Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Drive, Ignore or Burn: der Lastwagen versus Torakku

By K2 Mystery Car -- In this installment of Drive, Ignore or Burn, we’re highlighting two car-based pick ‘em-ups. Whether you choose to drive, ignore or set aflame these interesting and/or repulsive vehicles is up to you. Make your feelings known in the comments!

Our first victim, I mean contestant is a 1983 VW Diesel Rabbit found here on eBay that’s been converted into a mini-truck. It features gorgeous green paint and a fabric sunroof. Here is the seller’s description:

1983 VW truck custom build, air ride suspension, Shaved door handles with electric door poppers, stretched to 12' wheel base, used as many VW parts as possible, for that reason if anything needed replaced it was easily available. As seen in 2 of the pictures both strut towers have been raised by 2 1/2" and reinforced as to give the truck a lower resting position when all air is out of the air struts. 
Sliding rag top, custom built tilt forward hood hinges, custom built rear bead cover, all metal, not plastic or vinyl, new carpet, recovered VW seats, new door panels made out of thin plastic and then covered with matching fabric. New Euro bumper up front, custom roll pan on the rear. Inside bed has been finished on the floor with a 1x1 frame work as to cover the air lines, and then covered with black speaker box material. The fuel cell is 8 gallon, moved that to the bed to make room for the 4 link suspension and air bags. 
When building this truck there was square tubing and boxed tubing used in any cavity as to reinforce the structure, all windows are VW, no special cut glass. There are some things that need to be finished, there is not a currently working stereo, head unit is in and I do have some other stereo equipment that will go with. 
The battery has been moved to bed as to help clean up the engine compartment some. The fuel gauge is not hooked up. I'm sure there are some other small things that I haven't thought of. This truck does run and drive. This truck was not built for SPEED or PERFORMANCE, built just because I could. Thanks for checking it out. Serious inquires only PLEASE.

The seller also states that the “wiper motor needs mounted, rain tray needs finished off”. The mighty 1.5L diesel engine has approximately 123,456 miles on it, which just sounds made up (look at me, I can count my numbers!). Were they too busy to go out and check or is that another thing that’s been disconnected for a long while? It’s also too bad that we didn’t get any shots of the dash and the manual transmission. Like a Chevrolet SSR, this truck will haul nothing but groceries.

Do you drive it, ignore it or burn it to the ground!?!

Our second patient, ahem, candidate is a 1985 Dodge Colt found here on eBay that’s had a hatchdectomy. This seller is much less wordy in their description and it appears that the pictures were taken with a smartphone on a hot, humid summer day (aka they’re blurry or my eyes are getting worse).

Cute custom made Colt pickup, professionally done several years ago. It shows very well at 10 feet. Up close there are the normal minor flaws one would expect for a car of this age. The mileage is correct at 58,372. Since the customization, the car has always been stored in the winters. It has never been driven in the snow. Please contact me if you need more pictures of have any questions. Car is located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and has a clear title.

They also add that there’s “No rust, in great condition. Interior shows some sign of age and wear but very good for a 30 year old car.” This car also has a road-burning 1.5L four-banger, this time gasoline-powered and though the description wishes it was a manual transmission, it’s clearly an automatic. At least the bed actually looks like it could haul something (albeit a very light load) and the wood trimmed bed with wooden bows for the cover looks nice, if completely out of place. The vehicle title is listed as “Rebuilt, Rebuildable & Reconstructed” even though the seller claims otherwise. Would you drive it, ignore it or burn it to the ground!?!

See another custom-built car-based truck that will get El Jefe as excited as a discussion of fruit?


  1. These are the cars/trucks that I like to see at car gatherings or see them cruising on the street.
    It's all about the owner's vision, workmanship, and follow through. This even if it isn't a path I would pick.

    The owner's vision can vary widely. Sometimes it is visual, sometimes it's enhanced performance, and many times it is what evolved due to what vehicles & components were on hand. I like understanding how they made it and with what constraints. Many times the biggest constraint is money. Low cost solutions can be as interesting as some massive dollar builds.

    Now if I wanted to be a critic, both vehicles are a fail because they are pick-ups with FWD.
    Did you ever see a rear loaded FWD vehicle turn on a wet road or try to pull a boat up a wet boat ramp.
    Total fail and unsafe. At the local boat ramp I see FWD mini-van fail on a regular basis.
    There is a reason pick-ups are not FWD and why VW had to discontinue their early FWD pick-up creation in markets with litigation.

    1. If they were in my possession...

      With 58,xxxx miles I would drive the Colt-a-amino as my daily beater car. It's a great 50 footer that would look good zipping down the Detroit x-ways at 75 mph. Dye the tonneau black, blackwood dye the wood, and swap out the wheels to make it a 20 footer. It might be interesting as the jet-ski tow car. Throw the gas containers, oil, and beach stuff in the back and go!

      I would take the Dub-a-mino to "Euro Hangar" in Holland, Michigan for all to enjoy.
      Then sell it to buy moaaarr Miata go faster stuff.

  2. The VW guy should have used a 4 door Rabbit. He'd find it much more marketable given today's pickup truck preferences.

    1. Yes -- a 4-door rabbit crewcabamino would be the perfect daily driver for SoCal. I would buy 2.

      Me, I'd burn the Colt, drive the VeeDub, and ignore the haters.

    2. Ignoring the haters is always the way to go, no doubt!

  3. Interesting point, G. And the same could be said of the Dodge-Mitsubishi. So you'd ignore the VW?

    1. I'd be interested in the VW if the builder showed up at C&C, not so much the Dog-Mitsu. I wouldn't drive either, but I wouldn't burn either. There are worse things people can waste their time on...

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. I didn't answer your question directly. Put me down as 'ignore' for both.

    4. A solid vote for a double ignore!

  4. Why is it so hard for people to close the hood properly before taking a picture?

  5. I think i would buy them both, if i had dough lying around. The vw would get the old s10 chassis/sbc or lsx swap, and the colt would get either a built turbo k or an srt4. And then id be divorced and would probably have to sell one.

  6. A long long time ago in Georgia, way up in North Georgia, the only thing to do on weekends if you were a certain age was to drive 30-40 minutes to Gainesville, and cruise up and down the strip in front of the mall. If you had wealthy parents, who could and would buy you an I-ROC Z or a Five-Oh Mustang (bonus if it was convertible) or even a Beretta, you could pull tang. On the other end of the spectrum were the guys who were into mini trucks with extremely loud stereos. There would be dozens and dozens of custom mini trucks there. I assume parents funded these, too, because I was washing dishes 5 nights a week through High School and could barely afford a Dyno GT freestyle bicycle.

    But my dad did have a 1977 Corvette. And he did let me pay him for a 1979 Black Pontiac Grand Prix. I was doing better than two of my best friends who did not have cars (yet), but no matter how good looking and polite and pleasant and conversational we were (as best you can be driving 7 mph with every other car), we never pulled tang into the Grand Prix. Never. Not once. Ever.

    Mini truck guys would have girls gathered around them in the parking lot. The Mustang and I-ROC guys never had anything to worry about (as long as they had teeth).

    The Grand Prix rode alone, full of sausage, no bun.

    On rare occasions (if I washed and waxed it and polished the wheels) Dad would let me take the 77 Corvette to go cruising. Shane would have to almost immediately get out of the car and into some other girl's car because girls wanted to ride in the Corvette. Always.

    We were simple people I guess.

    Point of the story? I hate mini trucks still to this day. Burn them both.

    1. Burn burn! Burn these vehicles to the ground!

      Ha ha..."tang"...

    2. But the girls like the cars that go boom!


    3. And the guys like girls that ARE boom.

  7. Replies
    1. Yeah, I wonder how many point-turns that requires now.

  8. It'd be cool to crest a hill in the v-dub (providing it can go up hill) have it get hung up, crush the exhaust pipe and fuel lines, and have it burn from that.

  9. It'd be cool to crest a hill in the v-dub (providing it can go up hill) have it get hung up, crush the exhaust pipe and fuel lines, and have it burn from that.

    1. Ha ha! That would be awesome. Bring the s'mores!


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