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Old September 3rd, 2010, 04:25 PM   #1
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Odd question... what is your work vehicle?

I know this is odd and even though I have not realy post much in the past, I may be close to pursuing the dream. It was pointed out that my truck I wanted to use, a 1984 Bronco II even with a fresh paint job and in clean shape, may not be the appropriate for the task. I also have a 1996 Thunderbird. White and in clean shape.

The problem is the best car I have is the thunderbird, which has ample room for gear, minus any jibs or really special rigs. My brother suggest a Suburban. I like that idea, but I would rather use what I have. Right now my family has a frugal budget that my wife can carry while I pursue the industry. I really don't like the ideas of car payments, especially when you don't know what next month is going to bring.

Has anyone ever been critiqued about the car/truck they used, Does age matter regarless of condition?

For the record, I would love to get a classic truck and use that, like a 1971 Chevy.

thanks for the advice
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 04:29 PM   #2
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See What Do You Drive?
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 04:38 PM   #3
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Richard, this is one subject for which I'm sure the best advice is to check out what your competitors are driving.

Attitudes vary widely. I recall when I lived in Chicago 69--72, people considered it an advantage for a local retail businessman to drive the latest model, prestige car because the public would want to deal with a successful person. Here in the UK such ostentation would still probably be regarded as a reason not to deal with the person on the grounds they must be making too much money.

Apart that I doubt whether my 2003 LH drive diesel-engined Renault Scenic is available in your neck of the woods, so whether I like it or not (I do) doesn't really help you much.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 04:47 PM   #4
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Adam,

thank you for the reply. My concern is while there was some great information in the "what do you drive thread" It covers alot of angles. If I am making indie movies I may have different, how shall we say "image relations" than being comissioned to shoot a lavish wedding or a corprate event. That is the nature of my original post. personally if I could get away with a dodge omni I would. If I am going to offer a "first class/high end" product, does that mean I need to show my dedication to quality buy having a respectable car?

I really do stress the details.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 07:37 PM   #5
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Greetings Richard !!!

I think I have a smidge of experience in this, been doing this industry (cars) for 41 years, so here goes.

Philips is right, there was a time when to present the image, you needed to show some iron !!!

That is still somewhat true, depending on who your market is. It no longer is as universal as it once was.

If you want to sell the "Country Club", you gotta fit into the "Country Club".

After that, what you drive, as long as it is nice, respectable and you aren't ashamed of it, it doesn't make a lot of difference.

Your Bronco II, here where I live, would be exceptionally unique, that "classic" you talk about. I am sure where you live, if you really look around, there aren't that many left there either. If you are concerned about it's image, go look at some images of it when it was new and critically examine yours in comparison. People who owns things and see them day after day, pretty much don't see the true overall condition of what they own, in comparison to the rest of those same items owned by others. Now if you modified it for some other purpose, that purpose and it's modifications is what that vehicle is going to present.

As far as the rest of the world, no one really knows anymore for sure exactly how old anything is, in the realm of cars. If you are into cars and trucks and stay on top of models, you can get kinda close. Starting in the 70s, the manufacturers began minimizing any outward appearance changes, as cost cutting moves. In the last ten years, without checking an ID #, you are just making a close guess at best, to a vehicle's age.

One thing to consider, and I have seen this a ton of times, someone starts a new business and goes and gets a brand new shiny impressive something in order to be seen in it. Then 5, 6, or 10 years later, he is STILL in that "once shiney" and now "used to be impressive" something which screams to anyone who saw him when he began..... I'm not making it !!!!

If your truck needs some attention to its appearence, give it to it. Otherwise, just get a bumper sticker that says "instead of a new truck, I bought video gear". :-)

Anyone you lose because of your vehicle, seriously, was going to be a pain in the butt jerk anyway. Don't worry about them, make your work and your personality what you have to sell, not the iron that drags your stuff around.
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 08:52 PM   #6
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Chip,

I'm driving '07 Honda CR-V. I can fit 2 cams and tripods and other equip in the trunk. Also the interior provides enough comfort for longer rides. Also at the last wedding it was used as a cool place for Bride to rest during photo session (95 deg in shade).

I've seen many videographers rocking mini vans. I also like that idea and I might upgrade to a nice family van sooner or later. What I like the most in minivans is the deep trunk which prevents equip from sliding around.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 08:52 AM   #7
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I drive a Ford Escape and I love that little truck!!! Great gas mileage lots of room for gear when the seats are folded flat etc... Not a real prestigious vehicle though. When I have to meet a client I make sure it is clean inside and out and that's about it. If you have primer all over your vehicle and a bad exhaust leak then you might want to consider something newer, but if it's clean and presentable don't worry about it.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 10:00 AM   #8
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One thing to consider, and I have seen this a ton of times, someone starts a new business and goes and gets a brand new shiny impressive something in order to be seen in it. Then 5, 6, or 10 years later, he is STILL in that "once shiney" and now "used to be impressive" something which screams to anyone who saw him when he began..... I'm not making it !!!!

In 2006, I bought a 2003 Mercedes SL500. If you spend money on a car like this, it doesn't age much. The car still gets more looks than most brand new cars. I get compliments at every wedding and it has helped my business. So I don't believe your theory holds true every time.
btw, my everyday car is a 2000 Ford Explorer with 150,000 miles. ;=)
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Old September 4th, 2010, 12:12 PM   #9
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I am grateful for the replies, It seems that my thunderbird will be my best bet. better milage, better shape. I would rather focus on gear and upgrade to another car when the budget allows.
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Old September 4th, 2010, 12:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael Simons View Post

In 2006, I bought a 2003 Mercedes SL500. If you spend money on a car like this, it doesn't age much. The car still gets more looks than most brand new cars. I get compliments at every wedding and it has helped my business. So I don't believe your theory holds true every time.
btw, my everyday car is a 2000 Ford Explorer with 150,000 miles. ;=)
Michael you do bring up the exception, and your Benz follows more on the thinking of using a "classic". Had the Benz now had 150K from banging around NJ all year round these last 4 years, I think you would see exactly what I mean. :-)

My father's pride and joy the last 25 years of his life was a 1951 Packard 4 door sedan. He purchased it in absolute pristine condition from an estate back in the 70s, and it stayed that way until his death.

It wasn't an exceptionally valuable car, just the base model offered back then. Like your Benz though, it did create lots of attention when he would drive up somewhere with it, because of its condition and the period of time the car was from.

Being the son and the family business partner, I know all about, and did what had to be done, to keep that car pristine. If there was not an extreme amount of enjoyment derived from owning a car like that though, it is very hard to justify the expense and requirements for upkeep, to warrant owning and using such a vehicle in one's business. What Dad paid for his Packard was the cheapest part of his whole investment.

Your Benz though Michael..... if it would have been available and in my budget when I was looking.... I'd have done EXACTLY the same thing !!!! AWESOME RIDE !!!!! :-)
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Old September 4th, 2010, 01:37 PM   #11
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Old September 5th, 2010, 08:47 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Thome View Post
Michael you do bring up the exception, and your Benz follows more on the thinking of using a "classic". Had the Benz now had 150K from banging around NJ all year round these last 4 years, I think you would see exactly what I mean. :-)

My father's pride and joy the last 25 years of his life was a 1951 Packard 4 door sedan. He purchased it in absolute pristine condition from an estate back in the 70s, and it stayed that way until his death.

It wasn't an exceptionally valuable car, just the base model offered back then. Like your Benz though, it did create lots of attention when he would drive up somewhere with it, because of its condition and the period of time the car was from.

Being the son and the family business partner, I know all about, and did what had to be done, to keep that car pristine. If there was not an extreme amount of enjoyment derived from owning a car like that though, it is very hard to justify the expense and requirements for upkeep, to warrant owning and using such a vehicle in one's business. What Dad paid for his Packard was the cheapest part of his whole investment.

Your Benz though Michael..... if it would have been available and in my budget when I was looking.... I'd have done EXACTLY the same thing !!!! AWESOME RIDE !!!!! :-)
Thanks Chip. I'm not really a car person though. I used to drive a 1985 Nissan 300zx to weddings..rust and all. A photographer that referred me does high end weddings. He told me I needed a new car. That photographer is very successful and my business is doing well too. Not just because of the car of course, but it does help over my old rust bucket.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 10:46 AM   #13
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It's not going to win a beauty contest or turn any heads, but it is super practical. I have a 2008 Ford E-150 Cargo Van. It's a commercial van with plenty of space for several pelican cases, steadicam, jib, slider, light kits, carts, etc. I got a nice ramp from Harbor Freight which makes things even more convenient... I can load up a cart full of stuff and push it up into the back of the van... Strap it down and away I go. It's really handy for lugging around my 1 ton grip kit and comes especially in handy for bridal shows when I have to move a lot of flat screen TVs.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 08:07 PM   #14
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Here's my 2 cents as a business owner since 1982 (started by DJing weddings...)

I don't think for a second that you need to have any particular make or model, but I do believe that your vehicle should be clean and presentable. No rust, dents or loose things hanging off!

I drive a 2001 PT Crusier. When you take out the rear seats (which come out easily) it has an amazing amount of cargo room of a vehicle of its size. I can fit my crane, teleprompter, tripods, lights and cameras in with no trouble at all.
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Old September 5th, 2010, 08:08 PM   #15
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Infiniti G35...hehe. Awful mileage and hardly any space, but dammit it's sexy.
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