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Thread: Getting around south of the border style!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
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    Default Getting around south of the border style!

    I just got back from my first trip to Colombia and as has happened before on trips to other places, they have lots of vehicles we don't have in the U.S. Lots of cars and trucks, and a few oldies that I am surprised are still on the road. The highlights:

    On the 4X4 front I had heard of the Nissan Patrol, but never seen one. Looks like the Toyota FJ and Land Rover Defender inspired this body style. Not sure the year on this one but it was in pretty nice shape. I saw a number of these, but fewer of their Toyota counterparts.

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    The version of the CJ there have diesel engines which I don't recall being offered in the U.S. I rode in a red one and the driver had a Toyota Land Cruiser steering wheel. Perhaps something with a T lurks beneath the hood.

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    Seat belts? We don't need no stinking seatbelts!
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    On the small side, I was often too large for the back seat in these micro cabs, most being Hyundai but other makers including Chevrolet.

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    Renault is huge in South America though they haven't been imported to the U.S. for quite sometime. I am not sure the year of this model, but in South America it's called the Master. I don't recall seeing these in the U.S. at all, and I am guessing it competed in the marketplace with cars such as the Citroen 2CV in the early 1960s and didn't change much during its production run. I saw a number of these around, some of them looking like they were held together with duct tape. Even scarier was Renault's penchant for only 3 lugs on the wheels. Lose one and I'm not sure the wheel would stay on very long given the uneven roads, pot holes, etc.

    Saw a few old Fiats too. One of my Colombian hosts got a laugh when I told her FIAT stands for "Fix It Again Tony!" Apparently acronyms are not wisely used in their culture.

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    I also saw on the fly, but was unable to capture images of some immaculate early to mid 60's VW Beetles. I expected to see many more of these and surprised they were not more of them.

    One other fun fact: Everything from cars to to buses are stick shifts! You cannot buy an automatic! In the states a car with an automatic is much more popular and sticks are harder to sell. How crazy it's the opposite there. I love a manual transmission but the wife doesn't want to learn so I enjoy vicariously with a shift-able automatic.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
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    That little white car is a Renault 4. Famously driven by Danny DeVito in "Romancing The Stone," which was set (and filmed, I believe) in Colombia.

  3. #3
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    Dec 2015
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    Quote Originally Posted by markbt73 View Post
    That little white car is a Renault 4. Famously driven by Danny DeVito in "Romancing The Stone," which was set (and filmed, I believe) in Colombia.

    Thanks for the clarification. The ones I saw carried a nameplate calling them Renault Master. They have all sorts of models we never saw much of in the States. The last one I remember in the U.S. was the Renault Alliance which was a joint venture and sold through AMC American Motors Corporation (Javellin, AMX, Gremlin, Matador, etc. and Jeep) and they were absolutely awful, but obviously what we got here was not the same as what the rest of the world got because even their equivalents to the Alliance were still running in Colombia!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by JunkGTZ View Post
    Thanks for the clarification. The ones I saw carried a nameplate calling them Renault Master. They have all sorts of models we never saw much of in the States. The last one I remember in the U.S. was the Renault Alliance which was a joint venture and sold through AMC American Motors Corporation (Javellin, AMX, Gremlin, Matador, etc. and Jeep) and they were absolutely awful, but obviously what we got here was not the same as what the rest of the world got because even their equivalents to the Alliance were still running in Colombia!
    Yep, I remember the Renault "Appliance" very well. Made in Kenosha, Wisconsin. French engineering and AMC build quality: not a great combination... I think the ones built in other parts of the world were better put together.

    New Renaults are great; I rented a 2015 Clio hatchback in Ireland a couple years ago, and it was wonderful. Manual (and right-hand-drive), 1.2 liter engine, fun to drive on twisty roads, and surprisingly comfy.

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