Max Power!

September 2, 2009

Daihatsu Max, that is.

So, as I used that creepy new twitter application to indicate earlier in the weekend I checked out a 1974 Daihatsu Max which was located in a town three quarters of an hour drive away.  It was a fine enough day and I’d spent a good while hacking at my C110 so it was a nice relaxing drive in the lazy jacked diseasel cruiser that is my D21 Terrano.

I had stumbled upon said Max on some days earlier, initially listed with no picture, after a day or so a picture had made it’s way on there but being it was what appeared to be a scanned an un-cropped photo it provided no aid in knowing what was what, other than the car was white and at one stage it had been parked on the grass.  Helpful?  You judge…

trademe image. image, highest resolution

Having made vague arrangements to days previous and then having earlier to confirm location and residence I arrived at my destination mid afternoon and was ushered around the corner to find… 

Oh my!

Oh my!

Check it out, in all it’s slightly tatty and dis-used glory, sitting on a regular trailer.  What shall we do love?  Get a load of wood or a car?  A CAR!.. Brilliant.

..and from the reverse

..and from the reverse

Now, looking at it there it’s fairly obvious that my train of thought was OH HELL YEAH!  I mean look at it!  It’s magical.  However, as is always the case with such things, as thorough as investigation as possible is required in order to truly have an idea of the vehicles worth.

First things first, crack open the driver’s door and scope the dash layout;

Suave, thats a classy interior if ever I saw one.

Suave, that's a classy interior if ever I saw one.

Leopard print car seat covers, fake wood, not one, but two emblems stating MAX! and a reported 89000km on the odo.  Might not seem like a lot but when you take into account this little sucker is a 360cc 2-cylinder 2-stroke, it’s actually quite a large amount even if it hasn’t gone around the clock at least once.  However, quirkiness aside, look at that floor… doesn’t look too promising, does it?

Shot from the passengers side

Shot from the passenger's side

Although advertised as having no structural rust, I have some serious doubts.  Sure it might clean up OK but it’s not far from needing a good amount of work… and that’s just the floor, there’s also a few other questionable areas;

Top right of the shot, parcel tray edge.

Top right of the shot, parcel tray edge as well as tray.

From the underside, it might not be all bad but because it was sitting on a trailer it was really hard to get in and get a good nosey at it, but I did the best I could;

Peppered with surface rust.

Peppered with surface rust.

..and more..

..and more..

So the reality is that even if there’s nothing serious to be found all the underside needs taken back and sealed with Hammerite or equivalent under-body sealant if you’re wanting to keep it on the road for an extended period of time.

Then of course there’s the matter of the non-running engine, which is referred to in the advertisement like so;

“Body is still in reasonable condition, but the engine needs new pistons and rings.”

Two-smoke, you know it!

Two-smoke, you know it!

I would have thought that the head being removed and the engine bay itself sprinkled with nuts and bolts of unknown origin might be worth a bit more of a detailed explanation the likes of “Engine needs to be rebuilt and the head is currently off.” at the very least!  Still though, nothing like a surprise for a prospective buyer who isn’t close enough to take a look at it themselves.  The keen eyed will also notice the line of minor rust around the seams of the bay,  this may or may not be more serious but investigations to see wouldn’t be able to take place until after it changed hands, I imagine.

In summary, it’s good for a bargain or if you have a lead on some parts and don’t mind being surprised by rust goblins here and there.  It’s not as quick a do-er upper and runner as I’d have liked though, but I’ll still keep an eye on it.  I hope it goes to a good home if nothing else and doesn’t get scrapped.

With that said, I thought I’d share a few more quirky things with you, the most predominant of which is this awesome “How to Start The Engine” sticker on the driver’s door;

Complete with fantastic spelling.  I had a good chuckle.

Checkered Flag 360

Checkered Flag 360

Just in case 360cc of raw two-smoke power didn’t seem sporty enough to you, they added a checkered flag to the boot badge, phwoar!  it MUST be fast!

Last but not least (or perhaps it is least) the MASSIVE boot space;

You can fit two 10 inch tyres and some random engine parts

You can fit two 10 inch wheels, one with tyre and some random engine parts

Of course there’s also the beginnings of horror around the seams of the hatch but to be honest, it’s not THAT bad there really just needs a scratch, it’s most definitely other places that are of larger concern.

It would be a fun little car once finished, though what work is required and what money and trouble finding parts is another story entirely…



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