Originally intended to document my experience of DeLorean ownership, focus is often radical and strange, boring and obtuse.

Saturday, June 01, 2013

Honda Acty, The Best Truck Ever

Honda Acty microtruck is even smaller than my Honda Insight!

The Honda Acty is the best truck ever built. Why? Because it's dangerous. And danger means excitement!

A friend of our family imported a fleet of Honda Actys for his business, which requires drivers to sit on the right-hand side of the vehicle. My dad brought the fleet back for him, this one with the cutest baby crane you ever saw! Unfortunately, none of the fleet were Acty Dumps (quite possibly the best name for a truck ever).

In North America the Acty is out of place. It's a Kei class truck, built to meet the requirements of the Japanese government as they combat their crowded roadways and polluted air. In Tokyo (and probably other cities) you must have a registered parking space before you're allowed to own a vehicle. However, the Kei class vehicles let you around that rule because of their tininess.

Right hand drive is boring for postal workers, but exciting for regular shmoes like me.Kei class vehicles are built to specific, itsy-bitsy dimensions with a maximum engine size of 660 cc. This 3-cylinder engine has a top speed of 110 kph, which means it's legal on Ontario's 400 series highways. However, after bouncing around on city streets at breakneck speeds of 60 kph, that idea utterly frightens me.

With a mere 1 inch of metal separating me from the world, the Acty was like driving a skateboard. Manoeuvrability is astonishing, but concentration is important. Almost everything is reversed from what we are used to. At first I used the wipers to signal my turns and grabbed the door when I wanted to shift. Strange how the brain works.

If you want some excitement in your life but skydiving, blind dates and volunteering for medical experiments scare you a bit too much, find a Japanese micro truck and take it around the block. If you're not smiling as you fumble around with the shifter and signals, go back inside. You are destined for a boring life.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Michael Manning said...

Hi Martini: What a fascinating post! Just today, I told a friend that Honda views itself primarily as an engine building company. I love their reliability and, of course, John DeLorean liked the Acura NSX he owned. As you know, we don't have this model here in the U.S.

10:51:00 PM

 
Blogger Martini said...

I believe most people in N.A. would have seen these trucks on resorts in places like the Dominican Republic. They are fairly common work vehicles.

9:45:00 PM

 
Anonymous Dan said...

I loved those little trucks! We saw them all over the place when we lived in Sapporo. I don't think they were as dangerous as the "Death Mobiles", aka ambulances, based on a very narrow mini-van chassis with a very high centre of gravity. They'd drive around at about 50km/h, with their sirens and lights going, because if they went any faster, they'd probably roll...

8:54:00 PM

 
Blogger Martini said...

These probably aren't in danger of tipping, but any accident above 40 kph would endanger your life! What a great experience, living in Japan. I am going to visit... someday!

12:23:00 AM

 
Blogger Jay said...

Best opening paragraph ever! Love this post - felt like I actually learned something while reading about your life! So awesome to see you around again!

4:55:00 PM

 
Blogger Martini said...

Ha, thx! I am struggling to find time and things of interest to post about. But, I suppose that's the norm for many of us.

10:23:00 PM

 

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