Another sector of the market which faces similar problems is the car-based pick-up. Once upon a time, manufacturers loved to subject their hatchbacks to a Frankenstein style metamorphosis into a hybrid hatchback-come-pick-up truck. These 'Hick-Ups' tended to display great practicality, ideal low-loading ride heights and the driver appeal from the model which it butchered. All of the following were inspired by key American designs, including the Chevrolet El Camino and Ford Ranchero.
|Ford P100 Pickup-up|
Volkswagen also had their own variation based on the legendary Mk1 Golf chassis. Originally a design experiment, also featuring an estate version, the US market demanded the pick-up. Once arriving in Europe with the Caddy nameplate, the handy man´s Golf enjoyed undeniable success. Similarly to Ford's P100, the Caddy has enjoyed a fond modifying following and would later become and outright van model.
|Vauxhall VXR8 Maloo|
Past examples need-not just be mundane and utilitarian, for the recently deceased Vauxhall VXR8 Maloo was enough to blow anyone's mind. Based upon General Motors Australian division's Holden HSV Maloo Ute, Vauxhall's import created what became a final hurrah for this entire genre of Hick-Ups and Sick-Ups. No sensible business user could ever justify 425bhp from a thirsty V8 with a £50,000 price tag. Bonkers as it was, the VXR8 Maloo was certainly iconic in Britain - although extremely rare. Indeed Australia too, whereby the shifting of production of the Commodore to China on a front-wheel drive platform forces global extinction of the Holden Ute.
Many will wonder what caused this species to die out. An asteroid? Disease? A great flood? Similarly to the Honest John article from last August, the development in commercial vehicles is squarely to blame. Nowadays, van design has evolved to be on-par with regular no-commercial models. Interior qualities have increased, driver comfort has become more plush and road handling has become safer and infinitely more enjoyable. As Darwin theorised, it's simply survival of the fittest. Hick-ups and Sick-ups were becoming dodos in a world of eagles.
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By Mike Armstrong