1972 Austin Mini Pickup

1972 Austin Mini PickupWith its simple exterior, boxy frame and appropriately proportioned lines, the Austin Mini is easily one of the cutest cars ever produced. When it comes to cars, we’re much more interested in the functional than we are the cute, which is why this 1972 Austin Mini Pickup conversion checks all our boxes. It retrains all the diminutive character of the original while still being outfitted with a pickup bed that makes it much more than your average grocery getter. When you combine that functional upgrade with the whole host of technical upgrades you have a recipe for a daily driver that’s much more than what you bargained for. 1,275 cc four-cylinder engine with dual SU carburetors mated to a four-speed manual transmission. Dual Talbot-style mirrors. Wood-slat pickup bed. Mountney steering wheel. Clarion radio. Blaupunkt speakers. Hidden glovebox with Sunpro Super Tach II. This tiny vehicle has it all and then some. This 1972 Austin Mini Pickup will roll across the auction block in Indiana as part of RM Sotheby’s Elkhart Collection auction at the beginning of May.

Source: 1972 Austin Mini Pickup | Cool Material

Lazareth Mini Moke V8M SUV

The Mini Moke is quintessentially British transportation. Tiny and simple with a front-wheel-drive, doorless design, the Moke was originally designed for the military but its lack of ground clearance sent it to the public instead. The ute shared its engine and front-wheel-drive configuration with the legendary Mini, and around 15,000 were made between 1964 and 1968. And then Lazareth got a hold of one. Known for wild motorcycles like the quad-wheel, V8-powered LM847, Lazareth thought a similar approach was needed for their Moke. This ended with a 460 horsepower Maserati V8 being stuffed in the engine bay, and roll bars and 17-inch aluminum wheels to try and tame the power. Watch the result here, or, if you’re truly brave, Lazareth is selling the one-off project.

Source: Lazareth Mini Moke V8M SUV | Uncrate

Bring on the MINI EVs – Citroen Ami

Citroën is inventing 100% electric mobility for all with ami, an ultra-compact, agile, protective, colourful urban mobility object that is accessible from the age of 14 (in France). A solution that is not limited to the object and brings major advantages that go beyond the automotive context: very competitive “à la carte” offers targeted towards specific uses, a 100% online journey and innovative distribution methods.


  • 100% ELECTRIC: zero CO2 emissions for the benefit of all and access to all city centres, with an easy, silent and smooth drive. A battery that charges in just 3 hours from a standard electrical socket, like a smartphone.
  • COMPACT AND AGILE: an ultra-compact 2.41m size and 7.20m turning diameter, making city travel and parking simple.
  • COMFORTABLE AND PROTECTIVE: small on the outside and large on the inside, Ami enables 2 people to travel side by side comfortably, with an enclosed and heated passenger compartment, very bright, yet protected from the outside.
  • ASSERTIVE AND CUSTOMISABLE IDENTITY: its original style, the play on symmetrical structure and its unique presence give Ami a unique character. Its customisation possibilities invite to play with different appearances thanks to the 6 coloured accessory packs available.

Source: Citroën.com, the International website of Citroën

Kat’s Run – Basically Mario Kart with Kei Cars

Box art for Kat’s Run

This game looks awesome. Continuing with the Kei car theme, I came across this super famicom/nintendo game that I really want to play. The cars are all kei cars, the graphics is pure super famicom pixelated goodness.

I really want to find a copy of this game so I can have a go and see how it plays. I have read lots of p reviews, but a lot of them were from kei car fans, so I don’t know if it is a good game, or just good game contents/art.

Kei Truck Mini Gardens

Recently I have been getting way into kei cars, kei vans and kei trucks. I used to love cars, and always wanted to have a drift car of my own. Then I realised that it was prohibitively expensive to do that in Australia, so I turned my attention to Remote Control drift cars. Then I went to art school and had no money for a very long time, and my love of cars was all but forgotten.

Recently, I have had the time, money and energy to get back into cars. I got a Nissan Cube3, a rad little Japanese minivan, which isnt classes as a kei car, but by Australian standards is a very small car.

So, with my newfound enthusiasm for cars, I have been looking into Kei Cars. Kei Cars, short for keijidōsha, literally translates to Light Car. Since the middle of the 20th century, kei cars have had small engine restrictions, currently limited to 660cc, equivalent of a mid ranged motorbike. They are often very simple, small and cheap, and also attract much lower taxes and registration fees. There are kei cars, kei vans ( my current favourite, more on that at a later date) and Kei Trucks.

Whilst doing some research into kei vans and trucks, I came across the Japan Federation of Landscape Contractors who just happen to host a yearly garden competition. A competition where the garden has to fit into the bed of a Kei Truck.

This contest is apparently held every year, and while I couldn’t find much details on it, I am super happy it exists. From what I understand, none of these installations are permanent and are made only for the competition, but the amount of effort these various landscaping companies go through is amazing.

I love kei vans and trucks, and enough to attend the launch of Chris Loutfy’s Zine – Small & Mighty, which was held out the side of his 1980s Suzuki Carry Van. Super appropriate as the zine features photos of all sorts of small and mighty kei vans and trucks.

Get Small And Mighty here

And of course, the JFLC also has a mascot called Niwa-Maru

Kei Truck Photos via Spoon & Tamago