I’ve just been to Honduras, and like some of our other RFD author’s trips to Mexico, the Caribbean, and Europe, I wanted to document their cars. As you might expect, the cars of Honduras are much different than in the U.S. This is mainly because the Honduras government is more concerned with people being murdered with machetes than safety inspections, which leads to some interesting occurrences. For example, brake lights are optional. This can be dangerous when decelerating from 100km/hr down to 5 to avoid potholes, especially when you have 19 people sitting in the back of your truck.
Everything is a diesel in Honduras, which is cool at first, but ends up being not so cool when you’re behind a 1985 Toyota Pickup belching black smoke as it struggles up a one lane mountain road. Despite being diesels, most of the trucks don’t have much torque and you have to wring them out if you and your 19 other passengers want to drive above 30mph.
The other weird part about Honduras is the inordinately high number of Pontiac Vibes. Here’s a collage of just a few of the Vibes I saw while I was there.
Even the taxis were mostly Vibes. I’m not sure what the fascination is with the Vibe, but they certainly seemed popular.
Besides the Vibes, there were a bunch of Kia and Hyundai trucks putting around the city. They were very popular as soda delivery trucks; people would stack soda bottle boxes higher than the cab and then sit on top. This didn’t seem like the safest approach but there’s no OSHA in Honduras so no one was too worried.
Auto repair shops were everywhere, probably because the average truck payloads were regularly exceeded by a few thousand pounds and “regular maintenance” was a foreign concept. Most shops didn’t have any lifts, usually just steel wheels as jack stands or maybe concrete ramps if you were lucky. Also, “paint shops” were just tents on the side of the road.
Accidents seemed few and far between despite the crazy driving. Although the few accidents I saw were pretty bad.
There weren’t any sports cars. Low profile tires and 20 inch wheels don’t seem to go well with 8 inch deep potholes. The sportiest cars I saw were a Mini Cooper and Subaru Impreza.
Honduras was cool but it’s nice to be back in the USA where we have toilets that flush and cars with 8 cylinders.