There’s something appealing about a really honest car, a car that does what it needs to do and couldn’t give a pair of matching turds what anyone thinks about it. In Japan, Toyota has a workhorse car like this, a kinda dull but terribly useful little wagon called the ProBox. What if there was a car like a ProBox, but with just a hint of fun, retro flair? Well, motherhelpers, you’re in luck, because a company called Renoca is building exactly that, and it’s called the Euro Box.
Look at the amazing tagline on the Euro Box website (well, machine-translated from Japanese):
“Dare to be a straightforward car.” What a fantastic motto. I love it.
Oh, I also love how the robo-translation of the site turns the “LIFE STYLE” menu into something that reads like a haiku:
Let’s get back to the Euro Box. Renoca (by Flex, it says) seems to be a company that restores and modifies older Land Cruisers and more recent cars like HiAce vans and, of course, the ProBox.
In the case of the Euro Box, they’ve taken the ProBox’s anonymous-looking modern-car-face and replaced it with a face that looks a lot like a MK1 or MK2 Volkswagen Golf. Here’s the stock ProBox and the Euro Box side-by-side:
It looks like the hood and front fenders are changed, too, the lower front valence, and the wheels. It makes a huge difference to the overall look of the car, as it now feels like some kind of old Golf wagon variant that never quite existed.
Also sort of Golf-like is the re-done interior, which now sports lots of plaid:
Oh, that’s great! I don’t know why plaid seats are so uncommon in modern cars. The interior is fun and no-bullshit, all at the same time. It’s a wagon, with all of the practicality and utility that implies.
Great old-school wheels and hard-wearing rubber cargo flooring! It’s the best mundane excitement you could ask for.
The translated website does a nice job of explaining it:
Those who know that this car is amazing in terms of durability, maneuverability, and loadability.
A car that was not planned on the desk, but was conceived at the actual “use” site. The convenience store hook is designed so that the Yoshinoya beef bowl can be hung in three layers. The first row of seat reclining, which can be surprisingly horizontal, is a “nap” specification that is open. A holder for inserting a 1-liter pack and a table for placing a lunch box.
The straightforward function of being a “work tool”, which is not intended to show off its appearance, has a healthy beauty that is supposed to be used.
Despite its compact body that is easy to handle, the large luggage space unique to commercial vehicles is perfect for work, shopping, and camping. The flat space that appears when the back seats are folded down can be used for surfboards, outdoor goods, and single-bed mattresses. In other words, you can move and stay in the car. If you want to sleep, about two adults and one child can sleep. Isn’t that great?
The thing costs only about $18,000 to $20,000 dollars, which would put it at the lower end of the American market, where, I think, something as appealing and fun and useful as this could fill the hole left by cars like the Honda Fit.
Toyota reliability, plenty of utility, fun, retro look? Would it kill Toyota to shove that steering wheel to the other side and sell these in America and make a killing, because I know I can’t be the only one who would love something like this.
Well, they’d have to partner with Renoca, because I’d want the Euro Box version, but still, if I’m dreaming, I may as well dream they can do that.
It can’t just be me, right? Lots of you find this appealing, don’t you?