Looking at that picture of that three-wheeled truck up there, all the usual visual cues of what you likely understand about vehicles tells you that this should be some tiny thing. Some little Japanese three-wheeled truck. And, you’d be 2/3 correct – it’s Japanese, it’s a truck, but it’s not little. At all. That bed is 11 feet long! This thing is a beast! And yet it’s still a three-wheeler? What kind of madness is this?
Let’s look at this thing again:
Those are some big-ass logs those two guys are considering shoving in the back of this thing! And look at this – that’s a Toyota 2000GT in the bed of this one that was being auctioned off in Japan a few years back:
Aw, crap, wait, that’s a picture of a 1/32 -scale model. Still, the proportions are right. That’s like two levels of screwing with our sense of scale now!
The Real T2000 was a genuinely big beast, especially for Japan. The under-seat-mounted four-cylinder two-liter engine (there was a 1500 version, too) made 81 horsepower, and could make 65 mph. They built these between about 1962 and 1972, and the reason they used the weird three-wheel configuration wasn’t for a shockingly tight turning circle or enhanced maneuverability – though both of those were true – but because Japan has tax laws that gave breaks to three-wheelers, apparently without any restrictions on size.
Here’s some videos of shorter=bed versions, so you can get a sense of the scale:
I bet these are bonkers to drive. I’d love to try.
I saw one of these in person (with a shorter bed maybe… I can’t recall) at the last JDM car show in Long Beach. It was impressive in its sheer oddity. 🙂 My fave at that show was a Honda Acty kei pickup in a beautiful shade of blue.
I took some photos but of course can’t find them now per usual. Plus, is it even possible to embed pix in a post? I dunno.
“Aw, crap, wait, that’s a picture of a 1/32 -scale model. Still, the proportions are right. That’s like two levels of screwing with our sense of scale now!”
While it’s not related to sense of scale, another level of screwing with perception with that diorama is with all that iron oxide all over that Toyota 2000GT. Most if not all 2000GTs were aluminum-bodied though people were already producing replicas with steel bodywork in the 70s and 80s so that model could be seen as representing a vintage replica, hence the incongruously rusty 2000GT.
I’m pretty sure I saw quite gigantic three-wheelers frequently while in Beijing about ten years ago. Kinda like this thing here, which is over 4m long and has a 2.3 m x 1.5 m bed (more than F150 SuperCrew!), but even bigger.
Dont they have a bunch of weird and interesting machines! The one that amuses/amazes me most are the general purpose farm engines with built in headlight. They’d use them for everything, from stationary engines (where they look bizarre with the light) to walk-behind handle barred two-wheeled tractors.Then in that tractor form they’d use them for pulling massive trailers.
This is why Tax Avoidance > Tax Evasion
I don’t say evasion, I say avoision.
I’ll bet if you had asked American car designers back then to come up with a competitor to the Reliant Regent, you’d have gotten basically this, except maybe with a V8 and air conditioning.
A v8 making 67 HP and giving you 13 mpg unloaded.
It’s funny to think that’s a Mazda. I saw the picture and immediately thought, did Piaggio make a school bus for India?
You really should have flagged the pic of the 2000GT on the back of the T2000 as NSFW Autopian porn.
They could stack three or four of them behind the rear axle and do wheelies all over town.
It’s interesting to see the evolution here. This model has a simple and straightforward design, but the predecessor – the T1000 – had a hyperalloy combat chassis.
I see what you did there…
If anyone ever says they’ve got a basic work truck, I’m going to show them a picture of this and mock them for having luxuries like four whole wheels.
Anybody else notice it looks like a full floater rear axle?
A: I would not be driving this on a bridge. B: How does braking work? C: Balancing your load properly must be really important.
Don’t drive this, Jason. Death can only be cheated so many times.
I feel like he used 6 of his 9 lives with those chainsaw shenanigans.
Those must have amazing payload capacity! I couldn’t find any actual specs, but this BAT listing says the 3 meter bed version is rated at over 4000 lbs payload: https://bringatrailer.com/2014/05/20/2-ton-rated-1968-mazda-t2000-trike/
With the high carrying capacity, and superb maneuverability, that’s the perfect farm truck.
A lot of roads around farms are just two worn ruts with a grass strip between them. This truck would require an entirely new central rut.
Yup, I’ve worked on farms and I don’t think it would be an issue. I was thinking of it more for use in the fields and orchards and such, though. This would be boss for driving through rows of trees picking up fruit, or for loading square bales of hay, etc.
Gives an excuse to finally get around to re-grading those roads, the diff on the old C10 can only take so many hits on that one rock out in the back section before Junior finally busts it open.
Central Rut would be a good band name.
2 metric tons (2000kg); that’s what “2トン” means.
I wondered if it was a tax-related design, like Japan’s sub 2.0 liter V6s that were (still are?) made to avoid a tax penalty based on engine displacement. Engineers are like the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park. They will find a way.
Says so right in the article.
Edit: missed the past tense at the beginning there, but Japan really did create some wild cars to work around taxes.