My new favorite thing on reality TV just so happens to be a 1970, C-10 Chevy pickup truck called Farmtruck. It’s the labor of love of street racer Sean Whitley and it’s quickly adding to an already existing legion of fans thanks to its appearance on Discovery’s new show, Street Outlaws.
Billed as “the ultimate sleeper,” Farmtruck might be the greatest road example of not judging a book by its cover. It’s designed to look like the truck your grandpa drove; with a rusted out paint job, dents, a camper shell and license plate that reads, “ZZZZZ.”
When Whitley and his partner in speed, Jeff “AZN” Bonnett, pull up next to you at a red light they want you thinking they’re out of their mind when they throw out a challenge. As you’re left in tire smoke and they leave with your cash, Farmtruck has done its job once again.
So what’s the history behind grandpa’s old cruise-into-town Chevy? Let’s take a look under the hood!
Via the truck’s own website, because a ride like this should have its own domain, here’s how Sean came to own the devil in disguise:
The story of the Farmtruck started when Sean was a little boy riding in his father’s 1956 Ford pickup. It had an old racing motor out of dirt track car and it would catch on fire at every stop light. He was fascinated with the four on the floor and how the boot would move up and down. His interest in racing began around 12 years old. When he was holding a flash light above his head to start races for his older brothers and their friends on Route 66.
The only way he was allowed to go was if he would stand in the middle of the fastest cars and flag the races. Every car he has ever driven or owned has been a race car to him. He had other trucks he tinkered with until he answered an ad in an Auto Trader Magazine. The ad said, “Very fast truck for sale.” He drove to see the truck and thought, “It’s just an old ugly truck and it’s not going to do anything.” But his first ride in the truck changed his tune fast!
If you watched last week’s premiere, you know that Farmtruck features a special passenger, a 12-year-old Blue Heeler named Louise. In a piece from Speed TV, Whitley explained, “Ever since she was a little baby, she’s always ridden in the truck. She’s always by my side, she’s always interested in everything that I’m doing. She’d probably hand me wrenches if she could, if she had thumbs.
From the book “Street Sleepers: The Art of the Deceptively Fast Car,” author Tommy Lee Bird wrote of Farmtruck, “There’s something to be said for a sleeper than gains national notoriety, and becomes a household name for car guys. Pretty much every car guy with a TV or an Internet connection has seen or at least heard of Farmtruck, because it’s one of the coolest sleepers on the planet.”
Here’s the clip mentioned above from Speed TV as Whitley runs a 10.7 on the 1/4 mile:
And here’s one more clip of Farmtruck in HD via 1320 (it already has almost a million views):
The show has already caught grief over enthusiasts arguing it’s mostly staged while others take offense that it glorifies something that’s illegal (and dangerous). Whitley’s also got his fair share of folks angry at him for letting Louise ride along.
Here’s one last parting shot of the ol’ gal’s big block engine that Sean installed when he burned out the small block:
Street Outlaws airs Monday nights on Discovery at 10/9c.