Home » Who Let The Gipper Drive?: Cold Start

Who Let The Gipper Drive?: Cold Start

Cs Reaganthames

I was as surprised as I like to imagine you are surprised when I noticed that president-during-the-1980s and Jelly Bean/drool-down economics enthusiast Ronald Reagan seems to be driving this 1962 Thames van. I mean, that looks a lot like Ronald Reagan, and the woman in the passenger seat sorta looks like his wife, Nancy Reagan, who famously just said “no” to drugs but an enthusiastic “yes” to astrologers. I’m not really sure who the hell else they’re hauling around in that charming van, or where they’re going, but I think I’m okay with not being involved. I mean, it looks like a hell of a crowd, and I have zero doubt they’re all about to get into some seriously raunchy trouble, but still, I’m okay.

I don’t think Reagan ever owned a Thames van. Feels too British, even despite his famous compatibility with the UK’s Margaret Thatcher.

Reagan did own a Subaru Brat, though:

Reagan Brat

You can see him with his Brat here, which appears to not have the in-bed, rear-facing, handgrip-equipped jump seats, and instead has an open truck bed, which in this picture is holding a large dog, which, based on Reagan’s body language, may be a filthy commie that needs to get out of the truck, stat, pinko puppy.



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20 Responses

  1. People back then were more likely than not to enjoy certain pecadiloes. This was the age of free love and before sexually transmitted diseases. However they were smart enough to keep it secret rather than post it for all to see on the as not yet created by Al Gore Internet.

  2. As popular a mod as cutting them out was, I’m surprised the bed seats weren’t kept in place on Reagan’s Brat for the Secret Service to use.

    Glad to see you (apparently) have power, Jason!

    1. I think he had an early production one, too didn’t he? Seem to remember something about Subaru doing a deal to field test it at Rancho del Cielo to put it through heavy off road use or something. The seats were added as an afterthought for tax loophole purposes, maybe the one he got never had them in the first place?

      1. Although commonly referred to as the “Chicken tax”, it was actually a tariff (or duty) imposed on light trucks from Japan by Pres Johnson, in response to Japanese duties on chicken parts. Because of the way the legal definition of “light truck” was written, adding those removable seats made the Brat a car, instead of a light truck, so the Subi importers didn’t have to pay the 25% tariff.

        1. It had nothing to do with Japan, the trade war over chickens was with Europe.

          The retaliatory tariffs had the VW Transporter in their sights and incomplete vehicles were excluded because at the time the only trucks being imported from Japan were the BOF Datsun pickups which started being brought in as chassis-cabs with the beds imported as separate flatpacks and dockside assembly plants set up in SoCal.

        2. Ford was doing the same thing to sell Transit Connect vans made in Turkey for commercial use. They’d ship them with extra seats that the dealership would remove, getting around the tariff. All they had to do was unbolt the disposable rear seat to turn it back into a cargo van. Uncle Sam didn’t take too kindly to the scheme.

          1. Ford Otosan fully finished Transit Connects as passenger vans, and Ford had a warehouse in Baltimore where they stripped everything out on arrival – seats, carpet, sound deadening insulation, door cards, etc. That was still cheaper than paying the tariff. Also, all that material was thrown in the dumpster, too expensive to try to recycle it or ship it back to Turkiye for reuse

            1. And Ford had the gall to charge extra if you wanted the TC as a wagon! I’m given to understand the ones in Connects meant to reach customers in that form had better-quality interiors but I’ve never seen pics of the “cargo wagons” or other proof.

  3. This would clearly be a Cracker Barrel shaggin’ wagon if some dipshit hadn’t brought the kid along. So now what? Either these aging freaks have to bid adieu to their post-church wife swapping, or that boy is about to see something that will haunt him for the rest of life.

  4. Oh, geez, no need to besmirch George Gipp’s legacy by invoking (& perpetuating) the Gipper association, as seeing how Gipp himself was actually quite antipodean to the “drool-down economics enthusiast.” (Heck, the actor couldn’t even be arsed to replicate Gipp’s signature kick correctly in the film.)
    And Thatcher’s BFF might technically have owned that Brat but he didn’t actually buy it, as it was gifted to him as part of efforts to promote Subaru’s brand in the US.

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