Ryan Smith of Unionville remembers when Tim Smith, a “Moonshiners” star, close family friend and the driving force behind Climax whiskey, gave him a 1978 pickup truck reminiscent of the “Dukes of Hazard.” After getting an eyeful of the hulking vehicle, Ryan’s first thought was, “Man, I’m in love!” From then on, he began paying close attention to the older trucks that he admires for both their power and appearance. “They don’t make ‘em like they used to,” said the 17-year-old with authority. That’s why he’s thrilled with his 1995 Ford 150 XLT, which he bought a little over a year ago from a man whose grandfather had purchased the truck new and kept it in mint condition. “I like the old square-body mean look,” he said as he gazed at the shiny gray vehicle sitting high on what he calls “beefy, aggressive” tires. He and his father—Mike Smith, chief of the Rapidan Volunteer Fire Department—share a love of trucks, especially Fords. “We’ve been Ford guys from day one,” said Ryan, a senior at Orange County High School and junior member of the Rapidan fire department. For him, it’s “almost heartbreaking” to see pickups of similar vintage to his run into the ground as farm trucks. “If you can find one, don’t let it go,” he advised. “One of these trucks—you can pull up to a bonfire, put your tailgate down and have a good time.”
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