I have a 2007 Scion XB that fits an upright base, amp and several guitars very well. Fold the passenger seat flat and the interior is quite large. Also these are very affordable cars that do have a young hipster appeal that may be great for your son.
My friend Rick, who plays bass with Pearl Django, swears by his Ford Taurus wagon for hauling his bass, etc. He even got it fixed after an accident, because he couldn’t find anything better.
I have a Subaru legacy wagon, which the bass and amp fit fine in. My good friend in the symphony has a Forester, and one of his students comes with his bass in a Prius(believe it or not). Now the perfect vehicle for the entire P.A., double bass cocktail kit, two humans and an occasional dog, is the Honda element sans back seats.
An expedient solution with be to get a pickup with a canopy on the back and put a lot of padding in the bed. If he doesn’t like it, tell that’s the way it is. Otherwise he can carry the base to where he has to play and see if he likes that choice. Your paying for it, you decide what he gets. Tell him if he wants otherwise, he can raise the money and pay for it himself!!!
Back during our garage band days, we used to haul all our equipment in an old Toyota pickup with a shell. We even slept in back on top of our gear when we didn’t feel like driving in the wee hours of the morning. Now, many moons later, our bassist drives a Honda Element. It has neat fold away seats and a low deck. Red and black looks sharp.
I’ve been a professional bassist in Dallas/Fort Worth for the past ten year. I play all styles–jazz, country, rock, you name it. Playing the upright bass has made me pretty marketable, and all told I load that sucker into my car an average of six days a week.
You can fit an upright bass into almost any car (with enough monkeying around), but with as often as your son will be loading and unloading it he’ll need something easy to get the bass in and out of.
After driving a series of “soccer mom” style minivans I’ve finally found the ULTIMATE upright-bass-mobile. It’s got TONS of room for an upright bass (and amps and music stands and whatever else you need), gets good gas mileage, and is pretty hip and snazzy to boot. I’m speaking, of course, of the Honda Element.
Take out the two back seats entirely. The bass will slide in the back with the headstock ending up on the removable cooler between the two front seats. The space behind the passenger seat has enough room to hold pretty much any amp you’d ever need. I put my music stand the passenger seat. And I’ve even got room behind the driver’s seat for emergency equipment–important stuff like extra cables, clothes pins for outdoor gigs, extension cord, drumsticks, and so on.
In my experience over the past ten years the Honda Element is the ultimate bass player’s car–as is evidenced by the growing number of bassists I personally know who drive one!
As a professional musician myself, I’ve found my Honda Fit (2007) is an exceptional bass-mobile. During my last engagement, I found myself with the following inventory in the car:
3/4 upright bass
150 watt amplifier
CC tuba (bare, no case)
2 cu. ft box o’ junk (cables, tools, etc)
The upright bass fits nicely in the car with the narrow side of the back seat down and the passenger seat folded back. However, I would test it out before you commit as a larger bass may not fit as well (yes, I brought my bass to the car lot).
I don’t know any other bass players who get 32 mpg.
Is it just me, or does this bass player seemed a bit too spoiled? Nothing a couple of dope slaps won’t fix.
Go electric I say, save your back! Or consider and electric upright or just a smaller model of bass and a bag that is fit correctly. I’ve put a 3/4 in my RX-8 before so with enough planning, you could make things work in most cars.