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Daihatsu Max Fellow Max
The Daihatsu Fellow Max was originally introduced as the Daihatsu Fellow, the name was partially retained for the Max Cuore in 1977 and then again for the Daihatsu Max in 2002.
Daihatsu Fellow Max L38 European specification car, labelled ‘Daihatsu 360’.
[ The 360cc Era 1970 – 1976 ]
1967 Daihatsu Fellow 360 (L37)
On the 9th November 1966, Daihatsu introduced the Fellow, also known as the ‘Daihatsu 360‘ in export markets. Originally only available in DeLuxe and Super DeLuxe equipment levels, a Standard version joined in February 1967. It was also available with a wagon body (Fellow Van), as a mini-pickup truck and as a panel van from June 1967, the L37 was conventionally built with a front-mounted engine and rear-wheel drive. It used a 23 PS 356 cc, water-cooled 2-cylinder 2-stroke ‘ZM’ engine as seen in the Hijet and a 4-speed manual transmission. The self-lubricating (Oil-Matic) engine weighed only 58 kg (128 lb) and was the first Japanese car to be equipped with rectangular headlights.
The Daihatsu Fellow SS:
Due to the introduction of Honda’s 31 hp N360 early in 1967, a kei car horsepower war broke out. Daihatsu’s response was the Fellow SS, presented at the October 1967 Tokyo Motor Show but did not go on sale until June the following year. A Le Mans style sportscar prototype, the ‘P-5’ with the SS engine was shown alongside the SS. The 32 PS “SS” could do the 400 meter sprint in 21.2 seconds.
1969 Fellow Van EV
The Fellow received a slight facelift in October 1967, sporting a new dashboard and steering wheel. Another minor change came in January 1969, with a fixed drivers’ side headrest and seatbelts installed due to new safety regulations. In July, along with what was literally a facelift, the front bumper was now mounted higher, the smaller engine’s output increased to 26 PS and a comparatively luxurious ‘Custom’ version was added to the top of the lineup. The size of the taillights also increased and an electric version called the ‘Daihatsu Fellow Van EV’ went on sale in September 1969.
1973-75 Fellow Max HT Coupé (L38GL)
In April 1970, the front-wheel drive L38 Fellow Max was introduced to replace the rear-wheel drive Fellow. Originally only available as a 2-door sedan and 3-door van (L38V), a sporty hardtop coupé with a lower roofline and new front-end treatment was added in August 1971 (L38GL). SL and GXL Hardtops received standard front disc brakes. In October 1972 a 4-door version (L38F) appeared, it was the only 4-door kei car at the time of its introduction. Dimensions were 2,995 x 1,295 mm, although the wheelbase was stretched by 100 mm to 2,090 mm. The engine was a 360 cc 2-cylinder 2-stroke ‘ZM4’ offering 33 PS (24 kW). In July 1970 the SS appeared, featuring a twin-carb, 40 PS version of the ZM engine ‘ZM5’ with an output of over 112 PS per litre. Top speed was 120 kph (75 mph) compared to 115 kph (71 mph) for the slower versions. In October 1972 for the ’73 model year, engine outputs dropped to 31 and 37 PS respectively in order to lower fuel consumption and meet new more stringent emissions standards. These engines were code named ZM12 and ZM13.
1972 Fellow Max Hardtop TL, (rear view):
In export markets the car was sold as the ‘Daihatsu 360’. In Australia where the car went on sale in early 1972 as a 2-door sedan, it was called the ‘Max 360X’ and was the cheapest new car available in Australia at the time. Unaffected by emissions regulations, it was equipped with the 33 PS version of the engine. In a period road test by Wheels magazine it reached 68 mph (109 kph) and managed the sprint to 60 mph (97 kph) in 33.2 seconds. It was sold as the ‘Daihatsu 360X’ in New Zealand.
The 1970 Fellow Buggy:
A beach buggy version the ‘Fellow Buggy’ was introduced in 1970. While highly prized by collectors today, the Buggy only sold about 100 examples and was only available for a single model year (1970). The 440 kg Fellow Buggy was actually not a ‘true’ Fellow, as it was built on a Hijet chassis, using fibre-reinforced plastic bodywork. The Buggy also used the Hijet’s lower powered 26 PS or 19 kW engine, providing a top speed of 95 kph (59 mph).
1973 – 1977 Fellow Max:
The Fellow Max received a steady stream of facelifts during its existence. It underwent minor changes in March 1971 with a new grille and dash modifications, March 1972 saw a new dash, round headlights and a new bonnet with longitudinal creases. May 1973 saw changes to the fenders and new bumpers that fitted into the bodywork, and another new bonnet, and in October 1973 with new safety equipment. In February 1975 the bumpers were modified again, to allow for the fitment of new, larger number plates and the grille and front bumper arrangement was changed yet again. At the same time the interior saw some changes and the powerful twin-carb model was dropped as it wouldn’t pass the new emissions regulations. From now on, all models were equipped with the 31 PS ‘ZM12’ engine. In May 1976 the car underwent more thorough changes as new kei car regulations were introduced. This also marked the end of the Hardtop versions, which had lost relevance once the twin-carb engine was discontinued.
[ The 550 cc Era 1976 – 1980 ]
Fellow Max Max Cuore
In May 1976, responding to a change in the kei car regulations, Daihatsu increased the engine size to 547 cc and gave it a new chassis code (L40/L40V). The name remained, however ‘Fellow’ received less prominence and some marketing material simply referred to the car as the ‘Max 550’. The new ‘AB10’ 4-stroke 2-cylinder engine replaced the old 2-cycle ‘ZM’. This, developed with help from Toyota, was an overhead camshaft belt driven design which also featured balance axles to smoothen the imbalanced 2-cylinder design. The ‘AB10’ engine was also briefly sold to Suzuki for use in the 4-stroke version of their Fronte 7-S. The cleaner 4-stroke offered less power than the revvy 360, down to 28 PS (21 kW) @ 6,000 rpm. Torque increased to 3.9 kg·m (38 N·m) at a significantly lower 3,500 rpm.
[ The Max Cuore ]
1977 Max Cuore:
New bumpers meant length and width were up marginally to 3,120 mm (122.8 in) and 1,305 mm (51.4 in). Claimed top speed was 110 kph (68 mph), somewhat lower than that of the 360. With Honda withdrawing from the kei class market, Daihatsu became the only maker to offer a kei car featuring front-wheel drive. The Van used the front end and front doors from the 2-door Max, but with a squarer rear end featuring a split tailgate divided horizontally and a folding rear seat which allowed for a flat loading floor.
1981 Max (Cuore) 4-door:
In July 1977, the name was changed to Max Cuore, chassis code L45, although Vans remained L40V. The new name also heralded a wider body shell, up to 1,395 mm (54.9 in) which also increased the length to 3,160 mm for the sedan and 3,165 mm for the wagon. By March, 1979 the car was renamed ‘Daihatsu Cuore’, though it still carried discrete ‘Max’ badging, along with a power upgrade to 31 PS (23 kW) @ 6,000 rpm. Torque increased to 4.2 kg·m (41 N·m) for the engine, which now featured the DECS (Daihatsu Economical Clean-up System) emissions control system to meet the stricter 1978 emissions standards. The front grille and emblems were changed while the seats were improved and new colours, inside and out, were now available. The Cuore Van, available in Standard, DeLuxe, and Super DeLuxe grades, now had 29 PS (21 kW) on tap.
In most of Europe, the car was simply called Daihatsu Cuore, although it retained the ‘Max’ prefix in some markets. Export versions received the same lower powered engine as the Cuore Van did in Japan. 1980 saw the introduction of the parallel commercial series ‘Daihatsu Mira’, while the name ‘Max’ finally disappeared entirely from the Cuore. In Japan, the 1979 Max Cuore was available as a Standard 2-door, Deluxe 2 / 4-doors, Custom 4-door, Hi-Custom 2 / 4-doors, and Hi-Custom EX 4-door. The top of the line Hi-Custom EX was new for 1979.
The latest Daihatsu Max is a newer version of the Daihatsu Fellow Max. It appeared in 2000 and in October 2001 the Max 5-door wagon also arrived with the same technical specification as the Daihatsu Move, although 10 mm lower. It was replaced in 2006 by the Sonica.
The “Daihatsu Max” in Computer Games:
The Daihatsu Max in GT Advance 3: Pro Concept Racing (2003):
The “Daihatsu Cuore” in Computer Games:
The Daihatsu Cuore in Radikal Bikers (1998): ’90 Cuore in Gran Turismo 2 (1999): ’98 Cuore in Gran Turismo 2 (1999): Cuore in Clipping Point (2007): ’97 Cuore in Gran Turismo (2009): ’97 Cuore in Gran Turismo 3 A-Spec (2001): ’97 Cuore in Gran Turismo 4 (2004): ’97 Cuore in Gran Turismo 5 (2010): Gran Turismo 6 (2013):