Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: 1983 Daihatsu Charmant 1300 LE

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    116

    1983 Daihatsu Charmant 1300 LE

    Here's my Daihatsu Charmant project.




    It was owned by for most of its life by an elderly man and finally found its way into my dirty hands as I'd wanted one for years! As such the condition was pretty impressive, there are a few small dents and a bit of rust to be sorted around the back of the car but overall I was impressed. A few coats of wax later and the paintwork (metallic beige) gleamed! Mechanically it is overall OK, there are a few issues starting it from cold and the carb needs looking at but after the engine warms up properly the car runs well.

    Fans of the old KE70 Corolla may see some similarities, this is because it is based on a KE70 and shares all the same mechanicals! However, Daihatsu aimed this at a different part of the market by specifying it as a small executive car and uprating the interior trim and amount of chrome to suit. Daihatsu, only really being known for its small cheap cars received unfavourable reviews for the car (dated mechanicals, no badge prestige, RWD car when FWD ones were seen as the way forward) and it faded into obscurity very quickly. In terms of survival, barely any exist now in the UK and Japan - just the sort of car I love.


    Interior is very brown and needs a bit of a clean but is in good condition with nice seats, two gloveboxes and the original push button AM radio!

    As much as I love the Charmant in its own cheesy way, I also like subtle modified cars, so gradually the modifications are coming along, which will eventually result in the smoky 4K engine being replaced with a fresh 4AGE. I also fancy respraying the bottom half in maroon, recreating a two-tone paintjob available to the Japan market. Obviously the suspension, brakes etc. will be sorted too, but luckily many AE86 parts can be swapped on easily! The look I am going for is a 1980s Japan street racer with period style modifications.


    The 1.3 engine didn't include a rev counter, so I imported a 52mm Omori gauge, I love these gauges, popular 80s Japanese car choice!


    Standard wheel isn't very nice, so this Nardi should do nicely and keep with the style of the car.


    A set of 80s Work Equip wheels which I think will look pretty smart.

    That's about it for now, need to fit all the above parts but there's boring stuff like rust to treat yet. Oh yes, I also have some KE70 fender mirrors but no photos of those.

    Hope you enjoyed in some baffling way!

  2. #2
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3,108
    Welcome, Hirst! I should have guessed that the first post in this section would not be from the States Excellent choice of car! What are your plans for it?

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    116
    Well, first step is just to get the parts on I already have and treat the rust. Second stage is to collect the parts I need to do a 4AGE conversion. After that I just intend to preserve it, take it to the odd show and use it occasionally as my "big" car.

    Unfortunately there is no parts support at all from Daihatsu UK anymore for it, probably because there's so little still on the road here (less than 10 I would bet). This doesn't help when it comes to things like trim unique to the car, but mechanically Toyota can look after me.

    Might has well have a glance at my other cars, newer but just as obscure and odd, these are Kei-cars and definitely what Daihatsu do best. Daihatsu have a long history of importing weird cars (usually with turbos) to the UK in small numbers, since we both use right hand drive cars.


    Daihatsu Mira Classic Turbo 4WD - my daily driver, one of 50 brought to UK. Looks a bit daft but that's part of the appeal.


    Daihatsu Cuore TR-XX Avanzato R4 - another project, needs some tidying up and the front brakes doing. As seen in a few racing games, 88 of them were brought here.

    And that's about it really, any questions about Daihatsu let me know!

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    35
    I've been waiting for somebody to post in this section! Those work equips are going to be the business! Is that car rear wheel drive, or front?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    116
    Rear wheel drive. Back in the day that was seen as a disadvantage by our motoring magazines, since they loved the new front wheel drive cars European manufacturers were putting out at the time.

    Just need some rubber to put on those Equips, hoping to sort it out next week or so!

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    35
    Nice! That 4age should help out with the fun factor. I'm not too up on my toyota motors, that engine was in the carollas and MR2s, right? I think I saw a white charmont once in an Option video with a similar setup, but I just assumed it was a rear wheel drive conversion done at the same time as the engine swap.

  7. #7
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    3,108
    The Mira Classic is just too cool! I've always wondered about those AWD kei cars... they don't really make sense in the context of the US, land of the SUV, but I can definitely see their appeal!

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    116
    4AGE: Nice engine I think, not a particularly fast one, but reliable, rev high and have a lot of parts support. They're also a fairly easy swap into these cars and I think it would suit the character of the car quite well. Regarding Option - there was a D1 driver called Ryoji Takada who used to run a Charmant with a 4AGE, his car was very low budget compared to some of the other cars, even favouring the old street racer style of bucket seat for driver and normal seat for passenger! Unfortunately, he passed away a bit back in an unrelated accident.

    Mira: Thanks! The permanent 4WD is great, I believe they were marketed in Japan more towards use on snowy roads rather than any sort of proper off-road use. Most DOHC turbo Keis have about 105-115mph top speed and 0-60 in around 8-9 seconds stock so they're surprisingly quick considering the engine size. Don't think they would pass the US crash tests and emissions though!

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Kent, England
    Posts
    21
    You know what, I'm gonna have to post a picture of THE Charmant:

    I preferred it without the skirts ^


    This thing really is that low! There's no airbags on there...we cruised back to Tokyo with him like that!:

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    116
    You know how some people aspire to owning Lamborghini Gallardos and Ferrari F430s?

    I aspire to owning THAT Charmant. Not that spec or that facelift, that actual Charmant. I preferred it without the skirts too but it still looks smart!

    Unfortunately my crazy downhill driveway stops me owning anything that low, my chum with his Alfa 155 sports pack which has factory lowered suspension couldn't get his car down my driveway so there's no hope of that making it! Airbags are a "maybe" though.

    Ordering the tyres in for those wheels today if I don't spend too much getting some new suit trousers. No tyre stretching action though!

Similar Threads

  1. 1985 Daihatsu Charmant A55
    By dmh2907 in forum Other Marques Garage
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 12-21-2010, 03:28 PM
  2. Daihatsu Charmant 1985
    By ayodya7 in forum Other Marques Garage
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-21-2010, 03:18 PM
  3. Newbie Daihatsu Charmant
    By 8bb in forum Introduce Yourself
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 05-18-2010, 12:07 PM
  4. 1987 daihatsu charmant (indonesia)
    By dukeofcharmants in forum Other Marques Garage
    Replies: 16
    Last Post: 01-06-2010, 05:21 AM
  5. daihatsu charmant 1984
    By in forum Other Marques Garage
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 01-04-2010, 03:49 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •