Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Taiwan: Little Blue Trucks

Spend any amount of time in Taiwan and you'll notice the ever-present little blue trucks. Or, as my friend Keith likes to call 'em, "LBTs". The LBTs are constantly buzzing around like hornets and are generally filled with the raw materials to feed the Taiwanese manufacturing machine.

LBTs for sale in Taichung. I'll take the little guy second from the right.

LBTs run in size from micro "Kei"-size trucks with cabovers like the Mitsubishi Canter being on the larger end of the spectrum.

LBTs can also be used to transport human cargo, military-style. I caught this Canter with a lift gate in Taipei hauling what appear to be food service workers.
My favorite of the LBTs is the Toyota Z-Ace. These are marginally larger than a mid-size US car and would probably meet the needs of 99% of non-commercial owners of full-size trucks in the US. How perfect, small, maneuverable, fuel-efficient 4-banger and simple and likely reliable. Plus it has 1000x more charm than a Camry, Corolla or any Toyota model of the last ten years. Plus they kind of remind me of Land Cruisers of the 70s and 80s.
Sadly I didn't get around to snapping a pic of one on the Taiwan streets, this is from the innerwebs.

Being a fan of die cast cars, Subarus and now LBTs, I picked one up for myself at the Taichung airport. A Japanese Takara Tomy Subaru Sambar Noodls* Truck.
Not quite the right shade of blue, but good enough for my office.


*Not a typo (on my part anyway), that's how it's spelled on the box.

2 comments:

Torreyho said...

I like to think that "LBT" stands for Low Back Tattoo (tramp stamp), but I guess Little Blue Truck works as well.

Doubledrumlin said...

I once asked one of my Taiwanese friends why so many of the trucks were blue. He looked at me like I had asked why water was wet. Then he said "that's the color people like". OK. Simple enough.