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Celebrity Drive: ‘Duck Dynasty’ Star Willie Robertson

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/15/2015 K.S. Wang

Quick Stats : Willie Robertson, “Duck Dynasty” star and CEO of Duck Commander
Daily Driver : 2014 Ford F-150 (Willie’s rating: 10 on a scale of 1 to 10)
Other cars : see below
Favorite road trip : Louisiana to Alabama
Car he learned to drive in : 1985 Chevy Custom
First car bought : 1984 Ford Mustang

Willie Robertson loves his new truck -- a 2014 Ford F-150 -- and viewers see it on the new season of A&E’s top-rated show “Duck Dynasty,” which began last month.

So far Robertson gives it a perfect 10. “I’ve had it since January, and I just love it. It’s a great truck. I like the way it drives,” he says. “It’s new. I got it with a partner of mine. They build out trucks. What they do is they put these trucks together, build them, and they display them for a year, all around the country. It’s built as a show truck and then I get it after that.”

The F-150 was hand painted in Texas, where several of Robertson’s other trucks were painted as well. “This one’s kind of like tree bark,” he says. “It almost looks reptilian, which is why I like it. It’s all hand done, and I always panic I’m going to get into an accident because I think trying to fix it would be difficult, with it being hand painted.”

Robertson likes the way the F-150 runs, and he also likes that it’s a practical ride. “It’s got a lot of pickup, which I like, and it’s really spacious too, …” he says. Robertson is especially fond of the gun storage container. “It’s called a ‘truck vault.’ You can lock it up, and it pulls out like a long drawer. But I’ve got all kinds of stuff in there, stuff that I need.

He’s looking forward to packing it up and getting into the woods. “I can put ammo, guns, and extra clothes, and I can have it secure when I’m driving around. And then, once you get out of hunting mode, all my hunting stuff comes out of it.”

Robertson also has a 2014 Chevy Silverado 1500 completely covered with black Line-X, the spray-on bedliner. The Silverado was shown at SEMA and then offered as a limited-edition trim.

Having two trucks gives Robertson options. “If I’m going somewhere that I know I’m going to scratch the heck out of it, then I’ll take the one that’s been Line-Xed out. It’s got the bed open -- I don’t have the truck vault on it -- so if I need a deeper bed for something I need to carry, then I can use that one as well.”

While the F-150 (pictured at top) will be seen for the first time on “Duck Dynasty” this season, the Chevy has gotten plenty of airtime. “They rolled it with toilet paper; that was on TV,” he says, adding that his new Ford is the focus of another prank this season. “They do something to my truck that’ll be pretty interesting. I don’t want to say what it is, but by the end of the show it’s funny when you see the truck.”

Robertson also has what he calls a “duckoflaged” 2007 BMW Z4. “It’s like a duck camouflage, “ he says. “We use it in festivals, and I’ve loaned it out to people to drive around. It’s just a fun little car.”

He got permission from A&E to use the pattern they use on the show. “I got a guy that wrapped it for me, and it’s funny. Now when I drive down the street in that, it really causes a stir,” he says. “Although my kids like to drive it as well. If my friends come in from out of town and they don’t have a vehicle, I put them in that. It’s my loaner car.”

Since Robertson’s trucks turn heads -- and in turn gives away his TV-star identity -- he has another car to keep things low key as well. “It’s my incognito car,” he says, laughing. “I’m not even going to tell you what it is, because I don’t want anybody to know what it is.”

The only thing Robertson would say about his incognito car is that he bought it about a year ago. “A lot of people would come over into town, which is great. We love it,” he says. “But there were just some times that I needed to kind of pull into the office without everybody knowing that I was pulling into the office.”

Car he learned to drive in

Robertson learned to drive, as he says, “down in the country” in West Munroe, Louisiana, in a 1985 Chevy Custom. “We had a Chevrolet, a 1985 model with that column shift. So we had three on a tree. That’s how I learned to drive with a column shift. Then Jase totaled that one, and we lost that one. Shoot, we were driving at 13, 14. I don’t know if it was legal.”

Robertson recalls being a very green driver in ninth grade when he tried to visit his girlfriend at her home. He missed the turn and got the car stuck on a hill. “I stayed on that hill for about two hours before I finally gave it enough gas, because it kept stalling, and I ended up going home,” he remembers. “I didn’t even see her because of my curfew, and I missed the whole thing because I couldn’t figure out how to get up that hill in first gear.”

First car bought

Robertson bought a 1984 Ford Mustang for $1,000 when he was a senior in high school. “It wasn’t the cool one. It was the ugly one,” he says. “It was bright orange with a white top. It was hideous looking with white leather seats and had about 200,000 miles on it.” He was able to buy it by pawning his baseball card collection with his girlfriend’s father. “He gave me the money, and he told me when I got the money back, I could buy back the cards again.”

He bought the car, but then he and his girlfriend broke up. “She told him that I couldn’t buy the baseball cards back,” he says. “She was not happy.”

Robertson also worked at a carpentry shop in high school, and that helped pay for the car as well. “I sanded cabinets and cleaned out the shop,” he says. “That’s what I did to make money.”

He remembers the Mustang’s rear speakers vividly. “The whole back seat was a speaker,” he says, laughing. The speaker took up so much space, he recalls, the car was functional only as a two-seater.

Robertson made a lot of memories in the Mustang. “I ran around everywhere, and I was proud of it, but I was glad to rid of it and finally get in a truck.” His first truck? A Jeep Comanche. “That was my upgrade. It was used, but it was newer.”

Favorite road trip

“When Korie and I were dating,” he says about his wife, “we went to Gulf Shores, Alabama. She had a Nissan 240SX, and it was really fancy.” He drove it and ended up getting a speeding ticket on the way down and one on the way back home. “I dropped about $800 on one trip just with the speeding tickets.”

He got both speeding tickets in Mississippi. The first police officer actually confiscated Robertson’s driver’s license. “When I got stopped coming back home and he asked for my driver’s license, I said, ‘You have to call whatever that sheriff’s department is up the road, because they took it the first time coming down.” The officer told Robertson would get his license back once he pays his fines. “I guess that was a way in Mississippi of making sure they got the money.”

He and wife Korie tied the knot a few months after that, and they continue to vacation in Gulf Shores Alabama. “Still go. Twenty-five years in a row we went. They call it the Red Neck Riviera.”

Season 8 of “Duck Dynasty” on A&E

The new season of “Duck Dynasty” is now in full swing, the family is already filming the next season.

“We’ve incorporated some more stuff that’s going on,” Robertson says. “It’s kind of getting bigger now. Like I’ve got a restaurant now. It’s great. Still funny. (My oldest son) John Luke’s getting married, so we’re going to film an episode about that.”

Robertson’s daughter Sadie was on “Dancing with the Stars” last year, and she finished in second place. “She’s on the show a lot,” he says, “and she’s back home and filming. So good to have her back.”

Prior to their hit reality show, the family business -- Duck Commander -- has been selling duck calls, for which Robertson is its CEO. Robertson says in 2013 they sold more duck calls than ever, due to the success of the show.

“Once the show came out,” he says, “I think we sold more duck calls than there were duck hunters. So I think a lot of people are buying them now just like having a little piece of this, not exactly to go hunting with.”

“Duck Dynasty” airs Wednesdays at 9:30 p.m. on A&E.

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Willie Robertson And His Ford F 150© Provided by MotorTrend Willie Robertson And His Ford F 150
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