THE HUM­BLE UTIL­ITY VE­HI­CLE, UTE, OR

New Zealand LCV - - TOP 5 - LCV

truck, de­pend­ing on the global mar­ket, was de­signed as a work­horse. But with its twodoor cabin and work-or-play styling, it’s evolved into more than that, and not just a life­style ve­hi­cle, but one that ap­peals to all cul­tures, ages and gen­ders. And with that kind of ver­sa­til­ity and wide de­mo­graphic comes pop­u­lar­ity and mar­ket­ing ap­peal, on top of pub­lic af­fec­tion, so we’ve listed our top five most fa­mous utes, from scale and pro­mo­tional mod­els to TV and movie stars.

5 SSANGY­ONG V8 UTE NZ

No, we don’t mean the one-make se­ries based on the stan­dard Ac­tyon, but a one­off built by Great Lakes Mo­tor Dis­trib­u­tors Di­rec­tor Deon Cooper. Ba­si­cally an NZ V8 Su­per Tourer, the Ssangy­ong V8 racer runs a 7.0-litre V8 pro­duc­ing more than 400kw through a se­quen­tial six-sped gear­box and 18-inch slicks. The V8 ute is still a semi-reg­u­lar at the track and com­petes in En­durance Cham­pi­onships.

4 TAMIYA SUBARU BRAT

In­flu­enc­ing a whole gen­er­a­tion of ute buy­ers in a dif­fer­ent way and a dif­fer­ent size, gi­ant Ja­panese model-maker Tamiya first pro­duced the 1/10th ra­dio-con­trol Brat (aka Brumby) in 1983, based on the 1970s Subaru ute. With elec­tric rear-wheel drive and four-wheel in­de­pen­dent sus­pen­sion, the Brat of­fered fan­tas­tic de­tail not just in the body, but also a driver fig­ure. Rugged wheels and tyres all around fin­ished off one of the RC icons of the 1980s, which was backed up by the Mud Blaster ‘mon­ster truck’ Brat in 1989, and even a re-re­lease of the orig­i­nal Brat in 2007.

3 RED BULL MI­NIS

An icon of the 2000s, Red Bull com­mis­sioned a run of these Mini Coop­ers around the world, for sam­pling, which con­verted a Mini Cooper into a to­tally func­tional ute - in an en­tirely dif­fer­ent way. Red Bull cre­ated a tray, and on it mounted a large Red Bull can… which did noth­ing, prac­ti­cally. The in­su­lated bin was mounted in the ‘tray’ and filled with ice, for Red Bull sam­pling. Be­ing the mar­ket­ing smar­ties Red Bull is, it was no co­in­ci­dence that the ve­hi­cles were only ever driven by Uni-aged girls whose ap­pear­ance was ‘rather ap­peal­ing’.

2 BACK TO THE FU­TURE SR5

Marty Mcfly’s dream ve­hi­cle wasn’t a DMC De Lorean, but a 1985 Toy­ota SR5 4x4 Xtra Cab. It shifted Amer­ica’s view that a non-amer­i­can ‘im­port’ truck could be cool, and though in 1985 the rest of the world prob­a­bly wasn’t that into them, at least Toy­ota NZ could nod a know­ing glance, given its Hilux was num­ber one at the time.

1 TOP GEAR HILUX

The most en­dur­ing and en­dear­ing truck “in the world” (read in Jeremy Clark­son voice) has to be a cer­tain red 1988 Toy­ota Hilux fea­tured by BBC’S Top Gear. Mar­keted as ‘un­break­able’, it was smashed into a tree, left in the sea, hit with a wreck­ing ball, set on fire and dropped from the top of a de­mol­ished build­ing. And with noth­ing but ba­sic hand tools and a bat­tery, still started and drove, earn­ing it­self fame and re­tire­ment within the halls of the Top Gear hangar stu­dio.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.