It’s an Odd Automotive World We Live In


By: Malcolm Dean

Being a car guy I tend to keep up with all of the new fads and technology. Right now, front grills are gigantic – like Yao Ming gigantic – and they are all the rage.  Cars have come a long way in the options and features department. Most of us get to pick between a few colors, maybe a couple of engine choices and that’s it. Fortunately, for the more creative, there are weirder options or cars created that nobody asked for.

Many designs come directly out of necessity, government rules, ( or trying to get around them) and so on. Take for example the Subaru Brat (  Bi-drive Recreational All-terrain Transporter). Now most don’t know the story behind the rear seats in the bed (hard plastic with handles) as it allowed the “truck” to be categorized as a multi-person vehicle. Yes there still is a chicken tax in the United States, and it taxes small trucks and work vehicles with a 25% tax if they are not built/assembled in the USA.  

Another vehicle that has been sold here since 2010 is the Ford Transit Connect. It’s built in Turkey and shipped here with rear seats. This allows it to be categorized as a passenger van. Ford then removes the rear seats and shreds them.

There are other weird oddities in the automotive world like a convertible 1989 Dodge Dakota pickup truck. How many times have you ever told your buddy “I love my truck but it would be waaaaaay better without a roof?”  Yes indeed, there was a soft-top Dodge Dakota. Needless to say not many were sold and I have yet to see a single one on the street.  

What an odd automotive world we live in.