I know the types of pickup trucks in our world is varied and dazzling, but I have a sort of taxonomic question. It has to do with a quite uncommon sort of what we often think of as a truck, but a truck that started life as a sedan or station wagon, and only became a truck because that sedan’s trunk has been modified a bit to be open and, ideally, have a tailgate. But not always. I guess this is a truck? Or is it a sedan with an open bed? The vehicle that got me thinking about this is the double-cab Toyota Crown pickup.
I think these were actually built from the station wagon variants of the crown, but the shape and proportion given to them becomes extremely sedan-like. It really feels like a sedan with an open bed and a tailgate, ideal for, as you can see up top, cramming full of marble busts, making it an ideal car for those monthly bust-benders you find yourself on.
Toyota kept this basic design going with the Corona, as you can see in this video here:
These are amazing, right? It’s not exactly a ute, which I tend to think of as a single cab, it’s not really a double-cab pickup, but it’s some blurry mix of those and sedans. In a lot of ways, they’re kind of an ideal do-anything vehicle.
The only other one of these that comes quickly to mind is the Chilean (and Argentinian) variant of the Citroën 2CV, called the Citroneta:
As you can see there, the Citroneta was basically a 2CV re-bodied from the C-pillar back to be a sort of notchback design, with the spare tire mounted at the rear, Continental-style. They sometimes came with trunk lids, as you see in that ad up there, but very often they didn’t have the trunk lid, leaving an open bed, like what you see here:
This is similar to the Crown/Corona in that it has a modified body – it actually looks like there were two-and four-door versions of these as well, with the ad showing a four door, and the video there a two door. From what I can tell, the two-door versions seem to be the “truck” ones, and the four-doors the sedan. The open-bed one was targeted at farmers and other traditional truck-buying markets.
So, these are trucks, right? Or is an open-trunk sedan a thing? Should it be? Maybe I should just embrace the blurriness.
In the lead photo it appears that the art thief has been busted.
Another example is the Brazilian vw saveiro. Basically a VW fox wagon with the back half opened up.
At what point does a truck become a sedan? Does it cease to be a truck/ute/pickup/seduck once it has a trunk lid? That Citroneta has me wondering whether those lids people stick on their trucks magically convert them into sedans.
– “What do you drive?”
– “Well, I used to have a truck but now I have an F-150 sedan”
On a completely different subject: Elgin Park LIVES.
Yeah! That kid is pretty awesome. Here’s a good segment my local news channel did on him a while back. He even purposely “rusts” (touches up) some of the models for that aged look. Kids these days.
Australia has provided the answer. This is a ute. It’s been a ute for decades. How is this even a question?
Don’t you have Lawrence from Dubbo post on here? And David spent a lifetime in Australia one winter?
It’s a ute.
It’s a ute, and yes, in Australia 4-door utes were definitely factory-available for many years.
For example the GM-Holden offering was the Crewman:
You can’t just drop mic’s like that.
Yes. I’d agree it’s more of a Ute being car based, but anything with an open bed fits under the category of pickup in a broad sense. I’d say you should come up with some rules for a pickup Genus/Species/Sub Species thing but there are a lot of pickups out there that really blur the lines.
I mean there’s a tailgate, so how does this differ from the Subaru Baja? Station wagon given a truck bed. I consider it a truck, just a very small one. I would also allow ute for it though.
When it’s a Toyopet, then it’s referred to as a cute.
So it’s an El Camino that doesn’t come from the factory with a Kansas tape stuck in the 8 track and a back full of crushed Labatts cans.
“Ask your husband today to buy one for you”.
The empowering charm of vintage marketing speak.
I mean, most of the pickup trucks you see on American roads today are being used as sedans with an open trunk. The designs above were way ahead of the times. You’d have a hard time selling them in the US today though since they can’t give off the impression of being work vehicles while shuttling the kids to sportsball and hauling a couple of grocery bags.
Yup, this is a crew cab short bed all day long. It just doesn’t have the Canyonero proportions of the modern ones.
MTX (Metalex) made four-door pickup conversions of the Skoda Forman wagon back in the 1990s. These were built in pretty small numbers except for a few sizable orders for Syria, where taxes favored these contraptions. A large number of the ones sold in Syria were then converted back into sedans by owners who didn’t want utes. Very confusing cars.
Nissan/Datsun had several of these over the years that they called “Utility” and added U before the model name of the same model pickup… e.g. U620 was the utility version of a Datsun 620 truck, U720 was the 720 pickup, etc.
Is that a still frame from a crappy Japanese heist movie where the Asian Ocean’s Eleven team is stealing some paintings and plaster busts? Or are they simply spiriting their valuables out of the city before the next Godzilla attack? Because from the documentaries I’ve seen, Godzilla attacked with frightening regularity back in the day.
Is A Sedan Without A Trunk Lid A Truck? is an important question, but the real question is “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” The answer to the former question is that it’s an El Camino.
El Camino, El El Camino
The front is like a car
The back is like a truck
The front is where you drive
The back is where you… OHHHH!
El Camino, El El Camino
Obviously that’s a Seduck.
A Seduck sounds like it could be a sedan-truck or perhaps a seductive duck…
All ducks think they’re seductive.
Oh, man, gonna get into the truck/ute/pickup debate again, huh?
I’d call this a ute. It feels more carlike than a traditional pickup. I’m not going into all the BoF or capability stuff.
Let’s compromise and call it a ute pickup truck. Should piss most people off.
I think Red China built knockoffs of the W123 with a similar arrangement, I believe they considered them light trucks, but they were also built on a truck chassis.
On the old Beijing Jeep chassis, like a lot of other things built at the time. They made knockoff 1980s Toyota Crowns, too.
Nissan had a simlar ute in the very early-70s, the Datsun U620.
(searches Japanese auction sites for ‘Toyota Blackwood’)
So, a 2WD Subaru Baja without the off-road pretensions?
This post is written form the uniquely North American concept of “it’s not a REAL pickup unless it’s an enormous body-on-frame TRUCK”. Heck, there are still plenty of Americans who don’t think a Ridgeline or Maverick is a truck.
But in most of the rest of the world, if it has an open bed, it’s a pickup. Full stop.
“. . . it’s a pickup. Period.“
These are definitely utes. A car body with a truck bed.
Mostly they have two doors, but I don’t see why that would be a requirement.
I believe these are called coupes now.
Coupe… or Utility Coupe Pickup: