The 4-wheeled scooter hauler
Did you know there’s a Ford Ranger Scooter Club? Its members are (Were? The page doesn’t appear to have been updated recently.) enthusiastic about scooters and Ford Rangers, described on their MySpace page as “the perfect 4-wheeled vehicle, the Ford Ranger is the culmination of decades of Detroit engineering prowess.” O-kay.
The Ranger is the last compact pickup truck standing, and it will be gone at the end of the 2011 model year. Its rivals from Chevrolet, Toyota and even Nissan, which invented the category in the early 1960s, grew in size and price. A good scooter hauler, as the picture shows.
However, I beg to differ about whether it’s the best. At the 2008 Chicago Auto Show, Ford introduced the Transit Connect to North America.
Vehicles of this type are as numerous in Europe as pickup trucks are in the U.S. and Canada. You can learn more about it at Ford’s vehicle Web site. Unfortunately, it isn’t available with the diesel engine that typically powers Euro versions, but the 2.0-liter petrol lump should have no problem hauling a scooter or two. And it’s definitely got enough room to be a home away from home on those out-of-town rallies.
A cheaper alternative might be the Volkswagen Rabbit pickup.
It was built in VW’s now-closed Westmoreland, Penn. assembly plant from 1979 to 1982. You still see a lot of them in and around Seattle and Portland. And Bellingham.
Its most compelling features are a low (really low, cuz it’s front-wheel drive) bed floor, and the available diesel engine. I think the diesel put out about 48 hp, but it’s one of those industrial-grade lumps that will run just about forever. You could fuel it with biodiesel, if you must. But even with the gas engine, it would be an economical commuter/hauler without a scooter in the back.
But you know me. I’d rather ride to rallies.