Body on Frame Dodge Durango, MINI mini pickup truck and Budget Track Car? [Ask Nathan]

  • Will there be a body on frame Dodge Durango?
  • Did I see a MINI mini pickup truck?
  • What’s a good starter vehicle for track days?

The first question comes from Twitter (@Nathanadlen) about a rumor regarding the future body on frame Dodge Durango.

(Via Twitter@NathanAdlen) I head that Dodge may go back to a body on frame Dodge Durango in 2021. 

Do they have a midsize truck frame to use? Maybe a Mitsubishi?

They Called me Bruce


A: Greetings Bruce!

Yea, I caught wind of that rumor recently. It’s a cool idea, but it doesn’t make a lot of sense to me if FCA is building a body on frame Jeep Grand Wagoneer. They would compete with each other – right? They would both be 3-row SUVs that compete with Tahoes and Expeditions – right?

I know the Jeep Grand Wagoneer is meant to compete with higher end vehicles like the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade, so (perhaps) the Durango would indeed compete against the Tahoe/Suburban and Expedition. That means a full-size frame like the one now being used with the new Ram 1500.

I doubt they would use a smaller Mitsubishi truck frame; although, it should be said that FCA is gearing up to make a midsize pickup truck. Who knows what type of frame (if there even IS a frame) that vehicle could have.

In a nutshell, there’s lots of speculation, but nearly no facts to back this idea up – yet.

Thanks for the email!


The next question comes from a MINI fan who caught wind of an old story we published about a one-off MINI pickup. You can read that post (here).

Q: I saw you guys tased on this photo of a MINI mini pickup truck! 

Is this something that’s going to be built? I know that a long time ago real MINIs built tiny panel trucks and pickups. Is this the same idea?!

Matt from El Monte, CA

A: Hi Matt!

No. The photo you saw was a one-off project constructed out of the (unloved) Mini Paceman. Actually, I think this design would sell like hotcakes, especially in places like California and Florida. It’s like a min surfing/biking truck-let and it looks like it would be hoot to drive.

Sad to say, but MINI is in a bit of a fog when it comes to new products. They keep growing larger and more expensive, often ignoring their roots. I doubt anything like this would ever be built.



The last question comes from a viewer who wants to know what (cheap) used car he should get to go to track days.

1990 mazda miata interview bob hall creator

Hi TFLCar! I love watching all of your channels. It’s my daily entertainment right when I get to work and during my lunch break. 
My question is, I don’t know too much about what makes a good track car. My 2009 MBW X5 isn’t the best choice for track days, but I don’t want to replace it either. So I thought I would see what you guys thought an inexpensive track car could be.
I’m to very technically or mechanically inclined, so I need something simple and easy to maintain and work on. Maybe a good “starter” car for someone who loves to drive, but doesn’t know how to wrench very well. You know what I mean.
Do you think it’s possible to do something like this for less than $4,000?

A:  Greetings CC!

Simple answer: get a used Mazda Miata. Sure, other cars are quite good, but for your budget and your experience level seems to be, the Mazda MX-5 Miata is an outstanding track vehicle. It’s very forgiving, handles amazingly and there are tons of track parts available for it aftermarket.

Performance rubber, good brakes, a roll cage and a fuel cell are all good bets 0 and easy to find for most used Mazda Miatas.



Speaking of insanely good track cars…

Nathan and The Fast Lane Car team are here to answer your (reasonable) questions. Interesting and/or entertaining emails will be posted to this column. If it’s relevant in the automotive universe, there’s a chance we may know something about it. The author’s email address and name will be omitted – leaving your initials or nickname, your preference.From day one, The Fast Lane Car has made it our policy to answer as many questions and comments as we can. We get thousands of emails and comments and feel that, as part of a tight-knit automotive community, having an open dialogue with you keeps things fresh and exciting.Got a question for Nathan? Drop him a line at: