18 November 2022

More than an old car #203: Fiat 125

There is always something appealing about boxy cars and especially one that has survived the test of time, just like this 1971 Fiat 125!

First released in 1967, the 125 was initially intended to be a filler model between the ageing 1500 and the then-nascent 132 project. The appeal of Fiat cars was quickly waning, and the responsibility of coming up with a new model in just 18 months without the need to set up new plants fell on Dante Giacosa. The new car body was derived from the successful 124 model but was a good 18 cm longer. There were also aesthetic adjustments such as a chrome grille with 4 square headlights and redesigned tail-lamps. In order to better adapt the new car to the needs of a sedan, the engine was also upgraded in size: maximum power remained unchanged but engine torque was improved, leading to a smoother delivery.

The interior composition of the 125 also set it apart from the competition: it featured reclining seats, a central armrest for the back seat, a reversing light and even an intermittent-interval windscreen wiper (a first for an European car). Added options such as heated rear windows, air conditioning and a steel sliding roof were also available for a fee. The dashboard was also user-friendly and one could have a clear view of the surroundings from the driver's seat, thanks to the large and steep windows and relatively high driver position. It was no wonder that the 125 was warmly received by the public and critics alike.

In 1968, a more powerful version known as the 125S/125 Special was made available. Externally, Special models had chromed wheel arches and the door handles were place above the coachline (compared to being in line for the normal model). In 1971, there was a facelift on Special models, featuring a different front end and larger tail lamps.

The Fiat 125 was also produced under licence in a few countries, most notably in Poland where it was sold as the Polski Fiat 125p. The Polish version was a simplified version of its Italian counterpart, featuring rounded headlamps, simpler front grille and rather outdated mechanicals from the Fiat 1500. Despite being objectively inferior to the Italian 125, almost 1.5 million 125ps were made and they have become a unique Eastern European icon. The Fiat 125 was only available in sedan form, but these foreign licensed versions had additional body styles such as wagon and pickup truck form.   

The 125 was powered by a 1608 cc Fiat Twin-Cam i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 160 km/h with an acceleration of 12.7 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It had dimension of 4223 x 1611 x 1440 mm and weighed in at a respectable 1000 kg, with a fuel consumption of 9.9 litres/100 km.

Production of the 125 ended in 1972 with more than 603,000 made, where it was succeeded by the 132. 125s were sold in Singapore in 1968 by Syarikat Fiat Distributors (M) Sdn Bhd: despite gaining independence 3 years ago, many Malayan businesses continued to operate here until the 1970s. This particular unit is an original Singapore car down to its license plates and it has seen better days. I had always wanted to see it again ever since I caught a glimpse many years back. Seeing it just there was pretty much a "I finally found you" moment...

I am not aware of any newly imported 125s recently; it makes you wonder just how this lone survivor has persisted even as its counterparts disappeared from the roads. It is not often that you come across "last-man-standing" cars and I hope you will have the chance to see it some day!

30 October 2022

More than an old car #202: Mitsubishi Minicab

Scrolling through my archives does throw up some interesting pictures I never knew I had taken. More often than not, they don't exist here anymore just like this 2001 Mitsubishi Minicab!

First released in 1966 to replace the Mitsubishi 360, it was initially available only as a pickup truck. A van version came in 1968 and has been produced till this day. The 'minicab' name refers to a cabover truck with a small body and wide cargo bed. For the 6th generation Minicab, it appeared in 1999 with unevenly-shaped headlights and 2 round taillamps. In 2004, vans were equipped with front and passenger airbags as standard. There was a facelift in 2007 with a redesigned front grille and headlights. An electric version known as the Minicab MiEV was launched in 2011 and remains in production.

The Minicab was powered by a 657 cc Mitsubishi 3G83 engine, though as a commercial vehicle its speed was limited to 60 km/h. Its dimensions of 3395 x 1475 x 1940 mm puts its firmly as a kei car, and its fuel consumption of 4.3 litres / 100 km made it an economical commercial vehicle. 

Production of the 6th generation Minicab ended in 2014 (for the gasoline version) with more than 419,000 made. Minicabs were sold in Singapore between 2000 to 2006, though it is noted that some vans were recalled in Taiwan and Malaysia over a defective transmission part. None of the pre-facelift vans still exist as all have passed the 20-year mandatory lifespan. When I saw it back in 2019, it never occurred to me that I would not have the chance to see it here again. At least, you still have this blog post as proof that it existed!

9 October 2022

More than an old car #201: Range Rover Classic

Sometimes I just happen to stumble across older cars by accident (and that is the beauty of cars compared to other modes of transport like planes and trains). Coming across this 1985 Range Rover Classic was a bonus as I had been in the area for some errands, and I was quite wowed by its road presence...

The advent of the iconic Land Rover was hailed by many for its utilitarian hardiness when it was released in 1948. The Rover group then realised that a market existed for an off-road capable vehicle with more amenities and this culminated in the short-lived Tickford estate. Later in 1954, the 4-door version of the Land Rover was designed to accomodate more people, but apart from a few upgrades it remained spartan.

Recognising that more people wanted a comfortable 4x4 vehicle in the rough terrains of Africa and Australia, Rover began work on a 'Road Rover' that combined a Land Rover chassis with the comfort of a standard Rover car. The 1960s saw the rise of the sport utility vehicle (SUV) such as the Ford Bronco, which had both off-road capability and comfort for private users. Rover began work on the '100-inch station wagon' project to develop a proper competitor.

Introduced to the public in 1970, it received critical acclaim for being capable both on and off-road. The clean, square-cut design was appealing and the aluminum body panels was more resistant to corrosion. The panels were hung over a steel frame, allowing it to carry much structural strength. Furthermore, a 'symmetric dashboard' was also designed to cater to each side of the steering: the gauges could be simply installed on the correct side. 

Up till 1981, the Range Rover was available only in a 2-door version for the sake of body strength; this was disliked by rich customers in the Middle East who usually had chauffeurs as it was hard to access the rear seats. 4-door conversions were offered in the 1970s by many companies: Switzerland-based Monteverdi was even approved by Land Rover to retain warranty. The 4-door version proved to be popular, leading to the phasing-out of the 2-door one in the UK market in 1984. There was a distinct change to the front end in 1986 with the introduction of pedestrian-friendly horizontal slats; later on, the fuel filler cap was hidden behind a flap and door hinges gradually evolved out of sight.  

Many changes occurred in the Range Rover throughout its lifespan, both interior and exterior. For the 1985 model year, the dashboard design was revamped with a grab handrail fitted on the passenger side, seats could be reclined and 1-piece side windows were fitted on the 4-door models (the 2-piece side windows still remained for the 2-door). The top-of-the-range Vogue trim had electric windows, heated mirrors and a body tape across the car.

The 1985 4-door Range Rover was powered by a 3532 cc Rover V8 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 155 km/h with an acceleration of 15.1 seconds [0-100 km/h]. Its dimensions of 4475 x 1800 x 1785 mm, heft of 1900 kg and a rather thirsty fuel consumption of 14.8 litres / 100 km would have been out of the question for the frugal family man.

Production of the Range Rover ended in 1996 with more than 326,000 made, although its successor known as the LP/New Range Rover/P38 had been launched in 1994. It was also at this point that the 1st generation Range Rovers were rebranded as the 'Classic' to distinguish from its successor. Range Rovers had existed in small numbers back in the 1980s, and they were officially brought in by Regent Motors (currently our local Ford dealer) in 1987, although in Vogue trim. A 5-speed manual unit was S$205,587 while the 4-speed automatic would set you back by S$215,506. None of the original Range Rovers still remain, though a handful have been imported over the years.

More people are beginning to appreciate the classic Range Rovers, with its luxurious comforts (for its time at least) and superb off-road capabilities. 2-door versions are quite popular than the 4-door ones: this unit was only the 2nd one that I have seen currently. With more appearing on our roads, don't miss the chance to admire this off-road luxury when you have the chance!

18 September 2022

More than an old car #200: Nissan Cedric H31

Many people tend to associate Japanese cars with high performance, being small-sized or quirky. However, they are more than just that, just like this 1964 Nissan Cedric Custom H31!

First introduced in 1960, the Cedric was developed as a purely domestic medium-size passenger car to replace the Austin A50 Cambridge, which Nissan had obtained licence to manufacture previously. It featured a style strongly influenced by American cars, such as a wraparound windscreen, forward-leaning A-pillar, vertical dual headlamps and tail fins.

Initially, it was only available with a 1500 cc engine and came in either 4-door sedan or wagon version. A 1900 cc engine was later introduced: 2 separate trims were available, namely the 1900 DX and Custom. The Custom model was 1000 mm longer than the 1500 and 1900 DX. In October 1962, the vertical headlamps were now horizontal and the grille design was changed to a 1-piece version. The model number was also changed to H31 during this time. September 1963 saw a revised grille design: it was now split into 2 parts and the lower half had 7 vertical lines.


(Picture credits to: https://www.cutlass70.com/entry/2021/11/30_31Cedric)

The final facelift in September 1964 had the lower half with 4 vertical lines (i.e. this particular unit in the blog post). Furthermore, the taillights was also changed from 3 segments to 2 segments for the final facelift. A luxurious version known as the Cedric Special (type 50) was fitted with a 2800 cc engine, along with a number plate recess on the bumper. It was also longer than other Cedrics, coming in at 4850 mm.

Strictly speaking, the 'H31 Cedric' refers only to the Custom model but it has become a catch-all for the 1st-generation model. The H31 Cedric was powered by a 1883 cc Nissan H straight-4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 140 km/h with an acceleration of 16.4 seconds [0-100 km/h]. and had dimensions of 4650 x 1690 x 1505 mm. It weighed 1260 kg and had a fuel consumption of 13.4 litres / 100 km.

Production of the 30/31 series ended in 1965, where it was succeeded by the 130 series. The H31 Cedric was first sold here in 1963 by Tan Chong & Sons Motor Co where it was retailing for $8,450. However, no original cars here have survived: this unit was imported from Japan a few years ago. It is noted that H31 Cedrics still have a large number that exist: even though Japanese cars from the 60s are not deemed collectible, it is a pleasant surprise to know that someone actually knew about this model's existence and decided to bring it here. While it is currently unregistered, I hope that someday you can get to see this rarity out and about on our roads!

10 September 2022

More than an old car #199: Ferrari 365GTB/4 'Daytona'

As our country slowly opens up its measures, it has been really great to see car meets back in full force. I have also known of others who have travelled overseas for car shows and a apart of me feels envious that I may not have a chance to see them. This also reminded me of a car show that I attended back in 2018, where I was able to see this lovely 1972 Ferrari 365 GTB/4 'Daytona'!

By the time Ferrari introduced the traditional front-engined 275 GTB/4 in 1966, its competitors were already releasing cars with larger engines and a mid-engine layout: Ford with its GT40 and Lamborghini with its Miura. The Miura was more of a threat to Ferrari as it was a genuine series production also in Italy. Aware that it was lagging behind, the 365 GTB/4 was conceived and subsequently unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in 1968. The new car was unofficially dubbed Daytona, in recognition of Ferrari's podium finishes at the 1967 24 Hours race.

The bodywork was designed by Pininfarina and made at the Scaglietti works in Modena. Featuring a chiselled nose, rakish cabin and muscular tail, Pininfarina was able to blend the curves with flat pointy surfaces that would characterise the wedge era of the 1970s. Apart from a pair of discreet vents on the hood, there were no ducts nor spoilers (other than a set of quarter bumpers), giving the car a very clean design. More uniquely, the headlights were covered by a Plexiglas panel, giving it a distinctive look. 

As expected of a Ferrari, the interior was upholstered with luxurious leather and alcantara. Cockpit visibility was extremely good compared to the GT40 and Miura, and gauges were all contained within an oval binnacle. Additional options could be had, such as head rests, air-conditioning and wire wheels instead of the star-shaped Cromodoras. 

Ferrari was unable to sell the 365 GTB/4 in the US as the covered headlights were deemed illegal; this led to a revamp in 1971 when pop-up headlights were introduced. Additional marker lights and installation of an ignition system were some of the numerous changes introduced. It was also around this time that a convertible version known as the 365 GTS/4 was released as well, even though a prototype had been exhibited in 1969. The steering wheel was further changed to a smaller leather one compared to wood rim previously.

The 365 GTB/4 was powered by a 4390 cc Tipo 251 Colombo V12 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 280 km/h with an acceleration of 5.7 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It had dimensions of 4425 x 1760 x 1245 mm, weighed in at 1600 kg and had a whopping fuel consumption of 25 litres / 100 km.

Production of the 365 GTB/4 ended in 1973 with 1,284 made, of which only 149 were in RHD. The Daytona gained fame for featuring in the inaugural Cannonball Run in 1971, where it made the journey from New York to Los Angeles in slightly less than 36 hours (with an average speed of 129 km/h). It also appeared in the sitcom Miami Vice (though the actual car used was a Corvette C3 chassis). 

This particular unit is currently owned by the Sultan of Johor, and it was exhibited 4 years ago as part of a classic car show. Interestingly, at least 1 existed in Singapore back in the 1980s before it was exported to the UK. While there is none currently here to the best of my knowledge, it is not everyday that you get to see this rarity up close...perhaps you may be able to see one overseas!

26 August 2022

More than an old car #198: Ford Capri SC

Have you ever wondered how some cars continue to eke out their existence here despite being unpopular or even hated? It is interesting in fact, to see what exactly compels the owner to hold on to these unconventional classics such as this 1992 Ford Capri (SC) XR2!

Back in the 1980s, Ford was a major shareholder in Mazda and had known that the revolutionary MX-5 was coming. In Ford's attempt to reduce the impact of the MX-5, it independently developed a rival model using Mazda mechanicals based off a mundane Mazda 323/Ford Laser. First released as a concept in 1988, the exterior was designed by Ghia and the interior by Giugario. On the face of it, the Capri combined sexy Italian design, reliable Japanese powertrains and Australian engineering in a convertible package. 

Assembled by Ford Australia, the Capri was primarily designed for export to the US where it was sold as the Mercury Capri. It was a 2+2 seater and not a pure 2-seater like the MX-5, making it possible to carry friends or kids. Ford was desperate to release the Capri before the MX-5, but various issues in production led to the launch date being postponed till the end of 1989, by which time the MX-5 had already appeared in Australia. The Capri had a massive price advantage over the MX-5 however, and it targeted people who did not care about its overall performance.

Upon release, the car received favourable reviews in the US: at one point in time demand outstripped expectations and dealers were over-pricing it. At this point, complaints arose from its leaking roof and cheap interior and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation essentially declared the Capri as a lemon. Furthermore, Ford was struggling to meet production targets and the future of Ford Australia as a manufacturer was cast into doubt by warnings from the head office.

Throughout its existence, the Capri was inevitably compared to the MX-5, somewhat unfairly. Whereas the Mazda was developed as a pure sports car, the Capri had more emphasis on cruise comfort and safety. In 1992, the Capri was updated and given the codename SC; the 'XR2' trim was first applied to both turbo and non-turbo versions though later on, the non-turbo was renamed as 'Barchetta' and the turbo 'Clubsprint'. The Clubsprint turbo had a restyled front and rear along with a body kit. In 1993, the Capri was facelifted and given the codename SE, with a restyled front and rear end along with different lights.

This 5-speed manual Capri SC was powered by a 1597 cc Mazda B6-2E inline-4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 182 km/h with and acceleration of 12.4 seconds [0-100 km/h]. It had dimensions of 4219 x 1640 x 1280 mm, weighed in at 1055 kg and had a fuel consumption of 8.5 litres / 100 km

Production of the Capri ended in 1994 with 66,279 made: interestingly, only 10,347 were in RHD and the rest were exported to the US. It is estimated that just 120 were exported to Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand: this unit is understood to be the only one remaining here ever since it was brought in some time in 1992! Despite its reputation as a lemon, many Capris still remain because of the reliable Mazda mechanical package.

It is impressive that this Capri still remains, especially when parts for it are relatively scarce in this part of the world compared to the MX-5. Despite failing to stand against its Japanese cousin, it is still a part of our motoring heritage and I hope that you can see it for yourself (especially since its lifespan is up to 2030 currently)!

7 August 2022

More than an old car #197: Mitsubishi FTO

Sports cars are not for everyone but they have always remained in the public consciousness, for good or bad. In times like this, the appearance of this 1998 Mitsubishi FTO GPX is a reminder that they are not necessarily flashy or be a nuisance to others...

First released in 1994, the car inherited its name from the Galant GTO that appeared in 1971 and it stands for 'Fresh Touring Origination', which was supposed to be a nod towards its 'freshness, youthfulness and originality'. Only available in a 2-door coupe and front-wheel drive arrangement, 3 different engine types were first offered though there were a handful of sub-models. The GPX version was offered with a rear spoiler and side air dams as standard. Other options such as a passenger air bag and traction controls could be had as well.

The FTO was awarded the Car of the Year Japan award in 1994, and as such, Mitsubishi released a limited edition model of the GPX with all cars in yellow and award badging. The MIVEC engine was the most desirable as it led to greater power and performance output compared to the non-MIVEC versions. In 1997, a facelift was carried out: the air intake was now a single piece, the foglights and indicator units became 4 separate circular units and the headlamp internals were also changed. Despite the front wheel drive layout, it had high tuning performance and a relatively high body rigidity. 

The automatic transmission FTO GPX was powered by a 1999 cc Mitsubishi 6A12 24-valve MIVEC V6 engine, allowing it to reach a maximum of 180 km/h (as its top speed was being limited), with an acceleration of 9.1 seconds [0-100 km/h]. Weighing in at 1210 kg with dimensions of 4365 x 1735 x 1300, it was nimble enough for a sporty performance and the fuel consumption of 9.6 litres / 100 km was somewhat respectable.

Production of the FTO ended in 2000 with 36,805 units made, of which 13,083 were the most common GPX variant. It was exclusively sold for the Japanese market, though many gray imports have made their way to the main RHD countries including Singapore. This particular unit has changed hands multiple times along with its exterior colour: at some point in time it was wrapped in orange (ie this picture) and now it is wrapped in blue. It is believed that this is 1 of 4 FTOs that still exist in Singapore, making this an unlikely rarity. 

FTOs were deemed too expensive to revise in light of new side-protection impact rules in Japan, so it was discontinued along with the GTO. It also fell out of fashion as servicing was not the cheapest out there. In light of the current market of 90s Japanese cars, the FTO is slowly making a comeback as a sought-after classic as the number of decent examples have dwindled. Hopefully you will be able to catch a sight of this rare gem the next time you see it!

23 July 2022

More than an old car #196: Audi TT

Through my time in spotting old cars, I have noted that Audis tend not to be that popular among classic car enthusiasts. I am not privy to the opinions of why this is so, and thus being able to see this 2000 Audi TT Roadster (8N) was a really nice treat!

Development of the TT began back in 1994 at the VW Group Design Centre in California, helmed by Peter Schreyer. Inspired by the Bauhaus design philosophy of 'form follows function', it featured simple geometric shapes without elaborate decorations and a minimalist interior. The overall product was something simple yet pleasing to the eye, and it was even recognised as one of the most influential automotive designs in recent times. 

A prototype coupe was exhibited at the International Motor Show at Frankurt in 1995, followed by a roadster variant. The positive reception from the public led Audi to develop the prototype with only minor changes. It used the VW Golf Mark IV platform as a cost-saving measure and was officially launched in 1998, with the roadster appearing a year later. Its name is taken from the successful motor racing tradition of NSU in the British Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) motorcycle race: NSU was merged into the company known as Audi today. Another interpretation of TT was proposed to stand for 'Technology and Tradition'.

Despite the relatively small size of the car, the cockpit was comfortable enough for the front passengers. All the TTs were made in the Gyor plant in Hungary: its chassis number begins with T instead of W (for Germany). Early TT models received much press coverage following a series of high-speed accidents during abrupt lane changes or sharp turns. Furthermore, there was a tendency for the rear wishbones to break and this led Audi to recall all units in 1999. They were subsequently fitted with a rear spoiler, electronic stability program and a better suspension system which was made standard for future units. 

The TT was facelifted in 2000 with changes such as a different bumper. A larger 3.2 litre engine was also available in 2003 and power outputs were also increased for the existing ones. Initially available only in manual transmission, an automatic version was made available in 2003. In 2005, a limited-edition model known as the TT quattro Sport with a two-tone colour scheme and weight-saving measures was also released.

The TT Roadster was powered by a 1781 cc 20-valve turbocharged i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 214 km/h with an acceleration of 8.9 seconds [0-100 km/h]. With dimensions of 4041 x 1764 x 1349 mm and weighing in at 1335 kg, it could still pack a punch despite being on the heavier side. Its fuel consumption of 8.2 litres / 100 km was a respectable figure among its competitors.

Production of the first-generation TT ended in 2006 where it was replaced by the 8J generation. TTs were first sold here by Premium Automobiles in 2000, retailing at a rather steep S$200,000 with COE included. About 5 units still remain on the road and this roadster is believed to be the only one left. Despite its age, it retains a modern look with its curves. While it may not be easy to identify it as a classic car, there is something about its design that establishes its age. 

As of the time of writing, this car is currently for sale at S$83,000 with about 8 years left to its current lifespan. This would be an interesting choice to stand out from the usual classics on the road, and perhaps you may be the lucky owner to preserve a piece of our automotive heritage for others!

10 July 2022

More than an old car #195: Toyota Corolla Spacio

Family-friendly cars have always been a top favourite among car owners, as circumstances dictate the need to transport children, pets and groceries alike. While multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs) remain firmly in the public consciousness, you would be forgiven for not knowing that this 1998 Toyota Corolla Spacio was an ancestor of your slick MPV today...

Introduced in 1997, the Spacio was a compact minivan version of the E110 Corolla. It stood out from the other Corolla variants because of its curved shape, and it was the only one fitted with a digital speedometer. Its name is a variation of the Italian word 'spazio', which means 'space'. 

Different seat layouts were available along with trims such as Standard, L Package, G Package and Black Sports Package. A facelift in 1999 saw changes such as a front spoiler and a separate tachometer, and an 'aero tourer' version fitted with an aero kit was also available.

The Spacio was powered by a 1587 cc 4A-FE i4 engine. With dimensions of 4135 x 1690 x 1620 mm and weighing in at 1190 kg, it was on the heavier side but it could sit up to 6 adults depending on the seat configuration.

Production of the 1st-generation Spacio ended in 2001 where it was replaced by the E120 version. Interestingly, this is 1 of 2 that still exists here (at the time of writing): it was not a popular car when new and it is amazing to know that 2 people have still decided to hold on to this relative obscurity. Spacios were sold here by Borneo Motors, the official Toyota dealer in 1998, and retailed for $97,998 for the 5-seater variant. 

This particular unit is noted to have a lifespan of up till 2023, where it has to be scrapped or exported after that. While it may have been pretty unknown even when it was around, I hope that this may be something new you have learnt today...hopefully you will be able to see it before it's gone!

25 June 2022

More than an old car #194: MG F

The MG brand is most often associated with eye-catching classic and vintage cars, which is no surprise since it has made its way into the public consciousness for a long while. More recently though, there has been an influx of MG EVs, which is a clear sign of the future of cars. However, I would think many people would be unaware of this 1998 MG F, since it is such a far cry from what people are familiar with...

By the 1980s, MG was in decline as it had stopped producing sports cars (although the MG badge was still used on badge-engineered vehicles during that time. However, MG had been working on prototypes as it still intended to announce its sporting heritage. This began in 1984 with the EX-E, followed by the F-16 concept. A pivotal moment came in 1989 with the release of the Mazda MX-5: this reminded MG of what could have been if it had pushed out the F-16 earlier. Now that the MX-5 had captured the public's attention, there was pressure to produce an MG that could compete in the same market.

In 1992, MG, under the ownership of the Rover group, restarted production of the classic MGB as the limited edition RV8. The subsequent positive reaction encouraged the company to continue development of the 'Phoenix Revival' prototypes, known as PR1/2/3. Outside contractors were engaged to keep costs down and each of the 3 parties were given an F-16 prototype to work on. Road tests between the prototypes led to PR3 winning out with its mid-engine layout.

After the PR3 was given the green light, it was time for final adjustments made to its design. Many changes were made such as a lowered windscreen, rounder headlights and a traditional MG grille arrangement. Furthermore, the car was intended to be as British as possible: practically every part of the car came from the Rover parts bin, except for the Pininfarina-designed canvas top. Even the K-series engine used in the car was a Rover invention despite drawing inspiration from the similar Honda engines.

When the MG F was launched in 1995, it enjoyed a positive reaction from the press: many people praised its British heritage, exemplary handling and cuddly looks. In 1999, it underwent a mild facelift with a revised interior and a new 1.6 litre engine was released as well. The car continued to sell well despite Rover Group being sold to BMW. This unit was powered by a 1796 cc K-series i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 193 km/h with an acceleration of 9.2 seconds [0-100 km/h]. With dimensions of 3913 x 1628 x 1264 mm, it was relatively tiny. It weighed 1060 kg with a fuel consumption of 7.4 litres / 100 km.

Production ended in 2002 where it was succeeded by the TF, which was a heavily redesigned version of the F. Sales of the TF could have been decent but for the collapse of the MG Rover group in 2005. In 2007, the TF LE500 was released by Nanjing Automotive, which owned the right to the MG nameplate. However, only 906 were made under Chinese ownership when production officially ended in 2011. 

A total of 77,269 units were made while under British ownership, and this unit is believed to be the last one remaining here! MGFs were sold here in 1996 by Intra Motors (S) Pte Ltd (which no longer exists): current MG cars sold here by Eurokars are all electric vehicles, a far cry from its sporting heritage. As of the time of writing, it is up for sale: who knows, perhaps you could be inspired to pull the trigger and acquire this rarity here! Its lifespan is still extended for the time being so it won't be gone anytime soon hopefully...I hope you'll be lucky to catch this some day!

12 June 2022

More than an old car #193: Citroen Berlingo

Having spotted cars for quite a long time, I have seen my fair share of weird and wacky vehicles. Along this vein, passenger vans are a curious oddity since they get ignored by enthusiasts and the uninitiated alike. As such, it was a pleasant surprise to know that this 2001 Citroen Berlingo Multispace still exists somehow!

First introduced in 1996, the Berlingo replaced the aging C15 van which had been produced since 1984. Along with its sister model the Peugeot Partner, the utility (van) model was launched, followed by a passenger version known as the Multispace. Interestingly, the vehicle did not have sliding doors at first. Renault had launched the Kangoo shortly in 1997, and it came with sliding doors: sales of the Kangoo was good and PSA (the holding company of Citroen and Peugeot) had to respond. 

In 1999, the Berlingo came with a sliding door on the opposite side of the steering wheel for safety reasons. New engines were introduced in 2000 and the Berlingo underwent a facelift featuring larger headlights and a front end. The Kangoo now featured sliding doors on both sides and the Berlingo followed suit, first as an option for the van but standard for the passenger Multispace. The Multispace was also available with a canvas top that could be unrolled, much like a sunroof.

The Berlingo Multispace was powered by a 1360 cc i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 150 km/h with an acceleration of 17.2 seconds [0-100 km/h]: definitely not meant for hard driving. With dimensions of 4108 x 1719 x 1802 mm, it does not necessarily stand out much from the cars around it. It weighed 1125 kg and had a fuel consumption rate of 7.1 litres / 100 km.

Production of the 1st-generation Berlingo ended in 2008, although local assembly still continues today in Argentina by Stellantis of Bueno Aires: for instance, the local version of the Multispace features double rear doors (like the van version) instead of the hatch version imported from Europe. In Singapore, both van and passenger models were sold back in 1998. While Berlingos are still out and about till this day, this unit is the last 1st-generation version that still exists on the road!

Apparently, its lifespan has been extended by another 10 years so you should still be able to find this on the road. While no one may lament at its absence, the fact that the owner still holds on to it is a testament to its uniqueness in our motoring landscape and I hope you'll be able to recognise it some day!

27 May 2022

More than an old car #192: Honda Civic (SB)

I can't believe that it's been almost 3 years since I followed along for a drive: so many things have changed since then and I hope that we have rounded a corner currently. What caught my attention was this lovely 1979 Honda Civic SB: this unit is currently the only 1st-generation Civic that exists here, though who knows there could be more brought in soon...

Designed by Shinya Iwakura, the Civic was largely developed as a new platform: it was the result of taking the previous Honda N600 by making it larger, along with the doubling of the engine capacity. Its smaller size allowed it to outperform American competitors, especially when the 1973 oil crisis hit. The good fuel mileage and compact design attracted many peopled away from large cars such as the Toyota Crown. Originally available in fastback sedan and hatchback form, a wagon version was introduced in 1974. Fastback sedans (like this unit) can be distinguished from the hatchback based on whether the rear portion could be opened fully. 

In 1975, a revised engine with CVCC (Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion) was released. It had a head design that promoted cleaner, more efficient combustion: this eliminated the need for catalytic converters or unleaded fuel to meet changing emissions standards. Civics had a sales advantage because the buyer could choose any type of fuel or gasoline products available, making it even more popular in the aftermath of the oil crisis. Despite it, Civics were prone to rust especially during winter: nearly a million cars were recalled by the NHTSA and owners had the right to receive replacements or cash reimbursements.

Civics were also assembled in New Zealand and Indonesia with only certain ranges available. A sportier model known as the Civic RS was released for the Japanese market only with a more powerful engine and increased performance parts. It received a facelift in 1978, featuring a black grille, 1/2 amber signals (from 1/3 amber signals) and reverse lights mounted on the bumper.

This unit was powered by a 1238 cc EB2 inline-4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 147 km/h with an acceleration of 13.7 seconds [0-100 km/h]. With dimensions of 3560 x 1505 x 1330 mm and weighing in at just 670 kg, it was deft enough to navigate the relatively small streets of Japan. The fuel consumption of 8.6 litres / 100 km was the answer to concerns of thirstiness in view of the oil crisis.

Production of the first-generation Civic ended in 1979, where it was succeeded by the second-generation model. Civics were sold here in 1973 where the 2-door hatchback retailed for S$9,400. Local reviews praised its comfort level despite its small size, along with precise steering and excellent al-round visibility. None of the original Civics in Singapore still exist: this 2-door sedan was imported from Malaysia in 2018. As of the time of writing, it is up for sale at $29,888 which I feel is a reasonable price given that demand for old Japanese cars will continue to rise across the board. 

The Civic name is quintessentially Honda, and the juxtaposition between the grandfather of economy cars and its modern-day descendants is eye-boggling to say the least. It kept Honda in business and paved the way for the company to go from strength to strength: subsequent Civics remain much loved, or at the least acknowledged for its reliability and affordability. Here's to the 'car of the people' and I hope you will see this old beauty one day! 

14 May 2022

More than an old car #191: Porsche 924 Carrera GT

Does anyone feel that as you grow older, time flows even faster? It's already quite a distance into 2022 and I still can't believe that we are getting older at a faster rate. However, this lovely 1981 Porsche 924 Carrera GT in stunning Guards Red still looks timeless today even among its admittedly more powerful descendants.

Originally conceived as a joint project between Volkswagen and Porsche, 'Project 425' was intended to be VW's flagship coupe sports car and Porsche's replacement for the 914. VW had no experience in developing sporty cars and Porsche had been doing this all the while: per a deal that went back to the 1940s, Porsche was contracted to develop a new sporty vehicle with the condition that the vehicle must work with an existing VW / Audi inline-4 engine. 

The 1973 oil crisis and various automobile-related regulatory changes led to the scrapping of the project by VW, but Porsche made a deal to buy it back. It already had a rear-wheel drive layout and a rear-mounted transaxle to help provide 48/52 front/rear weight distribution. Under the aforementioned deal, the car was to be made at the ex-NSU factory at Neckarsulm: Porsche would own the design while VW employees would do the actual production line work. The car was mated to VW's EA831 2-litre engine, variants of which were used in the VW Transporter van; many other parts such as the gearbox and strut arms came from the VW / Audi parts bin, leading to lower costs of production.

Designed by Harm Lagaay, it was fundamentally different from previous Porsche models since the engine was now installed at the front. It was described as designed by someone 'who dreamed of a Ferrari all his life but never got one'. The front end was long and sloped steeply with pop-up headlights, contributing to its relatively low Cd of 0.34. As a 2+2 coupe, the rear seats was only suitable for children or small people due to limited space (which was partly taken up by the large trunk capacity of 370 litres). It adopted various styling elements from other cars, such as its rear window from the Jensen Interceptor and the rear quarter windows from the Honda Civic.

Porsche recognised a need for a higher-performance version of the 924 as the base model was noted to be underpowered. This led to the introduction of the 924 Turbo in 1978, which had a turbocharged engine, a NACA duct and 4 slotted air vents on the badge panel. Just one year later, a concept 924 was submitted at the Frankfurt Motor Show to introduce ideas for the upcoming 944. In 1980, the 924 Carrera GT was released: visual differences included a polyurethane plastic front and rear flared guards, a polyurethane front spoiler, a large top-mounted air scoop for the intercooler and a flush mounted front windscreen. There was also more aggressive versions known as the GTS and the GTR, which had further weight-saving features.

The Carrera GT was powered by a 1984 cc turbocharged VW EA831 inline-4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 240 km/h with an acceleration of 6.9 seconds [0-100 km/h]. Its power output of 210 bhp due to the additional intercooler was the critical difference that set it apart from its regular siblings. With dimensions of 4200 x 1685 x 1270 mm and weighing in at 1180 kg, it was small yet potent in performance. Its fuel consumption of 9.1 litres / 100 km is representative of its high performance.

Production of the 924 ended in 1988 with more than 150,000 made. Just 406 of them were the Carrera GT, of which 75 were in RHD. It is estimated that only about 42 still remain worldwide and this unit is believed to be 1 of 2 that still exists here: it has been here since 1981 (when it was sold by Ngo Hock Auto Spares Co Pte Ltd, the local Porsche dealer back then) and still carries normal registration! 

924s are increasingly finding favour among enthusiasts and some have been imported recently. However, Carrera GTs remain ultra-exclusive and finding one on the market at a reasonable price is a tall order. Its continued existence is a testament to the past owners' undying passion (and funds spent) to keep this ultimate driving machine on the roads today. With its splendid Guards Red exterior paint, it is an eye-turner despite its age. From my understanding, this unit has been put up for sale: if you are looking for something powerful yet extraordinary, this could be the one for you!

6 May 2022

Miscellaneous classics #9: Daihatsu Delta

It has been a while since I wrote about non-car vehicles. Being enamoured with all things angular/squarish, I had always wanted to write about this 1985 Daihatsu Delta V78 ever since I saw it!

The Daihatsu Delta was a rebodied version of the U10 Toyota Dyna and was first introduced in 1970. Daihatsu had previously entered into a business alliance with Toyota Motor Corporation in 1967 and naturally, the Delta shared many parts with its brother car Dyna. The 3rd generation Delta appeared in 1984: it differed from the Y50 Dynas by its 4 rectangular headlights compared to round headlights, although the Dynas received quad rectangular headlights in 1989. Interestingly, there was also a van version of the Delta: it was essentially a truck chassis fused with a typical van.

Various versions with different cab sizes and functions were released. This unit, known as the V78 Delta was powered by a 3431 cc Toyota 3B i4 engine. It had dimensions of 4695 x 1695 x 1995 mm with a weight of 2360 kg.

Production of the 3rd-generation Delta ended in 1995, though it was continued to be made exclusively for export markets with a facelift to the grille. It was only in 2010 that production stopped entirely. A small handful of Deltas still remain here, with some still seeing usage as tow trucks. This particular unit has an interesting history: it was previously owned by a Hindu temple services company specifically to tow a silver chariot during certain Hindu festivals. Despite sporting an early 90s number plate, it is noted that the original registration was in 1986: it is likely that it could have towed cars before being converted.

While old trucks do not get the same amount of love and affection from many others, I have tried to bring a spotlight on them all this while. I hope that next time, you might be able to recognise them for their role in our motoring heritage!

22 April 2022

More than an old car #190: Suzuki Wagon R+

The 90s was a game-changing period for Japanese cars: the variety of vehicles churned out continues to fascinate the world even till today. Amidst it all, there were many others that flew under the radar such as this 1998 Suzuki Wagon R+!

First introduced in 1993, the Wagon R was revolutionary in the mini vehicle market. Until then, most of them were either short or uncomfortable (as they were based off commercial vehicle models). The Wagon R featured raised seats, which reduced the feeling of oppression without the need to bend one's legs, and a single step was also incorporated which made entry and exit smooth. It also shared parts with many other Suzuki vehicles in the name of cost control, which was partially inspired by Volkswagen. Its name is a wordplay on 'wagons also are', since there are sedans but there are also wagons. The R also stood for 'revolutionary' and 'recreation', which made reference to the reason why the car was designed in the first place.

Initially, the Wagon R was only available in '1+2 door' format (i.e. without the rear right door) and came without headrests. The regular 5-door version was introduced in 1996 and a facelift was applied to the front end in 1997. It was also around this time that a wider and longer version known as the Wagon R+ / Wagon R Wide was introduced. Initially, it had four horizontal slats for the front end, before it was facelifted in 1998 to resemble that of the regular Wagon R. No longer a kei car, the Wagon R+ was powered by a 996 cc K10A i4 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 140 km/h. It was 3410 mm long and weighed 845 kg, with a fuel consumption of 7.6 litres / 100 km

Production of the 1st-generation Wagon R+ ended in 1999, where it was succeeded by the next-generation model (also known as the Solio). The R+ was sold here in 1998, and it was around this time that the COEs for small cars was in short supply. There are about 3 units that still remain; this particular one was scrapped shortly after I saw it. Though it may look inconspicuous at first glance, there is something about its ordinariness that has always caught my eye. Its van-like shape belies its age and makes the realisation all the more better. Perhaps you will be able to catch the remaining ones on the road someday!

8 April 2022

More than an old car #189: Triumph TR6

Recently, I was reminded on Google Photos that it has been 4 years since I took some photos. While scrolling through the archives, I happened to find this 1970 Triumph TR6 which I had somehow taken even though I could not recall exactly when, so it was a nice surprise...

First introduced in 1969, the TR6 was the spiritual successor to the TR5 and it was Triumph's cost effective way of updating its traditional TR sports car line for the 70s. Designed by Karmann on a budget, it had an effective nose and face-lift from its predecessors with the middle end remaining unchanged. Available only as a 2-door convertible, a removable hardtop was subsequently designed in-house. The 2.5 litre engine was available in both fuel-injection and carburettor form, although the latter was mainly for the US market.

The car was subject to change in every year of production: 1969 models had a body-coloured windscreen and chrome engine covers, while 1970 ones had the option of wire-spoke wheels like the above unit. Wiper arms became matte black instead of chrome in 1973 and headrests were made standard. In 1975, the front bumper was raised and the front lights were lowered as well.

The TR6 was powered by a 2498 cc straight-6 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 119 mph with an acceleration of 8.2 seconds [0-60 mph]. It was 3950 mm long and weighed 1130 kg, with a fuel consumption of 20 miles per gallon.

Production of the TR6 ended in 1976 with 91,850 made: interestingly, about 80% were exported and a fair proportion were destined for the US market. They are still popular at least in the UK, with about 4000 still registered on the road. Some TR6s also made their way to Singapore back in the day, although they did not appear to have been brought in by dealers. A local review in 1969 praised its decent boot space (considering that such cars usually had a small boot), and the zip-fastener in the rear window helped to provide fresh air for the occupants. However, none have remained till today: this unit appears to be an import. 

TR6s are often regarded as the last Triumph sports car: the TR7 that followed was greeted with much disappointment from enthusiasts. As with British cars from that era, they are fun and zippy to drive, although rust remains as a perennial mortal enemy. They are regarded as the bridge between the past and modernity, with better performance and yet easily accessible to the enthusiast. Classic British sports cars never fail to disappoint and I hope you will have the chance to see this rarity on the road!

24 March 2022

More than an old car #188: Volvo S70

Some time back I did a poll to check on what types of cars people would like to see being featured. Having too many of them to write about and limited time, deciding on what to cover is actually difficult. One of the requests was to write about Swedish classics and I was reminded of this 1998 Volvo S70 that I had seen many years ago...

First introduced in late 1996 for the 1997 model year, the S70 was essentially a revised version of the 850. Featuring about 1,800 modifications from its predecessor, changes included a more rounded body style, redesigned front end with new lights, clear indicator lenses for the rear lights and a redesigned interior. Standard equipment such as remote central locking, 4 airbags and power windows were made available on every car. A variety of trims and engine types were available, with the R model (available only in some European countries) being the highest specification.

The S70 had a mild facelift in 1999, with a small change to the badge on the front grille. A better side airbag and Volvo's proprietary whiplash protection system (WHIPS) was made standard. While available only as a 4-door sedan, a wagon version known as the V70 was sold separately. Specialised versions for taxi and police usage were also sold. This unit was powered by a 1984 cc B5204T2 inline-5 engine, allowing it to reach a top speed of 215 km/h with an acceleration of 9.3 seconds [0-100 km/h]. With dimensions of 4722 x 1761 x 1403 mm and weighing in at 1370 kg, it was rather compact and would not look out of place among cars today. Its fuel consumption of 10.1 litres / 100 km puts it at a decent rate of trips to the petrol station.

Production of the S70 ended in 2000 where it was succeeded by the S60. With 243,078 units made, it was sold in fewer numbers compared to its fellow siblings. It is believed that this is just 1 of 2 that still exist in Singapore, with the other being a less common 2.4 litre variant. S70s were sold here in 1997, and a few were actually owned by the government for official duties. Many did not survive partly due to high COE prices and better options available on the market for compact executive cars. I am not sure if you are able to find them on the road, but hopefully this has been informational for you to recognise its existence...

11 February 2022

More than an old car #187: Mercedes MB100

Some time back, I was passing by a primary school and naturally took notice of the school buses that were waiting for their pupils. This brought back a sense of nostalgia when I recalled the buses that were present during my time, and one that caught my attention was a particular minibus with a Mercedes logo. Having associated the 3-pointed star with the noveau-rich, it was pretty strange to see one used as a children-carrier. Incidentally, I was quite fortunate to find that a piece of my history still remains with this 1999 Mercedes MB100 / Ssangyong Istana!

Ssangyong originally started out as 2 companies: Ha Dong-hwan Motor Workshop and Dongbang Motor Co, which merged in 1963 into Ha Dong-hwan Motor Co. It started out making special purpose vehicles, trucks and buses. In 1984, it was renamed to Dong-A Motor and was acquired by Ssangyong (Korean for 'double dragon') Business Group in 1986, though the name change to Ssangyong Motor happened in 1988.

Ssangyong entered into a technology partnership with Mercedes in 1991: this was to help Ssangyong develop an SUV with Mercedes technology without having to build their own infrastructure in view of the then-booming SUV market. It turned out that Ssangyong benefited greatly from this union: many of its future models drew on Daimler designs. In 1997, Daewoo Motors (now GM Korea) bought a controlling stake from the Ssangyong group but the subsequent Asian Financial Crisis put a spanner to the works: a majority stake was sold to Chinese automobile maker SAIC in 2004. This was not a happy alliance: amidst strikes and accusation of technology stealing, Ssangyong was acquired by the Mahindra group in 2011.

Ssangyong was able to record its first net profit after 9 years with the introduction of the Tivoli in 2015. Unfortunately, the good times did not last long and Mahindra cut its funding due to its outstanding debt, forcing Ssangyong to file for receivership in 2020. The first Ssangyongs were sold in Singapore in 2003 as the Musso truck, and despite being less regarded compared to Hyundai and Kia, it continues to plod on and exist in the local car market. For some reason, they see regular usage as private hire vehicles and those that are under private ownership are not numerous.

In 1995, DaimlerChrysler introduced the MB100/MB140 to the Australian and Pacific markets: it was a larger derivative of the W631 series of vans. They were made under licence by Ssangyong, where it received the surprisingly familiar name of 'Istana' ('palace' in the Malay language) in the Korean market. As such, its VIN indicates the place of manufacture as Korea. It was sold in both van and minibus versions: the minibus versions had sliding windows, concealed air-conditioning and even an electric step that would slide out for the convenience of passengers. 

The MB100 was powered by a 2235 cc M161 i4 engine (uniquely for Ssangyong) allowing it to reach a top speed of 145 km/h. It was 4890 mm long and weighed 1775 kg, with a fuel consumption of 15 litres/100 km. MB140s were longer at 5340 mm, although both variants were available in the 2.2 litre and 2.9 litre engine versions.

Production of the Istana/MB100 ended in 2004, although Chinese production by Shanghai Huizhong Manufacturing Co began at that time and ended in 2010: Chinese-market units were sold as Sanxing SX6492 or SHAC SH6492. They were sold in Singapore under the Mercedes brand instead of Ssangyong and thus were distributed by Cycle and Carriage. An overwhelming majority of them were registered as minibuses and thus only had a 20-year lifespan. The number of MB100/MB140s should be countable on one hand now, and this unit is the last one that still carries a private car registration. It is currently owned by a charitable organisation and the lifespan has been extended to 2030: this is a testament to how much it has been treasured throughout its life. The mileage of 78,000 km (as of this year) is actually remarkable: some classic cars have clocked longer distances than this 'plain Jane'...

Although it may be 'just a random bus' to most people, I find greater pleasure in documenting the less remarkable parts of our automotive history (as you may already know based on my posts). Since no one would probably write about it, I figured that this could be a nice refresher for you: perhaps you have travelled in one to school in your younger days? There is no hurry to catch this 'magic school bus' on the roads since it is not going to be scrapped any time soon, but I hope you will be able to see it again!

21 January 2022

More than an old car #186: Toyota Land Cruiser J60

As you may be aware, I have always been enamoured by boxy designs and they sparked off my love of classic cars. Recently, I was given a wonderful opportunity to cover this immaculate 1986 Toyota Land Cruiser HJ60 (which is currently on sale!) and it was a really good experience...

The history of the Land Cruiser dates all the way back to 1936, with the Kurogane Type 95 scout car devised by the Japanese Imperial Army. During the Japanese occupation in Philippines, they found an American Willys Jeep and promptly sent it back, where it was used as a reference to build a similar vehicle under orders from the military authorities. This led to the development of the AK10 prototype: although it did not see much use in the field, lessons were learnt which were applied to the development of the first Land Cruiser. 

During the Korean War, Toyota was tasked by the US government to make 100 new vehicles with Willys Jeep specifications. The subsequent output, known as the Toyota BJ, was larger and more powerful than its US counterpart: as it was a Jeep-type car powered by the Toyota B engine, the model became 'Type BJ'. First appearing in 1951, the Toyota BJ was able to climb up to the 6th stage of Mt Fuji which was unprecedented at that time. Much impressed, the National Police Agency quickly placed orders. In 1952, the name "Land Cruiser" was coined by the technical director Hanji Umehara: it was likened to a cruiser with the enthusiasm to drive out 'rovers', as Land Rover was regarded as their competitor. 

By 1980, passenger cars were changing and becoming more comfort-oriented than before. With the advent of SUVs in the US and the Range Rover, Toyota realised that they could build automobiles that would provide Range Rover comfort and versatility at a much lower price. The J60 was available only in 5-door wagon form but it was far more luxuriously appointed than its forebears. Comfort features included power steering, air conditioning and heated rear windows. Both petrol and diesel engines were available, and a facelift was carried out in 1987 with the round headlamps changed to 4 square ones.

This unit is powered by a 3980 cc Toyota 2H inline-6 diesel engine mated to a 5-speed H55F manual transmission, allowing it to reach a top speed of 145 km/h with a maximum power output of 76kW at 3500 rpm. With dimensions of 4750 x 1800 x 1825 mm, it can easily ford the increasingly frequent floodwaters that has been affecting the country recently. The HJ60's fuel consumption of 12.9 litres / 100 km is reasonable given its heft of 2010 kg.

Production of the J60 series ended in 1990 where it was succeeded by the J80 range, though production in Venezuela continued until 1992. The first Land Cruisers were brought in by Asia Motor Co Ltd in 1957, and small numbers existed in Singapore including the J60s. None are known to be left, but recently a few Land Cruisers have been imported under the classic vehicle scheme.

This particular unit, imported from Australia, was originally in Saint Moritz White (colour code 033) with an olive brown/light brown fabric interior (trim code FA42). It has been reupholstered lovingly, creating additional comfort and the exterior has been treated with the unique Raptor paint: its rough exterior pays homage to its rugged purpose and suitably protects the robust body from more scratches. 

If you are looking for a vehicle that can tackle roads, both on and off it while standing out from the crowd, this is the one for you! This urban warrior has had the following works done:

- Fully serviced brakes, aircon, engine and gearbox

- Full lubricant and coolant flush

- Full wiring repair

- Suspension repair

- Change of oil and fuel filter

Having sat in it myself and marveled at all the details, it presents a good off-road challenge for the adventurous (once more suitable tyres are fitted) and yet offers humongous storage space when the seats are lowered. The diesel engine is potent and is able to generate much torque, which will come in handy when conquering uneven terrain. An interesting component would be the inclinometer: it was quite cool to see the little figure tilt around when going on slopes.

For more details and inquiries, please feel free to contact me or Classic Motorworks SG as they are the ones who imported it in. With Japanese reliability packed into a fun and tough SUV, it is really the best of both worlds. You can see for yourself that they do not make cars like they do today, with the multitude of hands-on gauges and spirited driving. Who knows, you may just be the lucky owner to turn heads on your next rip down our roads!