Daihatsu is one of the oldest motor-vehicle manufacturers in Japan, though it's now a division of that relative newcomer, Toyota. On the streets of Japan today, you'll see Daihatsu kei cars and trucks everywhere (including such fine models as the Taft, Canbus, and Thor), but Daihatsu's foray into the North American market didn't go so well. When I saw a Daihatsu appear in the online inventory of an independent self-service yard south of Denver a couple of months back, I hopped in my kei van and got right over there to document it.
I really enjoy encountering the cheap and cheerful compacts of the past. Their lack of technological complexity, superb integrity in exterior design, and complete absence of flim-flam is refreshing.
Our Rare Ride today is such a compact, from a company many in North America don’t know. It’s the Daihatsu Charade.
The Daihatsu Charade was available in the United States for the 1988 through 1992 model years, then was forgotten more quickly than the speed at which Darmstadtium-267 decays. Still, among the Daewoo Nubiras and Kia Rondos and Sterling 827s and other forgotten machinery at your typical California self-service junkyards, you’ll see a Charade now and then.
(Everybody welcome Ryan, who has been #blessed enough to own one of the most recherche Japanese cars of the last thirty years! — JB)
I’m not a monogamous guy, at least not when it comes to cars. Since my college years, I’ve consistently owned two vehicles at all times. The idea was to have a nicer, newer car for trips and weekends, then add an old beater to tackle the dull daily commute, run errands, and save wear and tear off the new car. After all, variety is the spice of life. It was also enjoyable to have a few choices depending on my mood in the driveway.
Question: If the Hindustan Ambassador Is No More, What Car Takes Over As Current Continuous-Production King?
As we all know by now, Hindustan Motors has shut down the production line for the venerable Hindustan Ambassador, a car whose production run stretches all the way back to 1954 and the Morris Oxford II… or, depending on how strict your interpretation of the definition of “same car” happens to be— the 1948 Morris Oxford MO. Whether it’s a Type 1 Beetle-beating 66 years or just a merely staggering 60 years, the passing of the Amby means that the acrimonious debate must begin: which current car has been in continuous production, in more or less the same form, for the most years?
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- Oberkanone The Chrysler - Plymouth - Dodge Neon's racing successes - SCCA and elsewhere (allpar.com)Inexpensive racing.