In modern life, real mysteries are quite few and far between. We live in a very explored world, a world of easy and ubiquitous access to information, so the sensation of being truly baffled is one that’s not terribly common. That’s why I encourage all of you to really savor those moments of delightful bafflement. Really lose yourself in the glorious, unknowable confusion of it all. It can be really enjoyable. That’s why I invite you all to consider the case of this numinously baffling car.
I encountered this car via Twitter, a place I unfortunately tend to encounter too many things:
The “Toylord Camplorer Solaport Trac” comment there isn’t just witty, it’s pretty accurate, too, because what this appears to be is a Toyota Camry Solara — I think maybe one from, oh, 2005 to 2007 or so — fused with, starting from just in front of the rear wheel arch, the bed of a 2001 to 2005 Ford Explorer Sport Trac.
I’ll give you a moment to just let this all sink in, and for you to appreciate the quality of this merger. Now you can voice the question that’s already forming on your lips: why?
Why does this exist? How did it come to be? Who is responsible?
In the absence of any real answers, we’ll be forced to speculate. If I had to guess, I’d suspect this started with a rear-ended Solara and a chance discovery of some oppositely-damaged Explorer Sport Trac.
Some skilled visionary must have noted at least some similarity of dimension here — I suspect width was the crucial one—and ran from there.
The bed of the Sport Trac is a separate unit, so perhaps they were able to just source that. The rear wheels suggest that this thing is all Solara underneath, with the Explorer Sport Trac bed just grafted on.
The flared fenders of the Sport Trac remain intact, though the upper part of the bed is effectively halved, with the front part tucked into the Solara’s body, leaving a shorter open top that retains at least two tie-downs, one per side.
What we end up with is a convertible with a massive trunk, a trunk with a soft upper top but a full-size tailgate and step bumper.
At first, this seems to make little sense, but the more I think about it, the more clever of a design this car becomes. It’s a convertible, so it’s the sort of thing that thrives in summer, when you may drop the top and head to the beach with all of your beach-related stuff—coolers, floats, folding chairs, etc.
All that crap would be hard to load in most convertibles, and would be messy and sandy after use—but none of that matters when you have a truck bed to use!
The tailgate is ideal for sitting on when parked, too. Pickups have lots of great recreational uses and convertibles are delightful in the right weather — why not combine them?
There’s been a few — very few — convertible trucks before, like the Chevy SSR or the Dodge Dakota Convertible or even the Jeep Gladiator, which you can buy new right now, and while they tend to get ridiculed, if you don’t think they’re at least a little fun, maybe check your pulse.
So why not do the same thing to a sensible convertible like the Solara?
I’m not saying this chimera isn’t madness, but I am saying I think it’s madness that makes some sense.
Good work, whoever the hell made this.