Sunday, November 4, 2012

Proton and Honda

Reading the shocking  news that Proton was planning a strategic cooperation with Honda reminded me of the cars that I have owned.I remember that I've owned many cars as a student in the States as well as a working man in Malaysia. My first car was a Buick le Sabre which was a light green color car owned by a university professor at Southern Illinois university. I bought it for US 800 which I managed to share with my close buddies who were also my housemates.It was an eight cylinder car which moved like a yacht than a sedan but the noise that it made was almost non-existent.The engine really purred like a happy cat.All the windows were powered and I never faced any problems with the power windows and this was in  1980s. We used the car to travel to St Louis and Chicago quite regularly and sometimes speeding up to 100 miles per hour and we were wondering why the Americans were driving so slow not realizing that we were actually dicing with death.
Buick LeSabre

My second car was a used Chevrolet Monte Carlo, an eight cylinder car which was heavily modified by its mechanic owner. The car was in mint condition with low profile tyres in the rear axles. We really had fun driving it and smoking its rear tyres whenever we had free time. The car had to be reluctantly sold after some disagreement on the terms of usage among the co-owners.My third car was more compact and more economical.It was a red four cylider Ford Mustang which I bought for US 1000 and I believe that was the only 4 cylinder Mustang ever poduced. The slow Mustang was made popular by the original version of the serial Charlie's angels which starred the beautiful Farah Faucett whose husband in real life was Lee Major, the infamous Six Million Dollar Man. I traded in  the car for US 800 after owning it for a year and got another red  Monte Carlo which was which was not as heavily modified as the first's .The car was also reliable . It was going to be my last car   in the States which I used for two years and later sold it for US 800 to a student from Thailand.One thing I remember about owning all these American cars was that I had not spent a dime  for any repairs.They were utterly reliable and durable cars but  big.

After coming back from the States, I borrowed my dad's 1966 Volvo 122 with a Penang plate no PE 561X. I used the car for almost a year when working as a trainee teacher somewhere in Negeri Sembilan.The car was really durable and it used a timing chain instead of timing belt. The gear was really tall and the shift was long. It was like driving a bus or a medium sized lorry.I had no complaint about the car except that it was a gas guzzler. After driving the safe and durable Volvo, I got a Japanese car with an engine displacement of 1600 cc from a Chinese car salesman in Pudu who cheated me on the interest calculation. It was a Daihatsu Charmant. Like the Volvo the Daihatsu was reliable too as it had a Toyota engine. I sold the car and got a brand new Proton Saga Megavalve. The car was really fast but it had problem with its radiator and would easily heat up. The dashboard  would also vibrate violently when it was idling.
Chevrolet Monte Carlo

My next car was a solid Toyota EE90 1.3 that looks like a beemer but minus the power. The car was so reliable that I owed it almost for 13 years without any repairs done. Later, I sold the car and got a second hand Wira 1.6. The Wira was a comfortable car but it would drink gas heavily. The car was traded in for a Proton Gen2 1.6 which was the worst car that I had. The second day that I owned the car the right widow of the car fell right through  the door. Finally, after a few months all the windows decided to do the same thing . The battery had to be changed a few times and it finally refused to start when I was at the agriculture fair in Serdang and that was the last straw that breaks the camel's back. No more Proton I need a better quality car than a proton.

Ford Mustang
The news that Proton is working closely with Honda is a great news to everyone of us in Malaysia. Proton really needs a partner to help it design and develop a better quality car. The choice of Honda as the partner is  unmistakable and would benefit the Malaysian car manufacturer greatly. The marriage would also provide a stronger competition to  Perodua whose backer is second largest automaker , Toyota. I have read some where on the Internet that that one of the products of the marriage would be a Perdana replacement which would be based on Honda Accord 2.4. Another product that is planned is the Saga replacement which will be based on Honda Brio. Hope that the marriage with Honda will work out and I would consider buying a Proton again.

No comments: