Wednesday, 6 May 2009


The flatback truck is the vehicle of choice for many on this island. These range from that ubiquitous workhouse, the Toyota Hilux to ... err ... ones bigger than Hiluxes but I'm afraid I don't know the names of any other FBTs. "Canter" is one. It may be a Mitsubishi - or is that the "Fuso"? I don't know...

But I digress because the point of this post is to draw attention to how the FBT can be adapted to the carriage of one's staff as well as one's stuff. Thus, the following example which I dubbed the Toyota Hilux Cabriolet:-

Note the exquiste coach work hand crafted from pallets and plastic sheeting.

Now in case anyone thinks I'm taking the mick (moi?), absolutely not because this Toyota belongs to my neighbour Vitor who's a very handy guy and who, if he's got a job on in a neighbouring village and it's been a bit rainy of late, would think nothing of knocking this up to keep the chaps dry en route. (More to the point, he probably got one of the chaps to knock it up for him - and if that's not good management, I don't know what is).

The reason I'm so impressed is that I'm a soft handed townie who can barely change a lightbulb so converting a Hilux to a cabriolet looks to me like one of these TV show challenges or executive weekends where you get a couple of pallets, a roll of plastic sheeting and off you go. I'm sure my attempt would wobble ignominiously to a collapse as the Hilux took it's first corner. So if I ever achieved a Hilux cabriolet of such sturdyness (is that a word?), I would want to preserve it for ever but what does Vitor do? He calmly dismantles it when the rainy spell finishes ... I was like that!

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