Classic Car Catalogue

Daihatsu 1963


Compagno – new model  
Hijet (L35/36)    

Spider Vignale prototype at Turin Motor Show.

The first model introduced, in April 1963, was the Compagno Light Van light commercial vehicle (F30V). It was available in Standard or Deluxe trim. Two months later the Compagno Wagon (F30) followed, a pricier and more comfortable and passenger oriented version. This cost over twenty per cent more than the Standard Light Van, and was Daihatsu's first passenger car. In November 1963 the Japanese-designed two-door saloon appeared, called "Berlina" and with the F40 chassis code. This was available in either Standard and Deluxe trim, priced close to their Light Van and Wagon counterparts. The Deluxe had an Italianate dashboard, reflecting Vignale's input, complete with three-spoke Nardi steering wheel.
A heavier duty model, the New-Line (L50P/L50V), arrived in January 1963. It was a half-metre (20 in) longer and could carry 500 kg (1,102 lb) thanks to a larger, 797 cc 4-stroke engine with 41 PS.
April 1963 saw the introduction of automatic oil mixing for the two-stroke engine on the MP5

Commercially, the two new models-open and closed 2-4-seater roadster and Coupé commissioned by Daihatsu from Japan-are undoubtedly more important. Hitherto, this company have only made pick-up vans and estate cars, but apparently are now going into the real car market with these new models. They are powered by an orthodox 797 c.c. four-cylinder engine at the forward end of a platform-type chassis with wishbone front suspension, live rear axle and fourspeed, all-synchromesh gearbox.
(Turin report, April'63)

Another newcomer to the under 1-litre field is the Daihatsu Compagno Berlina. Daihatsu Industry of Osaka is an old-established maker whose products hitherto were light trucks and commercial cars. Earlier in this year they announced an attractive small estate car styled by Vignale. The new Compagno Berlina is based on this estate car. It shares the separate chassis frame, suspension and 797 c.c. four-cylinder engine. The gearbox is also the same all-synchromesh fourspeed, floor shift being optional. For this class of car the interior is particularly well equipped and furnished. Separate front seats with adjustable backrests, wood-panelled facia and a sports oar-like three-spoked steering are unexpected luxuries. The Daihatsu Compagno Berlina is ready to go into production with the initial target of 1,000 per month.
(Tokio report, October'63)





wb: 2220 mm   4 cyl. ohv
797 cm³
Light Van F30V – April
Wagon F30 – June
Berlina F40 – November


Compagno at Tokio Motor Show.




Commercial vehicles