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Thread: Daihatsu Fellow (L37) 1966-1970

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    Feb 2005

    Daihatsu Fellow (L37) 1966-1970

    The Daihatsu Fellow Max is a small Japanese automobile in the Kei car class. Originally introduced as the Daihatsu Fellow, the name was partially retained for the Max Cuore (1977) and then again for the 2000 Daihatsu Max.

    On 9 November 1966, Daihatsu introduced the Fellow, also known as Daihatsu 360 in export markets. Originally only available in DeLuxe and Super DeLuxe equipment levels, a Standard version joined in February 1967. Also available with a wagon body (Fellow Van), as a mini-pickup truck and as a panel van from June 1967, the L37 was conventionally built with a front-mounted engine and rear wheel drive. It used a 23 PS iteration of the 356 cc, water-cooled two-cylinder two-stroke "ZM" engine already seen in the Hijet and a four-speed manual transmission. The self-lubricating ("Oil-Matic") little engine weighed only 58 kg (128 lb). The Fellow was the first Japanese car to be equipped with rectangular headlights.

    As a result of Honda's 31 hp N360 being introduced early in 1967, a Kei-car horsepower war broke out. Daihatsu's response, the Fellow SS, was presented at the 1967 Tokyo Motor Show in October but did not go on sale until June the next year. A LeMans-style sportscar prototype, the "P-5" with the SS engine was shown alongside. The 32 PS "SS" could do the 400 meter sprint in 21.2 seconds.

    The Fellow also received a slight facelift in October 1967, with a new dashboard and steering wheel most noticeable. Another minor change came in January 1969, with a fixed drivers' side headrest and seatbelts installed because of new safety regulations. In July, along with what was literally a facelift (the front bumper was now mounted higher), the lesser engine's output increased to 26 PS and a comparatively luxurious "Custom" version was added at the top of the lineup. The size of the taillights also increased somewhat. An electric version called the Daihatsu Fellow Van EV went on sale in September 1969.

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