The car world has plenty of high-performance builders operating outside the realm of the major marquees— We see things like the Equus Bass pop up almost every year. They're the ones breaking barriers of design, and I want these people to start applying their batshit ideas to trucks.
I'm not demanding more insane trucks so that I can buy one. Hell, I could barely afford to fill the fuel tank of a mere four-wheeled Gelandewagen. But crazy innovators with a willingness to take risks on style and setup give us inspiration, and sometimes even trickle-down tech. I want somebody like Bassam Abdallah or Elon Musk to throw the kind of commitment toward pushing the envelope on truck design that mainstream automakers would never risk.
So why don't more entrepreneurs start making trucks? Of course there's the high cost of entry, which is the first thing that bars most of us from opening our own automaker. But it certainly has been done, in fact the car cottage-industry has yielded some of the best machines we have today; Pagani and Koenigsegg come to my mind first.
So what's the next logical argument— that nobody would buy a boutique truck?
I understand a lot of truck buyers are focused on practicality, and will want something that's economical or that they can at least get serviced at most indie shops. But AMG found enough people to justify a 6WD G'Wagen, Jon Ward at ICON has a waiting list. I find it hard to believe that there's "no" market for a truck-equivalent to the likes of Equus, Panoz, or Qvale.
What about the super wild trucks we have seen recently? I attribute the demise of the International XT to the absurd amount of asphalt it consumes, not the fact that it was a very expensive truck. As for the Dartz Prombron, it's "famous" for an interior made of whale penis and having been driven by Sacha-Baron Cohen in The Dictator... I think that question answers itself.
The 6x6 Mercedes I used to illustrate this rant isn't exactly a boutique vehicle... but it's the level of wildness I'd love to see more of in trucks. Not just in terms of off-road performance or ostentatiousness, but in utility and efficiency. If AMG spent as much time thinking about a truck that would be frugal and useful as they did making chariots for oil barons, imagine what they might come up with. Hell, one of Jason's ideas might even come to fruition!
Now I want to know what you think. Is there room in the market, and your heart, for a radical limited-production utility vehicle? Would such a thing open new doors for mainstream truck consumers down the road? Or am I just way too amped about boutique cars because the Local Motors guys took me off jumps in their maniacal machine yesterday?