Summer = Utility

Cars Culture

About this time of year, with the back-to-back bank holidays and the blossom hanging heavy on the boughs, even the most committed drivers among us begin to think of the beauty of sports utility.

Despite the partly justified bad press that the four wheel drive behemoths known as SUVs have received of late, there remains a strong argument for their use. Especially if that use is actually for that which they were designed.

Just look at this mutant wagon (above). Woodied up and loaded down with all the add-ons known to man. It’s undoubtedly stylish and even cool in an ironic kind of way. Aerodynamics, we think, may have been affected by the lifeboat tackle and the BBQ extension. Pure King of the Hill.

And look, then, at one of our favourite pieces of beautifully boxy utility from American company International Harvester. IH was one of those companies that was founded in the protean energy of turn of the century America, and remains one of the venerated founding fathers of the American motor trade. The gorgeous little Scout (above) was their mainstay and has been credited with sparking the original SUV revolution. When kept pristine and preserved in its original state, the simplicity and no nonsense fun of the car shines through.

Even more brawny, rare and desireable is, though, IH’s Travelall. If you can find one this side of the pond it’ll be a miracle. But, what better than a Travelall to tick of your neighbour and the teeth-sucking environmentalists than to load this baby up and take it camping for the weekend. Just better make it a local campsite, lest the fuel bill cost as much as a flight to the Carribean.

But if you needed convincing that these domesticated agriculturals are worthy of note, just take a couple of minutes to look at the video from one of the original US dealers. We would certainly buy a car from this man.