David Warnock’s truck is getting noticed on the streets of Baltimore. And it’s not for its current top speed of 35 miles per hour.
Dubbed by its owner as the “Turnaround Truck,” the vehicle – featured prominently in Warnock’s television ads - has become a symbol of his campaign for Baltimore mayor. He says it became a symbol by accident.
“I wanted to make sure that people understood the person that I was,” says Warnock. “That I wasn’t some business person that was just waltzing into Baltimore and had an attitude that they were entitled to something because they’ve been successful.”
The truck is a 1982 Chevrolet S-10 compact pick-up truck with a manual transmission, but no A/C and no power steering. It does have a radio; unfortunately it’s AM only. He would not be able to hear WYPR on it.
Warnock bought the truck with help from his dad after completing his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin. It was the truck that he brought to Baltimore and drove primarily for seven years.
Much like the “Wheel of Misfortune” board game at the Inner Harbor and his recent bus ride with an East Baltimore resident, Warnock is using the truck as a conversation starter to talk about city problems and his ideas for fixing them.
Warnock was a little known business man when he entered the mayor’s race in November. But after a blitz of television ads, he has placed third in the latest Baltimore Sun-University of Baltimore poll behind former Mayor Sheila Dixon and state Senator Catherine Pugh.
The truck is also easy to spot. Dory Ford instantly recognizing it when Warnock pulled up during a recent spin around the city.
“WOW! This is beautiful,” she remarked.
Ford put her motorized wheelchair in position so she could get a picture with Warnock and the truck. She wasn’t the only one who wanted a picture.
While Warnock was driving along West 28th Street in Remington, a vehicle drove alongside the truck so someone could take a picture. Warnock says its “amazing” how many people know his truck.
“I’d be driving by and people honk at me,” he says. “[They] want their picture with the truck; it’s just amazing.”