It took a recent conversation with an old friend to jog my memory. But the more she talked, the clearer my recollections became. There was a candy bar sold in the mid Seventies called Seven Up, and I had purchased many of them back in the day.
Seven Up bars were popular in my neighborhood when I was growing up. As the name implied, they had seven sections, each injected with a different filling, and those sections were easy to break off into separate pieces. I wasn’t much of a mint guy, so I could swap that piece of my Seven Up bar for someone else’s coconut chunk, a thing which made me very happy. Never mind that many hands handled each piece of chocolate before it was ultimately consumed. Hygiene was not a priority in those days.
I mention the Seven Up bar because, had my friend not reminded me of it, I would never have recalled it on my own.
And so it was on a recent commute, when I spotted a pickup truck that seemed completely incongruous on Chicagoland roads. The late-model Ram was normal enough, except for one thing: its tidy, pugilistic stance. It took me a moment to realize that the pickup that had caught my attention was a regular-cab truck with a short bed–something I literally never see anymore.
I’ve seen this particular truck again a couple of times since that day—its driver and I seem to share commuting routes—but haven’t seen another regular-cab short-bed truck during that time.
I did a little poking around and discovered that it was roughly five years ago that regular-cab production slipped to less than ten percent of total large-pickup output. Further, and I don’t have numbers for this, it seems that most of those trucks came equipped with a long (roughly 8-foot) cargo bed. What I didn’t realize was how close to extinct the regular-cab short-bed pickup really is.
For 2019, every one of the six brands that sells a full-size pickup except Toyota offers a regular-cab variant. But, of those, only Ford and Ram offer still offer their regular cabs with a short bed.
Furthermore, Ram, which redesigned its pickup for 2019, only offers the regular-cab short-bed combo on the Ram Classic, which is the previous-generation Ram being sold alongside the new truck in Ram showrooms.
It’s worth noting that no small/midsize pickup currently available for sale in the U.S. can be had with a regular-cab.
I, for one, love the stubby look of a big truck mated to a short box, but the general buying public doesn’t seem as keen on these fundamentally charming examples of the pickup breed. With demand on the wane, I suspect we’re witnessing the final days of the regular-cab short-bed pickup, and that’s kind of a bummer.
Here’s a look at the remaining full-size half-ton regular-cab pickups:
Chevrolet redesigned the Silverado for 2019, and seems to be limiting regular-cab versions of the new truck to fleets for the time being. But even fleet buyers are limited to long cargo boxes on their regular-cab pickups. Chevrolet did retail a regular-cab short-bed Silverado in 2018, which we suspect was the last time Chevy will do so.
Perhaps because of the sheer volume of pickups it produces, Ford still makes available a regular-cab short-bed F-150. Near as I can recall, I have never seen one of these on the road, but it does my heart good to know they are out there. I also fear it will be the last of the breed.
Like the mechanically similar Chevy Silverado, the 2019 GMC Sierra can’t be had with both a regular cab and a short bed. We suspect that 2018 was the last Sierra to be made available in this configuration.
Though a regular-cab short-bed Titan test mule was spotted a couple of years back, Nissan has yet to offer the configuration to the buying public. Given the Titan’s relatively low production volume, it’s unlike the Japanese maker is looking to add a niche model to the lineup.
Ram redesigned its popular half-ton pickup for 2019, but didn’t choose to offer the new truck with both a regular cab and a short bed. The good news for Ram lovers looking for a truck in this configuration is that the carry0ver Ram 1500 Classic can be had in that body style. It’s likely Ram will continue to offer the Classic for 2020, but whether or not the regular-cab short-bed combo will be offered again is anybody’s guess. That said, we doubt the redesigned Ram will ever be offered with just two doors and a short bed.
Toyota built its last regular-cab pickup back in 2017, though it did offer the 2-door truck with a short bed. If the truck above looks completely foreign to you, it does to us as well. We doubt very many regular-cab short-bed Tundras were ever produced.
Regular Cab Pickups