If you think modern trucks have gotten way too big, Cars & Bids has just what the doctor ordered. It’s auctioning off a 1996 Daihatsu Midget II, which — as its name implies — is one of the smallest pickups you can buy without going to your local supermarket’s toy section.
Unveiled in 1996, the Midget II is small even by Japan’s famously strict kei standards. It stretches approximately 113 inches long, 51 inches wide, and 65 inches tall in its smallest configuration. There’s space for two passengers if you get a example with an automatic transmission, but you’ll be riding alone if you want a manual: stick-shifted models like the example listed on Cars & Bids were only available with one seat.
You don’t need a Hemi V8 or a twin-turbocharged V8 to move a trucklet that tips the scale at under 1,300 pounds. Power for the Midget II comes from a 659-cubic-centimeter three-cylinder engine that’s mounted under the seat (or seats, depending on whether you shift yourself or let the transmission do it for you) and tuned to develop about 30 horsepower at 4,900 rpm and 37 pound-feet of torque at 3,200 rpm. That’s for the earlier, carbureted models; later variants got an electronic fuel injection system that delivered the smallest of power bumps.
We haven’t even started talking about the design yet — just look at it! It’s kind of retro because it’s loosely inspired by an evolution of the original Midget, which was a three-wheeler released in Japan in 1957 and brought to our shores in tiny numbers. Above all, it’s just plain weird — weird in the best possible way. The headlights stick out from the body, the front bumper is a chromed tube, and the spare wheel is mounted almost vertically on the front end. Is it just me, or does it kind of give off Citroën 2CV vibes when you look at it from the right angle?
Cars & Bids notes that this Midget II is sitting on aftermarket 10-inch wheels and equipped with a Nardi steering wheel, but all told it’s largely stock. Bidding currently stands at $5,000 with two days left in the auction, and there’s no reserve so the highest bidder is taking it home.