When on St. John, you will encounter a special species of cars: “Island cars”. These are cars with visible signs of dealing with the prevailing elements and road conditions on St. John: Potholes, speed bumps, steep hills, heat, moisty & salty air and torrential downpours. Spare parts are hard to come by on a remote island, so you will see them fixed with great creativity: wooden boards replacing parts that have rusted away, duct tape and wires holding bumpers, colored tape fixing holes in lights and the likes.
When buying a car on St. John, people will enquire for 2 mileages, the state-side miles and the island miles. With one island mile beating the car as hard as 100 highway miles. Here is are part of the lyrics from a song by Michael Beaston that kind of sum it up…
Saw an ad in the paper, it said
“Island Car, Only eight hundred dollars, runs good so far”
So I went to see the what kind of car they had,
And for eight hundred dollars it was not so bad.
It was once a jeep but it’s now half wood,
And the breaks are broken but the horns work good.
The lights all work unless it rains,
And the windshield wipers do the same
Got a true island car? Email the photo to stjohntravelinfo(at)gmail.com or post it to our facebook page!
Island Car Photo Gallery
we will keep adding pictures!