I Didn't Realize These Kind of Vehicles Have a Specific Name

Truck YeahThe trucks are good!

See that vehicle up there? It’s not a particularly common design, at least not here in America, but I think from the standpoint of utility, flexibility, usefulness, and general, overall adaptability, it may be one of the best vehicular designs ever penned by the hand of man. I love little half-van/half-truck centaurian beasts like this, and yet, somehow, I never realized this design has a specific name. Until now.


The name? Deck Van.

The name is interesting, because it helps to categorize just what these things are: a subset of the van. Essentially, they’re vans with open pickup-truck beds (the deck, I suppose) that take up what, on a normal van, would be enclosed cargo area.

With that in mind, I think we can safely say that the Deck Van classification includes not just the small, workhorse Japanese Kei-class vehicles many of us usually think of for these, but would also include any crew-cab type pickup truck derived from a van initial design, like a Volkswagen Type II Double-Cab pickup truck, or, if we want to get a bit weirder, a Ford Econoline Centurion conversion or a Gurgel G-800.


The key criteria, I think, is that a Deck Van must have more enclosed cab room than a normal single-cab truck, along with an open bed, which, while usually truncated in length, I think can be full-sized.


While I’m sure many of you already knew the official name for this design, a bit of informal asking around o my gearhead friends and important associates showed me that the name isn’t really well-known, at least here in the U.S.

So, now you know! Deckvans! One of the most useful, hardworking automotive designs ever! All hail the Deck Van!


Also, if you have one, you can name it Deck Van Dyke and know you’ve done something wonderful.

(Thanks to Tuan for cluing me in!)

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About the author

Jason Torchinsky

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus • Not-so-running: 1973 Reliant Scimitar, 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!)