Lil’ big trucks

Model rigs on bakkie frames

The Witness - Wheels - - TRANSPORT - AL­WYN VILJOEN

IT is not just good bourbon and those two fine mu­sic gen­res, Coun­try and Western, that comes from Nasvhille, Ten­nessee.

For about R204 100 ($ 12 950) you can also or­der a mini truck called Lil Pete that is lov­ingly built to scale from the Lil Big Rig com­pany in Her­mitage.

Its big­ger brother, Lil Kenny, goes for $ 15 950.

Apart from th­ese two “stock” mod­els, Lil Big Trucks will also cus­tom make any rig their clients fancy, at a price.

The go- to man to or­der a scale model truck, Bob Suf­fern, has clearly suf­fered a lot of fools in this dream, which may be why pay­ment is 25% down be­fore they con­sider your or­der.

The cab­ins both of which fit on typ­i­cal big “truck” chas­sis in the States. Note, Amer­ica’s “trucks” are called “pick­ups”, “utes” or “bakkies” in the rest of the world, and their “semis” are called “trucks” else­where.

Like most model cars, fi­bre­glass laid over steel re­in­force- ment is used to shape the main cab and sleeper units. Un­der­neath the dash­board, the ar­chi­tec­ture re­minds of the first Subarus, for its all rec­tan­gu­lar iron­work in there.

While nei­ther Lil Pete or Kenny will get five stars in a Euro NCAP crash test, ( nor any other kit car) the cab does come with seat belt mounts and DOT ap­proved lam­i­nated safety glass. The win­dows are also pow­ered.

It seems the mak­ers, Lil Big Rig have taken a leaf from Ger­man car man­u­fac­tur­ers’ books. Add all the ac­ces­sories — and you re­ally have to if you don’t want a naked truck — and the price quickly rock­ets up too R425 600 for Lil Pete and to $ 20 385 for Lil Kenny. ( Prices valid in 2014 and may rise soon.) Th­ese “ac­ces­sories” range from a chromed front bumper ($ 520) and head­light as­sem­bly ($ 425) to ex­haust stacks and pipes ($ 11 250) and cos­metic side lights for the cab at a rather steep $ 19 each.

The bod­ies are also avail­able in right- hand drive, with im­port taxes and costs ex­cluded from above pric­ing.


A leggy model shows the scale of Lil Kenny and Lil Pete ( right), nei­ther of which stands much higher than a kombi, which means they are dwarfed by the real thing ( below).

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