Sam's Truck

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Sam's Truck

I just don’t believe a big showy lifestyle is appropriate. Why do I drive a pickup truck? What am I supposed to haul my dogs around in, a Rolls Royce?
Sam Walton
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The driver’s side of Sam’s trusty Ford F150. If you look closely, you’ll see the stock of one of his shotguns sticking up.

An “aftermarket” dent in the front bumper.


Quail hunting was one of the reasons Sam and Helen settled in Bentonville. Here, one of Sam’s shotguns and his monogrammed hunting bag rest on the bench seat.

View from the driver’s seat of Sam’s truck. If you zoom in you’ll notice the manual windows and “four-on-the-floor” transmission.

To the average human, this looks like a steering wheel. To Sam’s dogs, it looked like a tasty chew toy.

Sam’s hunting dogs didn’t always ride in the cab. For longer trips, he stowed them in the back carrier, away from the steering wheel.

Though this looks like a simple door handle, thousands of associates come from around the world to gently touch it and receive “the gift of frugality.”

The front of Sam’s truck. Beneath the Ford logo, there’s another signature “aftermarket” dent.

Sam’s truck was the F150 Custom, but don’t let the name fool you. A testament to his frugality, the Custom was the entry level F150.

Sam’s Pickup Truck

In 1979, Sam purchased a Ford F150 Custom Model with a four-speed manual transmission and four-wheel drive. After more than a few aftermarket dents and scrapes, it came to symbolize Sam’s own humble nature and the humility he expected from his executives and associates.

When he went hunting, he’d stow his dogs in the back. When visiting stores, they rode in the cab with him. Usually Ol’ Roy would go into the store with Sam, but sometimes he stayed behind. When left in the truck, Ol’ Roy passed the time with his favorite chew toy – the steering wheel. If you look closely, you can see Ol’ Roy’s chew marks. You’ll also notice the shotgun and hunting bag. Sam was always ready for a hunt.

Sam and Helen pause during a hunt for a picture. Both in waders, Helen often joined Sam in the fields.

 
 
 
 

Legend has it that gently touching the handle of Sam’s favorite truck will confer the gift of frugality. Here we see Stephen Quinn, former EVP and chief marketing officer, Walmart US, demonstrating his commitment to frugality and helping people save money so they can live better.

 
 
 
 

Sam loved his bird dogs and they loved him. Here, one gets some rest on Sam’s shoulder.


 
 
 
 

Sam and three of his dogs ready to go out for a hunt.



 
 
 
 

Sam isn’t feeding Ol’ Roy here, but he is feeding this dog a can of Ol’ Roy brand dog food.


 
 
 
 
   

Always very frugal, Sam preferred driving around town in his pickup to the other vehicles most chairmen of major corporations were accustomed to. Visitors to the Walmart Museum are encouraged to touch the door handle of Sam’s truck - urban legend has it that touching the handle will impart the gift of frugality.

Betty, the museum’s replica truck, sits in front of the 5&10 when not being used for parades, community or company functions, or store openings. Betty was named after Betty Holmes, the woman who drove Sam’s original truck into the gallery for permanent display.

 

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A Hot Wheels® model of Sam’s truck.


Fish hooks, 20-gauge shells, and engraved shotgun shells with #7½ birdshot were among Sam’s hunting and fishing tools.

Sam’s hunting boots were tattered and worn, but they kept his feet warm and dry. As long as they got the job done, there was no reason to replace them.

When Sam pulled his keys from his pocket to start his truck, he was reminded that the first step to success is to “Go for it.”

Sam’s aviator-style sunglasses and the owner’s manual to his pickup truck. In 1979, the owner’s manual was a little simpler and covered a variety of Ford trucks.

One of Sam’s well-used hunting vests.


Sam simply loved to drive a truck, that’s all. During hunting season, he could come home, pick up his dogs, and off he would go. He loved that.
Helen Walton