I saw the Tesla Cybertruck and so can you

Deborah L Smith

Check out our brand-new film on the Tesla Cybertruck in the latest installment of “Jason Cammisa on the ICONS,” which you can watch on the Hagerty Media website and YouTube channel.

Inside the mall, two doors down from Victoria’s Secret and catty-corner from Armani, the Tampa, Florida Tesla store was mildly abuzz. The public was held back by ropes from damaging what is supposed to be the beefiest truck in the world, the Cybertruck. Fingerprints on the stainless steel, it turns out, is a legitimate issue. There was a clerk with a rag and a spray bottle whose sole occupation was to wipe the Teslas on display, and he still missed some Cyber-smudges.

Tesla Cybertruck store display window
Deborah L Smith

Multiple Tesla stores across the country have the $60,990-to-start Cybertruck on display for the first time. If you want to see one in the metal near you, log onto the unofficial Cybertruck locator here.) There are 15 Cybertrucks at dealers as of this writing.

To cut to the chase, the Cybertruck is not for me. Here’s what I think ushered the electric pickup, first revealed in fall 2019, into existence: “Bring me a truck that looks nothing like any truck on the road today,” Elon Musk said, a directive I cheer, because it takes genuine innovation and courage. But this is what the designers came up with? What designs did they throw away?

The more you try to reconcile the angles, the more you can’t.

Still, some journalists from the if-you-can’t-say-something-nice-about-a-Tesla camp are trying. “I think it looks pretty awesome!” chirped one journalist. Said another: “…It has its good sides. The truck is imposing and futuristic from the front and front three-quarter perspective…”

No! No, it is not futuristic, unless you work backwards from the design of Klaatu’s spaceship in 1951’s The Day the Earth Stood Still!

The truck sat in the middle of the showroom, surrounded by other, handsome Tesla models like the Model 3 and Model S. I sort of felt sorry for the pickup. Instead of looking triumphant, it just sort of looked… sad. Sad and unfinished. Those stainless flanks look like a high school shop project. To Tesla’s credit, all the joints and panels matched up, though. And it is indeed difficult to make stainless do what you tell it to.

It’s shod with massive, specially built Goodyear tires that match the design of the black manhole covers over the wheels.

My opinion will not stop the truck from being widely celebrated. It’s a shoo-in to be Motor Trend’s next truck of the year. And possibly Hot Rod’s pick, as soon as somebody drops a small-block Chevy in one.

Tesla Cybertruck store display wheel tire closer
Deborah L Smith

I may or may not have gasped at one point, I don’t recall. Before this I think I gasped at my first in-person sighting of the Jaguar E-Type, the Pontiac Aztek, and the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile. So am not anti-gasp, as a rule.

I expect early adopters will wear the Cybertruck like a stainless-steel Rolex for a while, just showing off how cyber they are. I don’t know what those customers who actually need a pickup will see in the Cybertruck in order to choose it over a Ford, Chevy, GMC, Toyota, Ram, or Nissan. It’s especially hard to picture it as a farm truck—try to run a couple bales of hay out to your dairy herd and they’ll be squirting chartreuse milk for a week.

Tesla Cybertruck store display side
Deborah L Smith

The truck photographs gray, so pictures come colorless like a Matthew Brady print.

“So, what do you think?” my wife asks, as we head for the food court and Chick-fil-A.

“Kind of hideous,” I reply.

“So, put you down as undecided?”

“Yeah, that sounds fair. At least until I can work up a memorable gasp. Wait, there!”

“Was that a belch?”

“You take what you can get.”



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    This truck is like a fart in church.

    Just because you can does not make it a innovative creative idea.

    This truck shocked the world when it was first shown what, 5 years ago? Today the shock value has worn off accept for the first sightings on the road. In time it will just become that oddity that people will look back and say we got exited over that? The Tesla groupies’ will always have a place for it but even some of them will lose interest.

    It will not be long till someone paints them and then someone will point out the crash test video that really shows it crumpling but not a well as most of the other in class trucks. It did hit with some force.

    Musk is his worst own enemy. While he likes to shock and charm he in the auto field over reaches too much. The gull wing doors on the SUV is a perfect example. While cool they really did not improve sales and only added cost and problems to the vehicles. In hind sight he even said he should have skipped them.

    Tesla could have done much if they had done a smaller SUV like truck and sold it for a decent price these appeal to the non truck people and would have sold in great numbers.

    This truck here is not going to change the market or the world and end up being that odd foot note in history.

    I am not a Kool-Aid drinking fan of Tesla, but it’s expected that Tesla might produce and sell some 1.8 million vehicles in 2023 (compared to 1.3 million units in 2022)
    I bet they out sell the Ford Lightning & Rivian combined within 2 years.

    Ironic that “try to run a couple bales of hay out to your dairy herd” might be what the truck is best at. If the design weren’t so ridiculous, having these as fleet trucks that you can plug in and charge at a dispatch HQ every night makes perfect sense (especially if you put solar on top of said HQ.)
    Then again, why you’d pick this over a Ford Lightning for such a use case is beyond me…

    But, sadly, the “stainless steel Rolex” approach will probably rule the day…

    Don’t come to Hagerty for unbiased reporting. Uninterested authors make uninteresting articles. Blah, blah, blah. The most innovative, interesting truck in a century deserves better. Every other truck in the world looks like the other trucks and most of what they ever haul fits in the driver’s pockets. If you cannot even just stick to the unbiased facts it might be time to move on to something you can get engaged in.

    It will be a hit in Suburbia for the “Hey Look At Me!” factor. To me this makes a Pontiac Aztec look goo… better. Well miracles can happen.

    “Those stainless flanks look like a high school shop project”

    Haw, that sentence nails it! I’ve read a number of reviews of the Cybertruck over the past few days, but “high school shop project” has been the best, most concise description.

    I’m sure Tesla will sell a few to people who need to be the first ones to own anything new, but then demand will drop off and the early adopters will be dumping them so they can move on to the next new thing.

    At least it’s not going to rust to nothing like all the other half century ago designed trucks along with the ever failing emissions sensors on their antiquated ICE engines. I think the the Cybertruck looks beautiful. I’m looking forward to getting mine, even if it takes years.

    The Cybertruck is misnamed. It should be called a “Tonkatruck”. I had a metal one back in the early 60’s that I played with in the sandbox in our back yard.

    I’m still on the fence about this truck. I grew up on a farm. Heavy industry led me into an electrical career. I own a pickup now. So, when will we see this truck with its business end (open box for stuff) showing. That’s the whole idea of a p/u, isn’t it?

    Best Cybertruck-impression article yet! BTW, I won’t believe the Cybertruck really is a p/u truck until I see one with a bumper sticker showing an ornery kid peeing on a Rivian.

    Did everyone watch the test Jason Cammisa did? I recommend you watch it.
    It sure makes the Hummer look like a bad decision.
    I have always bough vehicles based on what it does for me, not how I look with it on.

    I really rarely ever drive more than 100 miles a day, so the odd trip out of town is kind of a red herring in my world.


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