A truck is normally thought of as a proletarian vehicle, something primarily used for work. But it is true that Arnold Schwarzenegger, the 65 year old Austrian-born Hollywood star and ex-politician, has left a certain iconic legacy by driving (and smashing) a number of trucks in his movies. In both the Terminator films he drives, crashes and blows up a variety of eighteen-wheeler trucks, to the delight of any audience who loves a good explosion.
It seems that Schwarzenegger has decided to bring his icons into real life, by purchasing a monster truck of his own, a Mercedes Benz Unimog. It is not the type of thing that any average consumer could emulate, since the vehicle came at more than $250,000 (for a measure of comparison, that’s about fifteen times the price of the recently released fashionable city car Citroën DS3).
Sources have been quiet on whether this sum covers only the cost of the car, or whether it also accounts for the special modifications executed on it by the Mertec automobile company. Apparently the original model was too big for the streets of Los Angeles, and it had to be shrunk accordingly.
Schwarzenegger was spotted driving his truck through the streets of the Californian city, and the commotion was genuine. People stopped to look (barring those behind him who could not catch up with his driving!), took pictures, and on one occasion almost assaulted the vehicle: one young lady leapt onto the truck and hung off the front railings. Later Schwarzenegger was seen walking out of the car and briefly blending in with his admirers.
The truck is, as we mentioned, a Mercedes-Benz Unimog, a rather particular vehicle that is very popular with the military (not only in the United States). Apparently, it is best suited for extreme situations, like driving in the desert or in the jungle, or facing fires and fire-fights, or driving in other generally extreme conditions. What the aging star means to do with it in Los Angeles is anyone’s guess, though actors have been known to sport expensive caprices (Elvis Presley once took an inter-statal flight on his private jet to get a special type of peanut-butter sandwich).
It is not, of course, the type of vehicle that is particularly useful to the community. In other words, it is beautiful and flashy, but it should not overshadow the truly important feature of common trucks – and that is security. Trucks are usually driven for long hours on a variety of terrains. Current trends in the development of trucks tend to emphasise the safety and security of the people driving. Caprices or not, the people always come first – and this is what we must always remember, when dealing with trucks or with any other type of vehicle. If Schwarzenegger doesn’t know this already, then he will learn it soon – as we all know, after all, he’ll be back.