|Immaculately restored tuk-tuk (R Eime)|
Here in Trang, the vast majority of tuk-tuks are owned by their drivers as opposed to Bangkok, where the uniform colour indicate they are company owned. Many have been in the same hands for decades.
|To demonstrate their much-loved place in Thai urban folklore, |
bridal couples in the Trang 20th Anniversary Underwater Wedding Ceremony
were photographed with immaculate collector examples in prominent city locations. (R Eime)
They even enjoyed some limited success in the USA as a light freight and delivery vehicle. They were even used around large factory sites like Boeing for transport. The tuk-tuk taxi was marketed in the USA as the Daihatsu Trimobile AP (all purpose) ‘Safari Wagon’
|1959 US sales brochure for the 'Trimobile'|
The tuk-tuk is powered by an air-cooled 305cc 2-stroke, single cylinder engine with a power output of around 9kW. In many places of the world, upgrades to LPG are available. This was in response to some congested regions where the little 2-strokes can get a bit smoky, especially if not properly maintained.
|Kuhn San has owned his frog-head tuk-tuk for more than 30 years, diligently|
painting and repainting it in the original factory colour. Kuhn San
is not so meticulous about the trimmings, with a Mazda
steering wheel, Honda stickers and a Toyota bonnet badge. (R Eime)