Diversity gains a whole new meaning when you notice the unending range of different vehicles that can be seen in Bogotá. For car lovers, antique enthusiasts, and curious minds who like to be surprised with new realities, Bogotá’s roads have vehicles for every taste.
Of course you have conventional urban cars that are middle class favorites. Those are everywhere. You also have plenty of SUVs around (with Bogotá’s roads being as bad as they are, you need an SUV just to drive around comfortably). Plus, armored SUVs are quite common (many of them even say ‘armored’ on the windshield).
And, in a city where there are many wealthy individuals, you will often see luxury cars that show just how Bogotá can also look like a city of fortune and glamour.
Well, nothing surprising on that end, you think. Sure, but that’s not even the beginning of the story.
When it comes to the previously private buses that have now been integrated into the city’s modern bus service, while the blue modern buses have nothing special to them, those old buses come in all sizes, shapes and forms. They come with all the lights that you can possibly imagine, as well. Most of them have so many lights, that you’d think that they could light up an entire town on their own. Also, many of them are so old, that you can hardly believe that they are still working. They’re impossible to miss, since they can be spotted miles away, due to the trails of large smoke clouds that leave behind them.
Then you have the trucks. You have the fancy, modern ones, which are becoming more common, but are still not the most common. This category goes to the extremely robust, very old and hugely intimidating ones. They are like “truck-zillas” of the old days, tremendous Jurassic trucks that are still somehow fit to carry huge loads – but which look so poorly kept and dirty as you would imagine them (they look like they were kept in a garage for 50 years, with no cleaning or maintenance, and used just like that). Still, make no mistake: they are part of the backbone of Colombia’s merchandise transportation system.
And then you have creative vehicles that Bogotanos, true to their inventive nature, have developed. Trucks that are converted into every possible new form that you can think of, to serve all kinds of purposes. It makes you think about whether the local government has any rules about altering vehicles – if those rules do exist, they have definitely been made to be broken. Literally.
Finally, you have the not-so-preserved but nevertheless lovely museum pieces. Beautiful old cars that could be restored and sold for who knows how many dozens of thousands of dollars are being driven around town as agonizing machines that look like they’ll stop working at any time. When you think that, in the US, antique car dealers go out of their way to spot these beauties in old and forgotten garages of old ladies, to make them offers for these vehicles, you can’t help to think that, in Bogotá, these dealers would stumble, again and again, into the old classic relics that they otherwise go through great lengths to find.
So this is it: Bogotá’s live and dynamic car showroom. Enjoy it!
Written by: Miggy, check out his site for more from him.