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GM's newest pickup costs $9,000 and turns into a flatbed But you can't buy one in the U.S.

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VW, Corvair yup.

I think Dodge and Ford made pickup versions on their cab over engine vans too? 

That type of bed requires a “flatbed” design over the wheels so the deck is higher than a pickup.

A course the low tailgate usefulness feature is long gone from today’s pickup trucks with their 6ft “standard” beds and chin high sides - 



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I built/customized/restored over 50 Hot VWs including all the models Squarebacks, Notchbacks, Things, about 30 hot VWs including Convertible beetles and Karmann Ghias, one 68 bus and 8 WEstphalia popup campers. I did the first camper while stationed at the AF Academy 1978-81. Later the water cooled 1995 VW Eurovan with a Wasserboxer we got while stationed in Germany for skiing after our Subaru wagon, then an Isuzu Trooper with the anemic engine, then the Eurovan while there. 


"By the time members of Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions morphed into the Warlocks and then started playing in the band known as the the Grateful Dead in 1965, those commercial VW vehicles were becoming rare. Kombis and Westphalia campers were as popular as ever, but VW was scaling back on its commercial vehicle sales in the United States. That’s because in the early 1960s, to protect their domestic farmers, France and Germany enacted tariffs on chickens imported from the United States. At the time, Volkswagens were some of the more visible German imports in the States so in late 1963, President Lyndon Johnson retaliated with tariffs on brandy to get back at the French and on light commercial vehicles to get back at the Germans. Also, the UAW lobbied for the so-called “Chicken Tax” as a way of reducing competition with trucks made by their members. Within a year, VW commercial vehicle sales in the U.S. dropped by two-thirds. By the end of the decade, VW stopped importing non-passenger Type 2s entirely."

Source: https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/07/short-strange-truck-air-cooled-vw-pickups/

It was the only imported to the US VW I never owned because they were scarce as Hen's teeth and high as a cat's back.

I started out with my 1963 Corvair Monza Standard that was my first customizing victim. It was great too. I never went above the 1835cc jugs because any more and heat became an issue reducing the life of the build. That was in the 80s for my VWs

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I owned several VW bugs, buses, and one Type 3 Squareback, back in the late 60's and early 70's. My last one was a '68 Westfalia camper that I bought with a blown engine. Since I had a wrecked '67 Corvair 500 with a good 95 HP engine behind a PowerGlide automatic in my parts yard, with the help of a fire wrench and spark box I transplanted it into the Westy. We camped with it for several years until our twins got too big for the four of us to be comfortable in it any longer.

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On 3/22/2021 at 5:35 PM, NamMedevac 70 said:

GM's newest pickup costs $9,000 and turns into a flatbed But you can't buy one in the U.S.................


As someone that bought ONE GM truck and then had long discussions with GM, your still out 9,000 dollars.

On a serious note, pickup beds were designed for farmers and ranchers to haul manure.

As a forester, for 50 years, I have never hauled manure in one of my trucks.

Most of the time, they were just useless, and really a good SUV was much better as a work truck.

Later in my career, I got my dream job and needed to haul motorcycles, snowmobiles, bicycles, in a pick-up bed designed for hauling manure.  That didn't work very well.

In my personal life, kayaks, canoes, fly-fishing boats, bicycles, telescopes, and towing all sorts of stuff from large 5th wheels to small trailers.  A place to house all the "accessories" would be very helpful.

The concept of a truck bed needs a serious rethink.  I would buy a flat-bed, and then have a custom "bed" installed that allowed me to haul all my toys!!

Really folks, manure is just a fancy word for....

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9 hours ago, Jaydrvr said:

As one from a long line of farmers, I can't remember ever seeing or knowing of someone hauling manure in a pickup bed.

My reaction was exactly the same. What they were designed to haul on farms was grain and there was a time that there was even an optional truck bed called a grain box. That version had the wheel wells outside of the side walls to allow for shoveling grain out more easily. By the mid 50's the name was changed to step side.



These were popular into the 1980's, but were available until around 2000. But I never saw a version with sides that let down.

2 hours ago, bruce t said:

Very common in Australia. Simple trays with drop down rear and sides.

Google bocar.com.au. (sorry I can't post a link. Bocar is just one of hundreds on offer. Just the first one I found. You can buy any variation direct from the new car dealer). 


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We have had a pickup truck of one sort or another since the late 1970's, and have hauled all manner of things, including manure. When we had a huge vegetable garden, we would take our pickup to nearby farms, or even the large animal vet in town and load it full of manure. We then took it home and either composted it or tilled it directly into the garden. So now you know of at least one person who has hauled manure in their pickup!

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I’ve worked with and owned pickups many moons. 

I have 2 compact Ranger fleetside pickups, a flatbed single wheel 4x4 won ton, and a Kenworth dually  flatbed in the fleet at the moment. Don’t get all a flutter if I sold the whole works I might get a new pickup off the lot without kicking in too much cash. 

Fleetside pickup trucks look nice. Low small ones like a Ranger are handy as a shirt pocket. 

Fleetside pickup boxes mass produced & installed at the factory are much less expensive than flatbeds and  “trays” with drop sides. 

In snow country they can provide work for rust repair shops as they rot on young trucks above the rear wheels. Even in 2021.

You can carry all kinds of heavy stuff in a pickup box without anyone knowing you have not secured the load. 

Garbage and empty drink containers stay relatively put in the box of a pickup.

A pickup box gives people somewhere to drop their trash as they walk by. 

Bed sides conceal that flimsy RV spec 5th wheel hitch.

Pickup boxes allow slide in campers to be built with less space and smaller tanks.

Why are the wheel houses so high and in the way in a pickup bed?

Why do people come up to me and say my Sooper Duty Flatbed Ford Fordor is “cool”? Super useful yes. “Cool”? From certain angles it looks like it was hit with a ugly stick...

But the absolute number 1 reason to have a flatbed is: you can walk up to it with your bbq grocery bag in one hand, and your cold beers in the other, and set one package right there on the deck while you use that free hand to open the cab door. 

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1 hour ago, noteven said:

................. Low small ones like a Ranger are handy as a shirt pocket. 

I had a Datsun 1600 truck and it was real useful due to the low truck bed.  Sorry I sold it after 15 years.

The current 1-ton Dodge Ram truck is pretty much worthless for hauling stuff around.  I did buy a boat hook to yank and remove items from the truck bed without having to climb into the stupid thing.

My daughter was putting on a concert and needed to move a small sound stage.  She wanted to borrow the Ram truck and I said, no you want to borrow the Honda Pilot, which takes a sheet of plywood and is low enough to easily get stuff in and out. 

The 2004 Pilot fit the entire sound stage in one trip.  She now calls it the BEAST.

It is better than any pickup I have owned for backroads travel.  The only thing Honda did wrong was it is impossible to put chains on it easily.  The new Pilot's are worthless, however. 

When I bought my RAM it was 3,000 dollars for the worthless truck bed.  I almost did buy a flatbed, but on short notice I had a hard time finding a custom bed design I liked.  Next time I will shop for the truck bed first, and buy the truck later!!!


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4 hours ago, noteven said:

You can carry all kinds of heavy stuff in a pickup box without anyone knowing you have not secured the load. 

Heavy being the important word there. I once ran over a plastic gas can that flew out of the bed of a pickup truck. But I didn't know what I hit so, when I smelled gas, I got far away from my own vehicle. Fortunately the driver of the pickup came back and got the can so I knew I was safe to drive on.


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Bruce T I have seen photos of your Aussie trucks that are everywhere in the outback.  Neat looking trucks and wish they were available in USA as an additional option to choose from.  Cheers.

Idiot actor Mel Gibson said in a movie  "Being a Nut Case pays well"   He should know.

Edited by NamMedevac 70
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