The Daihatsu Basket was a Japanese Mehari for veggies

General Bunk Daihatsu 00s cars
Thoughts about the removable basket in the Nissan Almera Tino soon turned to memories of the Daihatsu Basket concept of 2009. See you on the veggie plot.

You know how it is. One minute you're extolling the virtues of the removable basket in the Nissan Almera Tino, the next minute you're recalling the Daihatsu Basket concept of 2009.

It debuted at the Tokyo Motor Show and looked like the kind of car you'd see on the streets of San Fransokyo. Indeed, if you asked Pixar to design a rival for the Citroën Mehari and Mini Moke, the chances are it would look like the Daihatsu Basket.

“This slow pace of life open four-seater with a wide rear deck is designed for the full enjoyment of life, such as for trips to the family vegetable plot out of the city,” said Daihatsu. In other words, it was for the Japanese equivalent of Tom and Barbara Good.

Basket Case

Daihatsu Basket concept 2009

Just imagine a young Felicity Kendal at the wheel of a Daihatsu Basket on her way to tend to the asparagus. It's a nice image.

Its brilliance was its simplicity. In the photo above it's configured as an open four-seat pick-up, but protection for the load area came courtesy of a canvas roof. Alternatively, you could fold the rear seats to create a two-seat pick-up complete with hose-down rear deck. You could even add the hardtop over the front seats but leave the load area open.

It was like a Citroën C3 Pluriel with right angles. Living the dream. Living the good life. “Give plenty of fun and relaxation to your nature-oriented life through various arrangements of roof and seats,” said Daihatsu.

Basket for life

Daihatsu Basket with the roof up

Inside, the Basket featured a minimalist cabin with swathes of linen-inspired upholstery and a dashboard stripped of all but the essentials. Power was sourced from a 660cc engine, but in 2020 it would be easy to imagine this as an EV.

You can forget shopping bags for life – simply drive up and down the supermarket aisles in silence, chucking groceries in the back as you go.

Organic and sustainably sourced groceries, obviously.

Because it was four-wheel-drive, it wouldn't have any trouble tackling the spillage in aisle two or the squashed grape on the floor of the fruit and veg section. In fact, it's hard to see what's not to like about the Daihatsu Basket. Other than the fact that it never made into production.

Shame. Still, at least you've got an excuse to Google ‘Barbara Good’. Happy Easter.

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