The itty bitty trucks are here

It’s happened. A place in Hooksett NH is selling brand new itty-bitty import trucks with oriental names, right hand drive, speedos in Kph, and three cylinder engines. $6,500 for a 2wd pickup (45 mpg, top speedo reading 140 Kph) and $7,500 for a 4-seat, 4-door, 4wd, version with a truncated bed. I looked at them this morning. They’re cute!

Those of us who went overseas many years back will have our memories jogged. I did. They’re exactly the vehicles we saw zipping around congested cities among the carts and the bicycles.

theyve been in the states for like 3 years now. made by yamaha, or subaru and others like that. most have ATV tires put on and go out hunting, or for agricultural use.

really neat, but not road legal (yet)

These are. Fully inspected and registered, with plates, just to prove to potential buyers that they’re legal. These are not the ATV vehicles you’re alluding to.

They’ve been in my area (Gulf Coast) for two to three years now, street legal. I’ve mostly seen them used as parking lot security vehicles, but I do see some on the interstate too.

Cool. I’m not sure I’d have the courage to take one on the interstate, but they’d be great for local use.

Do They Come With Casket Handles For The Pallbearers?

Anybody needing to be so thrifty as to sacrifice their own safety would be wise to consider one. Money saved by emergency workers (no Jaws of Life necessary) and funeral directors (Graveyard Ready Vehicle) would add to the savings.

Put flotation tires on one and use it at the golf course.


While I’d be the first to admit that there’s not much to them. they do have to meet federal requirements. That includes sideguard door beams, airbags,headrests, and countless other safety features.

Where they compromise is in comfort, luxury, and performance. They’re bare-bones. No fancy trim, really crude seats, no frills, probably very little noise insulation, little wheels and tires, weeny engines, one big windshield wiper, things like that. And it’s obvious that very little was spent on styling. They probably never even built a concept vehicle.

I like them. It provides an affordable option for those that really are cash strapped and only need local transportation.

CSA, you can be such a mother hen sometimes. You make it sound as though you would live in a bubble if you could. Are your cars hermetically sealed out to keep out the H1N1 virus?

Will someone please post a picture?
Not a picture per se, but a link to them.
They really are a neat utility vehicle and come with so many different options, you’d be hard pressed to NOT want one for in town driving, or home use if you have a decent sized yard/driveway.
Dump bed, snow plow, treads, heat(standard), optional A/C, even a scissor jack hunter’s stand. Local guy has one, but I haven’t seen him ride it aroudn town, even though he said he’s had it out on the highway(not interstate/freeway) and was able to make it to 60 mph I believe he said.

Yup, that’s one of them.

Whitey, I’m Not Afraid Of A Little Pig Flu. Bring It On. However . . .

. . . let me tell you a little story. When I was younger I often did “Hey, watch this!” things, involving sharp objects and jumping off of picnic tables, etcetera. I have raced down mountains on skiis at a speed at which I had little control and I’ve done “stunts” in aircraft. I did the indefinitely extended “carry the front wheel” on dirt bikes thing, once going over the handle bars into “frog water”, raced off-road dune buggies, had a cherry bomb “go off” inside my car once (long story), Boones Farm, normal testosterone powered things, etcetera.

I’ve owned seven motorcycles, the last of which was parked in my garage 22 years ago. It’s still there. I quit riding that black 77’ CB750K when my wife was expecting my first of two children. Things change. I lived for myself and now I am protective of my family. Besides that, I have to assume my bones are becoming more brittle.

I want my kids to have a chance to grow up and be productive, independent adults. It seems to be working. They are both doing well in their studies and in sports and in their social lives, and they have jobs. I would be a jerk to let something stupid slow them down. So, I am going to continue to put safety first when it comes to cars and after that I’ll worry about MPG or carbon footprints.

You see, It’s not me I’m concerned with (except that I need to be here in order to pull this off), it’s for the people that I am responsible for. Who knows, maybe in another 8 years I’ll get that bike out and fire it up.


“Where they compromise is in comfort, luxury, and performance. They’re bare-bones. No fancy trim, really crude seats, no frills, probably very little noise insulation, little wheels and tires, weeny engines…”

Sounds like the '75 Civic I once owned!

They almost certainly do not meet federal safety standards and as far as the feds are concerned they are not road legal. The only reason they can be legally imported into this country is because they claim they’re going to be used as OHV’s and some states will register them even though this is contrary to federal law.

Note the many disclaimers on this site:

Especially the one that says:
Off road use only in the United States, though some states do allow these to be licensed for on-road use we import and sell these with the intent that they be used for off-road purposes only.

Gee, CSA, I though you were just having a little fun at the minituck’s expense.

Those look pretty cool. They don’t look any more dangerous than many commercial trucks made by Mitsubishi and Mercedes.

Be aware that the pictures make them look larger than they actually are. I wish there were people next to them to provide some sense of proportion.

I respect your point, CSA, but I have to say that it bothers me somewhat to live under such government control that we don’t ourselves have the choice. These should be available without the restrictor plates to those who want them.

My first car was a '61 Beetle. If we’d had such overbearing regulations back then Beetles would not have been available to us. Millions of us would probably not have had cars. A better regulatory approach would have been (IMHO) to mandate the information that needed to be available to the consuming public and let the buyers decide.

My intent of the post was not to debate how overbearing the feds have become. My intent was to simply make others aware that the market has a new niche player.

As to carbon footprints, “cap and trade” legislation has shown how rediculous that concept is. And, as I’ve said before, as long as tractor-trailers are free to spew out the unfathomable volumes of pollution that they do I’ll not bother worrying about my itty-bitty carbon footprint.

Freedom to choose. What a beautiful idea. I wish we still were. Give my regards to Nader.

Be aware that the pictures make them look larger than they actually are. I wish there were people next to them to provide some sense of proportion.

Agreed. It’s barely wide enough for 2 adults and the steering column rests right between the driver’s legs. You can get the extended/double cab for a little more legroom though, but you compromise the bed space(aren’t most normal trucks like this though?).
I’m 5’10" and the roof is about shoulder level

TSM, I Totally Agree That We Live Under Too Much Government Control And That Our Choices Are Restricted.

I don’t have a problem with anybody choosing to drive these mini trucks on the roads, they’re just not for me. I wouldn’t mind having one for off-road use.
However, I already have too many “toys”.


I checked out the “Buckeyeminitruck” link and while they do look practical the copy said over and over again they are for “off road” use. In many countries they are all over the roads. I have seen them in Jamacia, Hong Kong, and they are popular in developing countries.

The trucks on the link aren’t up to standards to be licensed, at least not in Ohio. Perhaps in some states they are legal and can be titled and registered. I’m sure they could do a lot of work and be very practical, but safety is never going to be a strong point.