The old Toyota Dyna was really nothing special, it was a lorry and it did its job well, serving as a reliable workhorse to many businesses and people. The Dyna was also rebadged by Daihatsu in certain markets, the most prominent version being the 1980’s Daihatsu Delta, the red or white coloured cab lorries we see on the roads, I don’t think anyone has never seen them before.
I’m not sure if Toyota ever sold the older Dynas here, maybe I haven’t notice any or maybe they all rusted away, though I am quite a novice in the lorry world. However, the Dyna was rather popular in Indonesia, even being built there at Purwakarta, there’s even a channel that explained in quite detail, the history of how the Dyna was a part of the Indonesian motoring history and culture, though the audio is quite bad.
What’s more, there was a commercial made back then for the lorry to promote its ruggedness, finding a commercial vehicle advertisement is kind of rare because honestly not many people would actually remember or keep them. But by some stroke of luck and nostalgia, some managed to, this particular commercial was very interesting. First, it has a huge explosion for no reason, but it was very 1980’s, secondly, it featured Muhammad Ali saying something, “Ouum!” I think, twice! These two features alone make this one of the coolest commercials ever, nothing can beat a professional boxer and explosions with a Green Toyota speeding around a mining area, and this Muhammad Ali marketing even made it on paper ads, it was a legit endorsement by him, check out the photo below, and the video!
Pairing Muhammad Ali with a Toyota lorry was a great idea, the two are synonymous with brute strength and ruggedness, I’m surprised he agreed to even be a part of this, props to Toyota/Toyota Indonesia!
The Toyota Dyna was certainly something big in Indonesia, and I’m glad that advertisements like these are still being preserved for people to find and see. The Dyna still continues to be in production, though nothing major has changed since its creation, the lorry still proves to be a simple, reliable and dependable workhorse for the honest blue-collared worker.
Everyone knows the Kancil right? not just the animal but the car made by our second national car maker, Perodua (Perusahaan Otomobil Kedua Sendirian Berhad). This little box on wheels was essentially a rebadged Daihatsu Mira (as with all Peroduas as a part of the joint venture) and was the first Perodua ever to be made back in 1994. The Kancil was undoubtedly popular among Malaysians because of its incredible fuel consumption and small size, to this day, the car still angers many Malaysians as we search for parking only to find a smug Kancil parked way too inwards in the parking bay.
Sticking to its Japanese origin, the Kancil was sold with a 660cc inline-3 engine (660cc being the max capacity for a car to be classed as a Kei car in Japan, thus avoiding high tax) or a more powerful 850cc engine, along with either an automatic or five-speed manual. Any Malaysian born in the mid to late nineties must have driven one at least once in their lifetime, because it is the official driver’s-ed car. Almost all driving schools used specially built Kancils with passenger controls to teach the eager/nervous 17 year old how to shift gears, perform a hill start and parallel park, I remembered mine not having second gear and rattled every. single. second.
Between 1994 to 2009, Perodua sold over 700,000 Kancils and even exported them to the UK, where it was called the Nippa and to Indonesia, called the Ceria. It was the love of many Malaysians because of its simplicity, good fuel economy, cheap maintenance and small size. However, as it was designed to be a cheap economy car, you don’t see many of them around anymore, in good condition at least, almost all of them were driven to the ground, abused and thrown away. It’s perfectly normal consumer behaviour, I mean you too would dispose a cheap economy car after years of driving, newer economy cars or even normal sized vehicles could almost achieve the Kancil’s fuel consumption with an added benefit of being safer, because lets face it, you are the crumple zone in this little econobox.
But some individuals kept them, and kept them extremely clean.
This may not be a new thing, but after going through Instagram, I’ve founded several accounts dedicated on people documenting, keeping and preserving their Kancils in pristine condition. Now there are plenty of accounts with this car life documentation style post, but seeing an old pre-facelift Kancil being taken care of is something unique and really cool. This interests me so much that I contacted one of these accounts and asked some questions. This little dark green Kancil belongs to a cool young man, Jay.
Jay goes by the name thatblue660 on Instagram and his econobox is one of the early models, before Perodua gave it a major facelift with the round front lights. Now looking at the photos above, you can see that Jay’s Kancil is in impeccable condition, I mean when was the last time you saw a Kancil this clean and kept in stock condition? I provided a few questions to Jay about his Kancil and what he thinks of his car and the community around it. Here’s the story.
This is Jay’s first and current car, it was originally bought at an auction in 2001 for RM 15,000 because the previous owner couldn’t afford to pay the monthly instalments, in 2018, it was finally handed down to him to be driven.
“It’s an absolute shitbox and I love it.”
Jay spent his whole childhood with this car, reminiscing stories such as being locked in the backseat when he was a baby resulting in a window that had to be smashed or when he ruined the central locking system because he kept playing with it to hear the satisfying sound it made.
“A lot of good memories when I was a child, so I’ve got a lot of sentimental value and a special bond with this nugget.”
“In terms of what other people think of it, there are some people who appreciate and get intrigued when they see it, and there are some who look low upon it since it’s a bone stock Kancil with nothing special about it. I’ve had some senior people who have told me my car looks like it came straight out of the factory back in the 90’s/2000’s and it always warms my heart”
Out of the factory indeed, looking at Jay’s photos, you can see that his Kancil really does look like it just left the factory yesterday, the only thing missing are the plastic covers on the seats. Jay originally planned to swap the engine out of the car due to the stock one not having that much power. he stated that a motorcycle engine was an option because of the similar size and displacement. However, his lack of budget for such mods and being a student, Jay has opted to wait a little longer until he has the funds to make that happen. He also mentioned that he’s currently focusing on turbocharged Mira engines to swap, which would be ideal since its basically the same car.
“Most of my expenses on this car comes from my savings. My dad does help pay for some of the large repair expenses. So far I think I’ve spent around RM400~500 on mods such as the Ultra Racing strut bar and rear frame brace, Sparco aluminium pedals, LED headlights (4300k only, still JPJ legal) and a couple more.”
This Kancil does have some but tasteful upgrades as mentioned above, in addition to that, the speakers were swapped in from a later model Myvi which according to Jay might sound mediocre in a Myvi but sounds a lot better than the stock unit in this Kancil. Jay also focuses on mods (if there is a need and budget) that improves the cars performance or simply make it drive better.
In terms of fixing/restoring it, all of the work is done by him. Jay has repaired issues such as rust spots where he would sand the area down and spray paint it to prevent the rust from spreading. He also resprayed and clear coated the wheel covers to prevent any dirt getting stuck to them. Perhaps the best part of the car are the factory wheels, just take a look at them, it screams nineties econocar! and they are properly taken care of, you don’t see these wheels on any other Kancil looking this fresh.
I admire the work he has done to the Kancil, but how does he think of his car?
“It ain’t a pretty car, but it’s kinda cute. Sometimes I do be a little sad because it’s really really slow compared to the other cars on the road, but then it compensates with the fun of driving it.”
With the manual transmission, Jay has noted that it is much more interesting to drive the car around and with the additional strut bars and the Kancil’s lightweight construction (just under 700 kg), it fairs rather well against windy roads.
Like I’ve said in the beginning, there are a number of other pages where people enjoy documenting their Kancils (I’ll provide a short list later), Jay is aware of these people such as keikancil and kancilsyndicate, all of which are devoted in anything Kancil and Daihatsu Mira based. The bigger accounts are also known to host meet ups and events where people like Jay can hang out with other Kancil enthusiasts. This awareness also translate to a growing community and friendship among others.
“Yep I have made friends with a couple of Kancil owners and other car enthusiasts and we message each other if we have any doubts on our cars.”
Jay also shares the same opinions as me, that clean bone stock Kancils are getting harder to come by as he mainly has encountered ones that have been converted to Miras, though often terribly done, completely butchered out modified Kancils or ones that have been driven hard and worn out.
Jay has no plans on selling it anytime soon, if so, he will only sell it to a family member or a close person (maybe me?). His plans are to take a step by step process in tastefully modifying it with a turbo swap or a larger engine but still preserving the car’s looks, essentially making it a sleeper of some sort. Jay is also contemplating on purchasing another Kancil and restoring it, though no clear plans have surfaced yet.
Having the online interview with Jay was an opening experience, because cars like this are neglected, Jay himself agrees that the Kancil isn’t really appreciated because of what it is, a simple econobox despite it being the perfect example of “slow car fast”. Average people would see it as another old car, but to us enthusiast who know what the car actually is, it’s a big favour for normal cars like the Kancil to be something that people can work on, restore or modify without spending an insane amount of money. Furthermore, the idea of documenting the car’s “life” shows that machines too, can have a soul and a bond with someone.
I’d like to thank Jay/thatblue660 for providing me with the clear feedbacks and the photos of his fabulous car, we at Maximum Torque Malaysia wish you all the best in your future car endeavours! Please do follow thatblue660 for more updates on his Kancil on Instagram and checkout these other awesome guys too.
It’s literally the description of our blog, but we haven’t talked about it, this hobby among us car enthusiast gives us the opportunity to seek cool, rare and classic cars and share them for the world to see, it’s called car spotting. Car spotting is what we at Maximum Torque Malaysia are doing, in fact, our first social media presence started as an Instagram page.
What is car spotting?
What is car spotting, well in fact there’s Wikipedia article about the definition. The name itself is pretty self-explanatory, it’s a hobby for automobile enthusiast to seek and snap photos of cars they see or “spot” on the road, similar to plane spotting. Car spotting is done either professionally with DSLR’s, consistent and amazing shots, while us, we do it at amateur level, which is when we’re free and can get a good shot of the car. Once a car has been spotted, the photos or videos are uploaded on social media websites to show what cool car is rolling around their area. Some car spotters also search certain areas to find cool cars, such as Beverly Hills or in front of fancy hotels.
Is this a common hobby?
Very much so, car spotting is becoming more common everyday, similar to van life people (we’ll talk about that another time). Look up on Instagram and you can see tons of pages about car spotting, with some even specific to just their own neighbourhood. This brings us to our general list of the types of car spotters out there.
Spotters who spot ultra luxury, super cars.
Spotters who spot older cars.
Spotters who spot a specific type of vehicle (off-roaders, only Ford cars)
Spotters who spot mundane everyday cars, abandoned cars, niche cars and just old stuff.
We’re number 4! because our blog/page can’t afford to go to rich places with super expensive cars, and we believe there’s a lack of the number 4 type of car spotting in Malaysia, though there has been a surge in abandoned vehicle Instagram pages. This is why our page is only filled mainly by clapped out cars, normal cars and sometimes, quirky cars, it’s just more interesting to see them and they don’t get enough appreciation. Whenever we can, we try to contact the owners of the cars to get their story, which is why all of our cars spotted, unless stated, have blurred plates for privacy reasons.
Is it fun?
Very much so (for us at least) because even if you’re not a car person, suddenly seeing an old Volkswagen Beetle parked in a street is going to catch your eye and might be a part of your photo op. There are plenty of interesting cars hiding or just left on various streets across Malaysia, which is why we rely on our followers to provide photos if they spot any cool cars worthy for our post.
Shout out to Bren! for providing lots of our content.
Our page is very new, pages like plankhond and carsofhongkong are legends in the car spotting world. One day, we hope to achieve that fame, being the number 1 Malaysian car spotting page! Check out our Instagram page below.