11 June 2018

Miscellaneous classics #1: Toyota Dyna Y100

I noticed that while many of you have been fascinated by the variety of old cars on the road, none of you have taken a second look at a less glamorous mode of transportation--the humble lorry/pick-up truck. You may probably associate it with foreign workers sitting at the back of the lorry, and this by the way, is a legal form of transportation. Those of you from outside Asia may be quite surprised, since you don't see anyone travelling on trucks. Thus, I decided to write a special feature on this 2000 Toyota Dyna 150, as I feel it is old enough to be a classic soon. There are practically no old pick-up trucks like this here as they cannot be registered as a private vehicle, and I felt compelled to pay homage to this icon.

The Toyota Dyna is a compact truck for commercial use, and its name is derived from the word "dynamic". It is available in a variety of formats, from the small 1-1.5 tonners to larger 2-3 tonner models. Its competitors include the Nissan Cabstar, Mitsubishi Fuso Canter and the Isuzu Elf/NHR. The first Dyna was made in 1956, known as the Toyopet Route Truck, and Dynas are still in production today. These trucks, or lorries as we call them, have been a mainstay in our road history: it is an alternative mode of transport for the many migrant workers since ordering buses can be too cost-intensive. Coupled with its natural function for transporting goods, it is easy to see why they are very handy for most companies.
This particular model is powered by a 2986 cc i4 diesel engine, but as with all commercial vehicles with the G-plate, its speed is limited to 70 km/h. It is 4690 mm long and weighs 1490 kg, but its maximum laden weight is more than twice the amount at 3350 kg.

A quick check on the database reveals that it will be taken off the road in 2020, since such vehicles only have a lifespan of 20 years. This model is the earlier Y100 series as seen by the quad round headlights; the one beside it is the facelifted Y200 version, which only appeared around 2003. These vehicles have received a bad rep due to the glaring lack of safety equipment for people sitting at the back, and people have been injured in accidents involving them as well.

More often than not, you may associate this lorry with a very old man hunched behind the wheel and a lot of junk at the back. Actually, I have sat in one before and while it is cool to feel the wind in your hair, you do feel quite exposed to the traffic around you. I believe this pick-up version only exists within the Asian continent, which is our unique alternative to the Ford/Dodge/Ram trucks elsewhere.

I had been captivated by their quaint headlights and quickly realised that they are pretty old compared to our car population. The fact that they will be gone in the next few years without anyone caring about them made me decide to preserve this piece of our automotive history in this blog. There are still quite a number of them but they are getting rarer as days go by. Do keep a lookout for them before they are gone!

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