Bring The Tiny Flippin' Cars

Mani Kamali

4 minutes

I want the tiny cars, give me the tiny cars

I'm going to share my little secret: I want a pickup truck. It's my greatest sin, as I also am ontologically opposed to every single pickup truck I see on the road. So what does this mean? Is this a contradiction? Eh...not for me, not really, I don't think. The problem is...the pickup trucks I want are...well, come here, I'll whisper it to you...the trucks I want are illegal! Woah, woah, calm down, I know, I know, what kind of insane, fucked up, evil car are you looking for, Mani? Well...let me tell you, only the most deranged of cars, a car that goes against everything America stands for...let me show you.

A Japanese mini-truck, also known as a Kei truck, parked on a street, significantly smaller than an American pickup, especially a modern one.

I know, I know. It's terrible. Look at how small its wheels are, how low to the ground it is, oh god. You might...actually be able to see a kid before you hit them??? That's awful!

A kid standing in front (and dwarfed by) of a Chevy Silverado 2500 pickup truck with lift kit.

I really am sorry, I don't know what's wrong with me for not wanting to endanger others' lives. I mean, who doesn't want to be an active risk to everyone around them?

"In 2013-16, pickups were 2½ times as likely to be involved in a crash that was fatal for a car or minivan driver than other cars and minivans were."
SUVs no longer pose outsize risk to car occupants, but pickup compatibility lags, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

I mean, we've seen pickup weight consistently rise, compare that picture with this one.

An older truck, lower to the ground, and much lighter, notably actually hauling bricks (being used as a pickup truck).

So uh...yeah, but I'm sure glad you can't get these new anymore, stuck with sub-20mpg old pickups, yay! I'm sure it's because Americans don't want them anymore, that's how the FREE MARKET works, right? Car companies stop selling small cars so people Yeah, no, this has been an active push by the auto industry.

Anyway, I, being the evil person that I am, don't want to be a risk to other people, AND I want to have great gas mileage while doing it. The poor oil and gas industry 🙁. Apparently, those minitrucks can now get up to 58mpg! The same if not more than a Prius, while being significantly cheaper.

So, yeah. If at this point you're thinking "I'm evil too! I want one of these too!" I have bad news. Well, you should've seen this coming from the intro, but...they're illegal (yay!). That is to say, they're kind of illegal. In some states like Texas they're just straight up illegal, in states like Ohio they're classified as Low Speed Vehicles (LSVs). What does that mean? It means, allegedly, that you can't drive them on any roads with posted speed limits higher than 35 miles per hour, which basically means you can't drive them out of the city or in most roads/suburban stroads. I say allegedly because it's not clear whether the municipality you live in needs to explicitly allow this or not, and I would not be surprised if you got harassed by law enforcement if you drove these. Now, let's assume you can drive them, the older minitrucks aren't really guaranteed to go above 50 miles per hour, but 50 miles per hour is a lot higher than 35 miles per hour, and if a bike can go on roads that go up to 45 miles per hour then damn it a minitruck should be able to too. In an unprecedented environmental crisis, it should not be ILLEGAL to drive more environmentally friendly, safer, slower vehicles on the majority of roads in American cities. Because, frankly, I don't want to be in a road with a speed limit above 35 miles per hour anyway, but the environment around me is incredibly hard to navigate on just those slower roads, exactly to force everyone to buy these high profit margin, expensive as shit, giant, terrible cars.

Postscript: someone please make an electric minitruck I'm literally begging I'll pay like actually not that much maybe $20k but please.

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