I wouldn't be lying if I said I've spent many a Friday night combing the internet for strange vehicles. Strange to our eyes. Maybe not actually all that strange, though, when you consider the circumstances in which it was designed and built.

On this particular Friday I recall combing through a Japanese auto auction site, looking at different models. Ford Telstar? Daihatsu Leeza? Subaru Alcyone? (Proof we should start naming medical terms after cars, by the way.)


Sir, I'm afraid it's an acute case of Cynos. We'll have to perform an ISIS on your Ractis. Take these Verossa with Aqua, three times daily. Try to lay in Comfort afterward but don't drink Corona—it'll induce Estima Emina. Noah the Deliboy will be by later with your lunch, Platz with Curren.

Does naming a puff-faced van Atlas Loco seem so strange now?

Call me base, but then putting lettering on the side that says, "Stew & Chocolate Fondue. Wolf 7" makes the Atlas Loco seem like a strong hint there's another universe out there where "Stew & Chocolate Fondue" is something appetizing you'd buy from a van.


And unlike reading about a Ferrari, whose cars are noted, considered, tested, and judged by millions, the Atlas Loco is largely forgotten and relegated to a few bytes of data on Russian web servers.

From a page like that, I can tell you it was made from 1993-1996. There was both 2WD and 4WD versions. Diesel engines. Campers, accessibility vans, medium-sized delivery vans.

It was conceived. Engineered. Produced. Bought. Sold. And who paid attention? Who gave the Atlas Loco a proper chance at notoriety? The people who filmed it for commercials.

And maybe these .gifs are how we'll now remember it, at least in North America.

Sources / Recommended Reading-