In researching my other post on The East Glows, I came across carnewschina.com’s China Car History section. No mention of the 1965 Beijing sedan that was somehow mistakenly given that lyrical name, and it’s not really a comprehensive history of Chinese cars, but there are lots of Honquis and a number of more recent but obscure cars form the 80s and 90s. Like this Haliu BHL 6350, caught on the street in 1996, a curious little mini-van which was obviously inspired by the first generation Toyota Previa.
I use the word “inspired” loosely, as once past the front end, it gets a bit more original. Under its skin, it’s less original, as it’s based on the Tianjin-Xiali TJ7100 sedan, a Chinese license-built third generation Daihatsu Charade sedan, including the 993cc three-pot engine.
The body is (rather obviously) made of fiberglass, as were many low-volume Chinese cars from the time when some of the smaller firms were practically cottage industries. So there you have it: you’ve expanded your knowledge today, and you’ll be able to recognize one of these should you ever happen across one in China, if there’s any left.
Related reading: COAL: 1992 Toyota Previa All-Trac – The G-Bubble