The Daihatsu story in the USA is a rather sad one, as they tried to break into the market with a small car called the Charade and a small off-road convertible called the Rocky. Lasting only 5 years here, by 1992 they were out of the United States. Unfortunately for us, that means we never got the F78 Rugger.
This is a 1993 Daihatsu Rugger SE bought from the original owner in Japan with under 23,000 km on the odometer. That translates to an amazing 14,000 total miles. The chassis id (what can be thought of as a Japanese VIN) is F78G-000041 indicating that this is the 41st F78 Rugger to roll off the line. This is, essentially, a time travelling vehicle that’s been in stasis for 25 years, or the previous owner took extremely good care of it.
Body on frame design with a flawless ladder frame chassis sitting underneath a pristine body. Coil-sprung solid axle in the rear with independent front suspension up front. In the engine bay up front a 4cyl turbo diesel intercooled engine lives that will pull this small SUV up most things, into most things and probably through most things through the 5 speed manual transmission. Body wears its original paint and wicked cool gold mountain decals, large print decals on either side telling everyone that you are driving a Daihatsu Rugger and that it also has four wheel drive. Yellow fog lights are mounted on the front bumper. Around back might be the best spare tire cover of all time stating, and I quote: “4WD INTERCOOLER DIESEL TURBO RUGGER for outdoor freaks DAIHATSU”. Brand new KO2 tires. Body has a few flaws, notably the small dents on the left front wheel well and rear right fender lip edge.
Interior looks and smells brand new, with a small flaw on the driver’s side near the adjustment handle. A working analog clock, inclinometer and altimeter along with the HVAC lay in the center stack, with special mention to the functioning (and fantastically strong) air conditioning. As this was a non-smoker’s car the ashtray is completely spotless as well. The original stereo system is still present with the all-important EQ meter still functioning. The tape player itself no longer works, but there is an AUX input that works with the original stereo to make up for this. Original all rubber floor mats and a removable sunroof, everything is as it was in 1993. Rear seats are clean as well, and rear cargo area is also amazingly new looking.
Pictures speak for themselves, but I can not over stress how NEW this truck is, how clean it is and just how well it was taken care of. Includes full suite of original manuals and all three original keys. This Rugger will smoothly glide down the interstate at 70-75 mph, will go wherever you point it and will comfortably transport 4 actual adults. Plus you’ll be getting incredible amounts of attention when passerbys hear this tiny weird Jeep-looking thing fire up with an unmistakable diesel rumble. I’ve seen that people have taken off the rear fiberglass portion of these rigs but it isn’t something that Daihatsu really designed for in the F78 as it will be a bit of an ordeal to do it, though nothing is stopping you.
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