Lil’ big trucks
Model rigs on bakkie frames
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).