The Infamous New York City Trar

The Infamous New York City Trar
Image: Jalopnik

Today’s car companies love to tout ideas of modular platform, where you could stick any kind of body on one mechanical chassis. Allow me reintroduce the trar. It’s a truck frame with a car body on top of it. Not a revolution, but a joy.

(Welcome back to Carspotting! We’re back with The Worst Walking Tour of New York City, headed by me, a hack who is barely qualified to tell you how to get to the Empire State Building from here. We’re out to find the best cars of the Big Apple. We shot a handful of episodes before New York City really started to shut down under coronavirus, and a putting them out now.)

The idea of a trar is simple: you have a trusty pickup truck that runs and drives, but the body is rusted or busted to hell. Rather than stick another truck body on the frame, just lift the body of any old car (usually a muscle car, why not) and jam it on top. It works, it’s a joke, it makes a kind of sense

It was a long time until I saw a trar in person. I’d always seen classifieds listings of them down in the South, but never did I spot one growing up in my NorCal college town. And never did I expect to see one in Brooklyn until I passed this famous green “˜70s Mini on top of what I would guess is a Chevy S-10 frame parked on the street in Gowanus. I never thought I’d see a trar made out of a Mini and not a Firebird, even. There’s something over-the-top about it, even for a trar.