Angeles Chargers, I asked the guys how things were going in the backseat. They chuckled in unison and one of them said there was still enough space for someone to sit on the floor.
Given my petite size I think that the guys were really impressed with my effortless F-150 maneuvering moves on the 110 Freeway. Any time I caught a glimpse of their faces in one of the mirrors they were all smiles. Their approval and affirmations of the F-150 SuperCrew told me I made the right choice in bringing it to the party.
When we arrived at StubHub Center I was surprised by how swiftly we got to the tailgating lot. I had expected the usual L.A. special event traffic jam. There were either a lack of Charger fans or we were too enthusiastically early. As soon as I parked the F-150 the guys went straight to work. Watching them set up the SuperCrew for the tailgate party was like watching a NASCAR pit crew service a race car.
In what felt like the flapping speed of a hummingbird there were hot links, carne asada, eggs, and scallions sizzling on the grill. While I ingested salsa smothered asada tacos I tuned in to the beer pong match going down as music erupted from a portable speaker. The F-150’s tailgate doubled as a table for our groceries and utensils. After hearing enough men’s chatter my sister-in-law and I climbed into the back of the truck for a session of girl talk.
Within a few hours the place quickly filled up and soon we were surrounded by mostly Charger fans in an assortment of Toyota, Chevy, Dodge, and Ford pickups. Though we were the enemy on Charger territory, a few Charger fans stopped by our F-150. We were having so much fun at the tailgate party that we almost forgot that the whole point of us being there was to watch an actual game.
Unfortunately, the 49ers did not beat the Chargers and came up short by two miserable points.
When the game finally ended the 2018 Ford F-150 Lariat SuperCrew welcomed us back with open doors. Climbing back into the inviting driver’s seat was a form of catharsis. In the days that followed I thought about all ways the F-150 tailgate party made up for the 49ers loss. If you were to ask me $54,620 for this truck is totally worth it.