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The Garage Editorial - Big Hips

Aug 29, 2015
Photographers: Monica Gonderman
Hey there, big mama! Look at them wide hips! Lookin' good! How 'bout you make a U-turn and swing that thing this way! Nothin' petite 'bout ya, and I like it! You have to admit, the massiveness of dualies makes them irresistible. I don't care if they're old or new, slammed or lifted, stock or modified. They have six wheels (thank you Captain Obvious), and that's cool.
If you do not live in a densely populated area, there's a chance you have no idea how big your dualie truly is. You live where they belong—open hills, wide roads, ample parking, lots of space for hauling and towing and fraternizing with tractors and other big toys. I live in the thickly congested Los Angeles area and have therefore only visited these places where dualies roam free, work and play hard, and don't feel fat wherever they go. Therefore, I envy you. (You also probably know what rain looks like, whereas California seems to have lost its ability to woo any clouds to the state. Come to think of it, I mostly envy you because of the rain thing.)
Anyway, every now and then, the keys to a dualie happen to fall into our laps. Of course, we oblige and treat "Bertha" to a rush-hour experience amongst the Range Rovers, Beamers, and Benzes. We don't really fit into that crowd. (We do, however, come with a $74,665 price tag that includes a power slide moonroof, heated rear seats, and a heated, leather-wrapped steering wheel.) Plus, it's not a good test of horsepower and torque, unless you consider the occasional power merge or road justice situation. Oh dear, Nissan Versa, our sturdy hips can scoot much quicker than you estimate. We will win. Every time.
Photo 2/2   |   Take the dualie to the baby store? Sure, why not. Being very pregnant, it seemed advantageous to park wide-hipped Bertha in the expectant mothers preferred parking so that big-bellied me could enjoy one of the perks of being pregnant. Notice the axle overhang and rear tire on the white line.
Sometimes, when the traffic is too bad and the weather too nice, we cruise the SoCal beach cities. We don't fit. Literally, we don't fit. We're like a blue whale in a kitty pool. Big truck; small spaces. Them hips have to squeeze down tiny one-way avenues, hoping to not clip any boogie-board-clad junior higher in the process. Deep breath; think skinny. Time to parallel park the giant squid. Do you just pay for two metered spots, or let the Geo Metro pick up the second meter and park on its bumper, or...? OK, strike that, there's no open parking anyway. Ever. Find a highly overpriced patch of chipped-up asphalt known as a parking spot in a parking lot. Not much better. Backed in (because trucks back into parking spots, duh) with the bumper nestled in a planter and all four rear wheels squared against the parking stop, the entire front axle still extends over the designated length of the parking spot. It doesn't fit by a whole axle. And despite being perfectly centered in the spot, the outer wheels on both sides hit the parking spot's lines. These hips certainly don't lie—they're huge. And if anything remotely big parks in our large-radius aura, our hips will be forced into undoubtedly demolishing the neighboring Porsche upon our departure.
What can I say—Bertha's not skinny jean material, and she's certainly not accustomed to infrastructure designed in the '60s for a fraction of the density. Sadly, she requires more real estate than sunny SoCal has to offer.
Enjoy the variety of wide-hipped wonders on the following pages. They're simply majestic with those big hips.
Until next time,
- OF