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.

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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

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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!