Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Close Encounters with a pickup of the Third Kind

Here in Oklahoma, the land where pick'em up trucks are described as Super Duty's, Quad-Cabs, Hemi's, and Silverado's, and wordy coded numbers such as XLT 450, Ram 2500, and 3500HD are bandied about during early morning farmer/rancher coffee talk, my youthful hippy cousin and her Nova Scotian hubby caused quite a stir when they recently rolled into town for a visit driving this wonder of Japanese mini-truck invention...

It's a Honda ACTY

Yes, it's street/highway legal...in Canada.

Here in the States, you apparently can't get one tagged for street use. However, if you happen to be driving from British Columbia to Nova Scotia via the United State's highway system visiting friends and relatives along the way, then it's perfectly legal - even though the young couple reported multiple curious law enforcement road dawg tailgaters who followed them for several miles while calling into their watch commander, obviously inquiring as to the legality of said vehicle on the road.

With all of 45 hp and a top speed of 60 mph, my cousin commented that seeing the USA super-mega-interstate-highway system at a good 15 - 25 mph below the rate of speed at which the other vehicles are clicking by at, can be unnerving at best, life-threatening at worst.

Still, they reported that they've been the subject of more than one camera phone drive-by snapshots, that their fellow interstaters (for the most part) have been courteous and patient as they puttered along, and not one pick-up truck full of rambunctious young'uns has hassled them about their steering wheel being on the "wrong" side.

I suggested they find and jump on as much of Route 66 as they could on their next leg of the journey, since they were leaving us and heading up to my cousins's hometown of Indianapolis for a visit with Mom and Dad. Would be a much more relaxing drive as their relatively moderate speed limit would be a welcomed entity on the aging Mother Road.

I'm thinking that there are still plenty of modern conveniences along the way to fulfill their petrol and roadside fruit/vegetable stand requirements as well.

BTW, a quick check of this website revealed that the prices for these used Honda truckettes are pretty reasonable (starting around $800US). Course, you have to get it here and only drive it off-road. But with a 350kg load capacity (about 700 lbs.), it'd be enough to haul around a Chevy engine block and a set of cast iron heads.

And wouldn't it be fun to show up at the next Monster Truck Ralley/Mud Bog in one of these gems?

Okay, maybe not.

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