At $2,500, Could This 2008 SsangYong Actyon Roller Turn You Into a Lover of Korean Shortbeds?

Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or Crack PipeIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The ad for today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe SsangYong says it was imported without a drivetrain with the intention of turning it into an electric car. That’s a crazy plan, but not half as crazy as the Ssangyong itself. Let’s see how crazy it’s price might be as well.

Toyota’s RAV4 is the company’s best selling product in the U.S., having eclipsed the sales of the Corolla and Camry sedans in our crossover-crazy country. Admittedly, the latest RAV4 does have a lot going for it.


The same apparently can’t be said for its old school antecedents. Just last Friday we looked at a first generation RAV4; one that came with double sunroofs, a tidy three-door body, and even a five-speed manual transmission. None of those elements is available on the current hot-selling edition.

That wasn’t enough though to make it worth its $7,500 asking, and the ‘Toyota Collector’-selling little 4X4 fell in a stunning 82 percent Crack Pipe loss.

How crazy are you? I mean, you’re here reading this so I know you’re all a little nuts. I’m asking because, I have to say, no matter how nuts you might be—and that could include thinking the comedian Carrot Top is hot—there’s no way you’re as zany as whomever thought it was a brilliant idea to bring this motor-less 2008 SsangYong Actyon into the States with the plan to convert it to electric power.


I mean, why wouldn’t you just pickup a decent Honda Ridgeline and try and AC/DC it? At least the Honda would be legal and already meet all the Federal nanny standards. With the SsangYong, who knows what the hell might go on?

Now, you might have some other, perhaps more pressing questions. Those are probably along the lines of ‘what the hell is a SsangYong Actyon?’ and, ‘who stole the requisite consonants in its name?’


SsanYong is perhaps not the best known of South Korea’s car makers. That’s likely owed to the limited success it has enjoyed even in its home country, as well as the multiple bankruptcies and takeovers the various car-building entities has experienced over the years. It’s hard to establish a rep when your name keeps changing from Ha Dong-hwan and DongBang to Hadonghwan, Dong-A and eventually to SsangYong. I will say that in English, DongBang Motor Company is one kick-ass name.


As Hadonghwan, the company began producing Jeeps under license and other commercial trucks in the early ‘60s, primarily for the U.S. Military stationed in South Korea. A few mergers and name switches followed that inauspicious beginning.

The SsangYong name arrived in the 1980s when the SsangYong Business Group bought the Dong-A holdings out of bankruptcy. Shortly thereafter they bought another bankrupt car builder, Great Britain’s Panther Westwinds.


It was under SsangYong’s ownership that Panther debuted the phenomenal Solo mid-engine sports car. Sadly, that never received enough development cash to become, as the Marines say, all that it could be.


SsangYong at the time was too busy working with Germany’s Daimler-Benz in developing an AWD tall wagon for the then burgeoning global SUV market. That resulted in the Mercedes-powered Musso which was sold under the three-pointed star in certain markets.

The Musso would eventually be joined by the Actyon, an SUV and four-door pickup that apparently was designed at the Braille Institute. The oddly styled Sport Utility Truck, or SUT was chosen by a Southern California company—Phoenix Motorcars—to be the base for a full-on electric commercial vehicle. The company is still around today, although the Actyon electrification plans did not seem to pan out for them. Still, I’m pretty sure that’s where this “brand new” 2008 Actyon came from.


The car has never been registered or titled, but does come with a bill of sale from a Government auction. According to its ad, it’s so new that it literally has zero miles. That of course, is because it also has zero drivetrain.


The space where the longitudinally mounted VGT turbo diesel four and automatic transmission would have resided is now just a great big hole. The rest of the truck seems complete, and the seats still have the protective plastic from the factory covering them.


What could you do with this weird-ass SsangYong? Well, not much. Seeing as it’s less than 25-years old, it’s not eligible for the U.S.’s import rules. The engine that it was originally intended to carry is also not available here so you’d need to fabricate an entire drivetrain setup and mounts should you want to go ICE and play that game.


No, the better route is to do what Phoenix originally intended for these trucks and convert it to diode, cathode, electrode, overload, generator, oscillator make a circuit with me electricity.

I mean, how hard could it be?

I guess a better question would be, how expensive could that be? The cost of procuring the truck itself is a modest $2,500. That gets you the zero miles and four tires that roll. You could then reach out to the Southern California company that originally intended to juice these up and see if they’d be willing to share any plans or schematics with you. There’s a robust electric car conversion industry in the U.S. and that would be a great resource for making the weirdest electric car anyone has never seen.


Okay, let’s get down to the brass and the tacks here. What do you think about that plan to continue this SsangYong’s electrification? More importantly, what do you think about that $2,500 price to get the job going?

You decide!


Houston, TX Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to linewarbr for the hookup!

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About the author

Rob Emslie

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.