Can Modern Vehicles Pull Off The 'Derelict' Look?

Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

Spotted this ancient Nissan (Datsun) pickup, beached in an AutoZone parking lot like a sea turtle about to lay eggs. The half-restored look is weird, even little offensive to my conservative sensibilities. Yet I find it undeniably alluring.


Derelicts have been around forever; the idea is you've got a functional (generally upgraded, often lowered) running gear enshrouded by a beat-ass exterior. I'm guessing it got started with dudes suping-up old cars and spending nothing on beautification, probably right after when the first cars ever became affordable to speed-crazy ruffians.

Interestingly, the derelict style has received a recent resurgence with the rise of the "stance" movement. In case you're joining us for the first time, stanced cars are made impossibly low by putting the wheels on wrong.

The impression I get from those who have gone over to the stance-side is that they're going for a "Screw You, The Man" kinda vibe. So too do the derelicts; hence why the two are often paired together.

Since stance is generally (though not always, as with this pickup) the domain of newer cars, it's brought a another new style phenomenon with it; modern derelicts.


My position is that trucks, lowered or not, can pull off the look with some swagger. Cars, not so much.


Something about the utilitarian nature of a truck, even one that's lost any hope of going off-road or over speedbump, marries the "derelict" style a lot better than something like a Volkswagen Jetta or a Subaru WRX.

Trucks just wear damage more naturally. A pickup with patina has the worn-in warmth of an old baseball glove, you might not pick it for the big game but damn do you respect it. Conversely, a bubble-bodied Civic with one fender that looks like it was pulled off the fuselage of the Millennium Falcon looks like a knock-off toy you'd be disappointed to get at Christmas.


Where are you at with stance and derelict styles? Can a truck pull 'em off better than a car, the other way around, or should they all be banished from our streets forever?


Images: Andrew P. Collins

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