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Reader test: Ford Bantam

2010-01-21 06:58

Moffat Mokoena

After deciding to get myself a bakkie in 2007, I thought a sexy South African design that can be pimped for better looks would be a good idea. The Ford Bantam half ton came to my mind in May when all dealers were approving loan applications to beat the June 1 National Credit regulation deadline.

It was black with only delivery mileage of 50 km on the clock, no aircon, electric windows and mirrors. Not even central locking as a standard. Well, a 1.3i Rocam engine with 55kW at 5 500 r/min and a torque peak of 110Nm at 3 000 r/min is not bad for R89 000.

I'm still driving on my standard 165/13 wheels that helps with petrol savings. With a huge 55l tank I am sure of a cool 900km drive, and since I live in an urban area which requires 8km a day to my workplace, that brings me to 50 bucks a week. It helps a lot.

I mean, the engine is still as is, no performance accessories like branches, tail pipe, performance air filter etc, until I hit 100 000 as I do not want to mess with the warranty. I will think of doing something cool to the engine; I am currently on 80 000km clock.

Serviced by agents

The bakkie is well serviced by agents every 15 000km at less than a grand. When I was doing 65 000km I thought I would fork some more as it was a major service, but to my surprise I paid the same amount I paid for minor service. The reason is because it uses a chain instead of a belt so I can still drive for another 300 000km - how does that sound?

The interior is still typically low budget. The only thing added is the sound system: a cool flat Kenwood 12-inch sub, set of pioneer 150W mids, set of 350W tweeters, 350W set of JVC 6x9s, Sony front loader and a “not so bad“ 2 000W monoblock for now.

Back to my engine, well not a good performer from standstill, a cool 13 secs takes me to 100km/h. When the engine is heated enough, I go as far as 180km/h, but that’s when I drive to another province or when I am a bit naughty.

Its very light, of course, with a base that can carry a heavy load of lawn, cement bags, 700 face bricks and still move without any struggle. The other day a guy driving 1.4 VW Velociti struggled to pass me as. I am yet to try Cape Town on two tanks.

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