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› DAIHATSU FEROZA

› CHEVY BLAZER

The word that springs to mind when driving a Blazer was “nervous”. With a width over two metres, it took up an entire lane from white line to white line – piloting one in traffic was like ferrying a barge through a series of locks in flood. It didn’t get any better in the rough. This was not a vehicle you’d take along tight bush tracks unless you didn’t like the colour and knew a spray painter who’d give you mate’s rates. Foot-operated park brake, steering wheel that looked like it had been lifted from a ’57 Cusso, bench seat so long you needed a telephone to talk to the passenger – sheer Americana in the worst sense of the word. But the real reason I didn’t like the Blazer was that it was so damn big it made me look like a 13 year old who’d stolen it.

‘Mild and Wild’ was the advertising slogan for Feroza when it appeared. If you say it in Jinglish, it’s ‘Mired and Wired’, or should that be ‘Mired and Weird’? This was either a 4X4 with pretensions to being a car or vice-versa. As was the rage then, it had three-stage shock absorbers – Soft, Medium and Hard (they didn’t even have the nous to call the last setting ‘Sport’). It’s academic anyway, because changing the settings made absolutely no difference to ride quality at all – obviously it was just something to play with in Tokyo gridlocks (mobile phones weren’t invented then.) The Japanese rarely made mistakes in the old days, but this was one of them.

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UNSEALED 4X4 ISSUE 013  
UNSEALED 4X4 ISSUE 013  
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