Welcome to Ridiculous Rebadges, a series of articles in which I go through and examine the details and circumstances surrounding some of the more infamous and some of the more esoteric vehicular rebadges throughout automotive history


Last week’s article here on RR featured a Mitsubishi that looked like an Alfa that was succeeded by an Accord, all wearing the badge of Malaysian giant Proton. This week we head back to the United States though for a rebadge that actually came from overseas. Chances are, if you live in the United States, particularly in an urban area, you’ve seen some of these trundling around town/construction sites: the Ford LCF and the International CityStar. If you’re like me, you probably just assumed it was a rebadged Mitsubishi Fuso or something like the Chevy - Isuzu thing that they do. However, these mini-cab overs actually were more unique than you might have imagined. Marketed between 2006 and 2009, these trucks were based off of a Ford F-Series chassis (predictably) and used powertrains from either Ford or Navistar depending on which brand you chose. However, when it came to the cab and interior, Ford availed themselves of their ownership of Mazda. They looked East and found that Mazda was producing the Titan, a small cab over most known here for creating the name “Titan Dump” when mated to a dump truck body. Several were imported here and they started rolling off the assembly line in General Escobedo, Mexico. However, the diminutive Japanese design of the cabin mixed with the American powertrains meant the truck was cramped, noisy, and thirsty. Wikipedia also notes that they were sold by an uneducated dealer network, but it’s rare to find a salesman who actually cares about vehicles nowadays, so that’s not a major surprise. All these factors led to poor sales, and thus, the LCF and CityStar were pulled after just three years. Perhaps if they had kept the Mazda engines as well these cab overs would have at least the fuel economy and relative refinement as the Mitsubishis and Isuzus that still sell today.


Fourth Generation Mazda Titan

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[First image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

[Second image courtesy of autos.goo.net.jp]


Ford LCF (Low Cab Forward)

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[First image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons]

[Second image courtesy of adamsofcharlotte.com]


International CityStar/CF

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[First image courtesy of media.navistar.com]

[Second image courtesy of topspeed.com]


Sources:

[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ford_LCF]