Show Me Your Well-Packed Trunks: A Jalopnik Contest

Illustration for article titled Show Me Your Well-Packed Trunks: A Jalopnik Contest

One of the great things about the close, personal relationship that you and I share is that, generally, you’re remarkably tolerant of my weird automotive fetishes. Intense, unsettling interest in lighting equipment, odd engine locations, anthropomorphic car faces, and, yes, trunk volumes. That’s why I was thinking it might be fun for us to do something together, and, of course, nothing says togetherness like a car trunk. So let’s start there, with a car trunk-packing contest!


I bet I’m not alone in appreciating the deeply satisfying joys of a well-packed car trunk. By “well-packed,” I have some pretty specific ideas, too: I’m talking about a trunk where every possible volume of space is filled, with a brilliantly tetrised assembly of objects, their varying shapes rotated and moved and organized so that they nest together to fill a volume—the more irregular, the better—with astounding density, leaving the end result something that’s truly numinous to behold.

Of course, large, regularly-shaped trunk volumes are the easiest to accomplish this with; just look at this old Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles brochure, which shows a lovely (if artistically fabricated) collection of stuff that fits perfectly into the large, rectangular, under-bed trunk of the Type 2 Pickup:

Illustration for article titled Show Me Your Well-Packed Trunks: A Jalopnik Contest

That’s lovely, but it’s pretty easy. The real challenge would be to really fill up a tortured space like the trunk of a Zimmer:

Illustration for article titled Show Me Your Well-Packed Trunks: A Jalopnik Contest

Since this is a contest, you deserve to have some criteria of what I’m looking for in a winner:

• The more challenging the trunk, the better: smaller volumes, irregular shapes of both trunk and objects will get higher scores. This shouldn’t be too easy. But if all you have is a big, regularly-shaped trunk, you can still enter! Just really bring it with the packing.


• A variety of object types. A mix of hard and soft objects would be good, and things of varying shapes, colors, sizes, etc. This is a visual, almost artistic exercise; the resulting packed trunk should evoke feelings of satisfaction and wonder.

• Surprise and fun! Unexpected well-packed objects, striking items, interesting cars—all of these will be a factor.


I’ll pick, let’s say, three winners—first, second, and third prizes. First prize will get a copy of my book, autographed by me, if you want, and with a car of your choice drawn in there. For prizes two and three, Raph told me we have some fun toy cars at HQ we can send as prizes, so we can do that.

And, of course, there’s the respect from your peers and the glory that comes from being named Jalopnik’s Best Packer of Trunks 2020, which is something you should immediately stick on your LinkedIn/Instagram/Tinder profile or whatever.


To enter, pack that trunk, take a nice picture of it, and email me, jason[at], with the subject line PACKED TRUNK. Let’s say the deadline is, oh, end of the month.

Sound good? Great! Now get packing!

Senior Editor, Jalopnik • Running: 1973 VW Beetle, 2006 Scion xB, 1990 Nissan Pao, 1991 Yugo GV Plus, 2020 Changli EV • Not-so-running: 1977 Dodge Tioga RV (also, buy my book!:



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