Much as I am reluctant to use an American term for this vehicle, I think it's probably the closest descriptor I can think of for it!
This is in large part a re-build of my yellow and black "pick up truck", in that the rear suspension, three-speed drive train, and rear and middle parts of the chassis are almost unchanged. However the front end and front suspension are completely different, and the bodywork has been reworked to give it a covered rear. As far as possible, this is as per usual made with parts available in 1994, with a few concessions.
About this creation
Engine bay from above - this vehicle has a V8 engine driven from the rear wheels. Pneumatic tube representing the exhaust enters rear of engine block. Massive gear wheel in front of engine block is part of the steering gear, acting on the Pitman-arm that operates the steering linkages. Steering column passes to right hand side of engine block (top of picture). Bonnet has a bracing arm dampened by a couple of the stiff type of black pegs.
View of interior from right hand side, showing door locking mechanism operated by lever on inside of door which pushes a rod that mates with the underside of a vertical beam behind each seat. Sun visors for the driver and passenger are suspended from the front of the roof.
Shots above close in the front suspension, which consists of independent leading arms. Each arm is linked by a pair of tie rods (one in front and one behind the axle - the front one being above the axle to allow for fact that angle of suspension would lead to ground clearance issues if it was located below the axle). An anti roll bar is fitted which is mounted to the chassis by a set of blue triangular units either side of the engine block, whilst a Panhard rod connects the front of the axle to the chassis to prevent lateral movement of the front axle. The Panhard rod is shorter than I'd like, but it is the longest that could be made to fit in the space available without snagging the front of the tyres on full steering lock.
Steering is via the Pitman-arm system, with the steering linkages situated behind the axle where the effects of the suspension movement have minimal impact enabling its construction without the need for ball joints. Steering wheel turns one and a half turns in each direction (almost three complete turns lock to lock).
The old style grey shock abosrbers are used here, one per each wheel, and as a result of the weight of the vehicle it settles on the suspension a bit (the yellow harder shock absobers are too stiff). i justify this feature by calling it pre-load helping to allow the wheels to drop into dips in the road!
The final shot above shows the ratchet release mechanism of the front winch, which is operated by a small crank on the front face of the nose of the vehicle.
Underside of rear suspension, which is identical to that of the yellow and black pick-up, with the addition of a handbrake mechanism operated by a lever between the seats acting upon a pair of rods that act on a lever in front of each rear wheel - the mechanism does not actually engage with the rear axle however. Rear axle incoporates an anti-roll bar, and a tie bar to prevent the rear wheels from diverging.
Part of the three-speed gear system is shown to left of picture. Also visible is the exhaust pipe slung below the chassis - as there is no room for the pillar-type exhaust stacks used on the pick-up truck.
Vehicle now has a rear body frame, with an opening boot door. Capacity in the rear has been widened relative to that of the pick-up truck by two studs each side.