Picture: Facebook/Bruce David Kellock/Africa, this is why I live here
(first posted 9/2/2014) Stephanie loves the photo galleries at the Telegraph.co.uk site. She forwards some of them to me, and this one needed to be shared here, as it’s all overloaded old cars and trucks in Africa. And this shot was the star. Wow! Is this the ultimate CC? The real question is, what is it? Ok; I have my guess, but I’ll let you go at it.
This one is a bit easier to identify: a Corolla, although not the body style we got her in the US. Well, actually, we did, as the Geo Prizm.
Picture: ALAMY shot in Aswan, Egypt
Peugeots are the favorite car of Africa, and the 504 wagon tops the list. It’s the world’s toughest wagon, or just “The World’s Greatest Wagons”, as I called them in my write-up of all the RWD Peugeot wagons. The 504 was built in Africa until 2005. There’s another 504 wagon (red), and the white sedan appears to be
a Volga a 504 sedan.
Since we’re on the subject of Peugeots, here’s a 404 pickup shot in Mali. I’ve seen shots of 404 pickups with larger and taller loads, but weight-wise, this one is pretty impressive. It looks like there’s 10 passengers in the back, plus baggage on top. Check out the rear tire, which is feeling the load. Is the hood open for a reason?
Picture: Getty spotted in Burkina Faso
Here’s one more Peugeot shot, but this one is a bit different. The 403 is being hauled by a little donkey cart, but I hope not the scrap yard. That body looks in way too good of shape; more likely to a garage to be fixed and put back on the street. Well; 403’s are getting a bit elderly.
It isn’t just cars that get overloaded; the trucks in Africa are famous for their overflowing loads. Of course, that doesn’t always sit well with the tires, especially since said tires are often ancient. I’m surprised this one didn’t tip over.
A nice vintage Mercedes truck, leaning a bit to starboard. This was spotted in Mali. And Johannes Dutch will tell us exactly what model Mercedes this is.
Picture: Facebook/Bruce David Kellock/Africa, this is why I live here
It isn’t just four-wheelers that get heavy use in Africa. This little two-stroke bike with maybe 90cc has two aboard, one of which is a cow. And no, they aren’t heading to the circus for their act. I was impressed at how calmly the cow was taking this bike ride, but a closer look shows that its front feet have been tied to the front forks. I’m guessing the back ones are somewhat immobilized too. But still…at least it gets to sit on the padded seat.
Picture: Reuters shot in Nairobi, Kenya
This couch being hauled by bike seems pretty tame in comparison, especially since the driver is wearing a helmet.
Another little two-stroke with a tall load this time. Easy does it…
Japanese cars and trucks have been replacing Peugeots for some time. This appears to be a Datsun 1200 ute, the pickup version of the Datsun 1200 sedan I showed you the other day. These are tiny vehicles. This one has a good-sized load, although it appears to be quite light, looking at its rear wheels and tires. It’s still sitting quite high back there.
Toyota Hilux pickups are revered the world over for their toughness, even under duress. This one has a big load, but again, I’d say the truck is not really being taxed all that much. Now if that tank were filled with water, I’d be a bit more impressed.
Picture: Facebook/Absolute Africa/Africa, this is why I live here
But nothing is quite as dramatic as the trucks used to haul passengers and their loads, through the Sahara in this case. And how do they stay on? Would the truck stop if someone fell off? And we complain about getting on a crowded bus or subway? At least the ride is pretty smooth, through the soft sand. I can’t make out what the truck is, but presumably the windshield is not obstructed with passengers. Bon voyage!
Related Reading: Peugeot 203, 403, 404, 504 and 505 Station Wagons: The World’s Greatest Wagons
One can only imagine what a certain Oldsmobile wagon will be doing and looking like in about 18 months time….
I think that first vehicle is totally bananas.
The banana hauler appears to be a Dodge Colt Vista wagon, or possibly an old RWD Maxima wagon.
Love the cow riding a motorcycle and you can almost hear to local camels sighing with relief at the sight of that lorry. I somehow doubt the tailgate of that Mitsubishi Galant will fit back down properly once the bananas are unloaded though…
Hope that cow is a “low emissions” model.
Isn’t anyone appalled by the bull being treated like this? It’s barbaric and I’, shocked that no one appears to recognise this.
How do you know it’s a bull? The horn that counts we can’t see.
Someone had to say it
With the right plumbing he could save some fossil fuel.
I thought the cow was driving, he/she was in front. The bike has to be a COW-a-saki. Thanks, I’ll be here all week
Right out of a Gary Lawson cartoon… “How do you steer a motorcycle?”
Dual horns, too.
If only you could run it on methane.
You’re right. That very specific model is sold here as a Koe-zuki. In German speaking countries as a Kuh-zuki.
If someone hits him, they’re gonna go bull-istic.
Going past comic relieve: that calf was probably purchased by the man and being taken home. Not too long from now it will have a calf of it’s own and produce milk for the man’s family.
We are so spoiled in the Western societies. I recall an ad on our local buses that told about the fuel efficiency of the bus if measured by passenger-mile. I bet the truck that went across the Sahara beat our local buses hands down in passenger + luggage-miles fuel efficiency.
Yesterday, I engaged in a discussion about air suspensions in Lincoln cars. Something tells me that nobody who appears in these pictures would care.
I have both a cow and a 1-week old heifer (for freezer beef, eventually). They ride in the trailer!
Because they have not learned to yell “shotgun!” ? 🙂
Banana car is a 76-79 Toyota Corona no doubt not with a Holden Starfire engine which gave them an appalling rep.
To be fair, I’d imagine the load of baskets isn’t too terribly heavy, although a little care would be required on corners.
Well then, the Benz cabover: NG-series 1980-1988. The number on the doors will tell the exact model…
That Banana wagon just won’t give up!! Holy smokes!!
The last photo reminds me of the phrase “there’s always room for one more!”
You’ll find this in the US too …
I lived in Guatemala for a year and this typ if overloading was fairly routine .
Everyone laughed when I said all lights , Horns & Etc. should always work on any vehicle .
Then they found out I was serious and could fix them , my Sundays got _really_ busy for a while there .
Wow, that banana wagon looks like it has been bent in all kinds of places where it shouldn’t bend.
The guy with the cow on his motorcycle – if he was going for the Texas look with the steer horns out front, he missed it.
I felt like I was driving some of these when taking my daughter to college a couple of weeks ago. 🙂
I’d say Corona wagon too, although an alternative answer might be “not long for this world”! Have to admire the ingenuity of a lot of these, and the phrase “beats walking” comes to mind for the last Saharan truck.
I am totally amazed by the banana wagon, I’m trying to figure out where the rest of the person that belongs to that huge arm that seems to be holding the B-pillar together is even sitting? Where is his head? In the banana bushel?
There’s always money in the banana st-, um, I mean wagon!
Which is a Mitsubishi Galant from the late ’70s/early ’80s, the generation that was sold in the US as the Colt wagon (only) from ’78-80.
+1 Mitsi. It looks like a new Transformers character ‘Bananamus Prime’ halfway through its metamorphosis.
Yep, definitely a Mitsi Sigma wagon. Here’s a local ’83, in somewhat better condition:
Banana car looks like it’s about to fall apart. But then most cars would being used like that.
Just think what those over loaded car handle like. I got 22 people into a 56 Plymouth 2 door sedan one time. It handled like S……………… Not to mention I couldn’t see out the reaview mirror or right windows
French cars were a failure in the US market for lack of reliability, dealers, or user maintenance (take your pick). But in sub-Saharan Africa, where I have trouble imagining *any* of these conditions being better, French cars seem to thrive. Perhaps Africans are very patient folk, or else French industry is more aggressive about customer service in former colonies.
Trivia: Ethiopia is the only African country which successfully sent European colonizers packing.
I’ve seen pickups in my country badly overloaded with fill dirt, bumpers almost scraping the ground. This too is an example of Design Margin.
The issues with French cars in the US were ‘first world problems’ of competition for new car sales, customer satisfaction, etc. Third world expectations are that it function at least marginally while being worn down to a nub.
The 504 was produced in Africa long time after production ended in France. In Kenya and Nigeria the car was produced until 2004 and 2006. So the parts supply is good, the cars are simple and fairly reliable. But, if gas was cheep in Africa, a fullsize plain Chevrolet would have done a better job. Tougher, simpler and more durable and reliable than the 504.
Great stuff, but isn’t the white saloon a 504? I think the picture cuts off just by the change in profile of the rear end
Yes, +1 on it being a 504 sedan. Glad I’m not the only one who noticed – makes me feel better about my OCD 😉
Agreed, Volga (Gaz M-24) door handles look more AMC-ish.
Not all generations, though. (Soviet cars had “generations”?)
The vent in the C-pillar is much wider than the one of the white car. also the roof line is slightly curved in the pug, but straight in the Volga. My vote goes to 504.
Early GAZ-23 Volgas had “Ford Maverick” door handles before getting the “AMC” ones. But I still think it’s another 504.
Don’t ask me why “Volga” popped into my head when I saw that picture. Especially since 504s are so common there. A genuine brain fart just before bed.
What are the odds that the last one is a Mercedes L-series ?
Those photos are almost to fantastic to fully believe! Vehicles abused like probably don’t last very long. Maybe you should post a photo of one with a broken frame.
This one looks a bit “unnatural” to me.
And I thought I used to overload my old Chevy 1/2 ton.
[Johnny Carson voice]: “That’s some wild, wild stuff!”
Here’s an oldie from around 14 years ago:
Much of North and West Africa was a series of French colonies, why they favored Peugeot rather than Citroen or Renault, I do not know.
Watch out for the spiders living in those bananas.
Obviously Columbo was popular there.
The Peugeot 504 was simplier, and was produced on licence in Kenya and Nigeria.
Wow, very impressive photos of people (over) fully utilizing their vehicles.
Found this when I was working on a story about goats a while back. Comparing this to the cow picture gives meaning to ratio and proportion. Banana wagon looks vaguely early 70s japanese. I first thought Toyota. It’s appearance is altered to the degree that I don’t know how anyone can still tell.
Makes most vehicles in the US look pampered by comparison!
Any car we consider a beater, they’d probably make useful for likely longer than it took the car to get to beater status. (Provided its a car that can handle abuse)
Imagine what they’d do with a Suburban or an Excursion!
Twice the bananas per load?
The doors on the banana wagon are held by chains or some sort of wire both to the rear and to each other. Makes me wonder why they haven’t gone doorless. Would shed some weight…for more bananas!
I doubt we’ll ever see more modern cars or hybrids, etc. undergoing this kind of treatment. All the sensors and gadgetry wouldn’t be up to it and neither would batteries I feel.
No Beetles? You’d think the aircooled engine would thrive there.
This post is stunning. Perhaps my favorite CC post ever.
The man & cow on the bike tops my list.
Finally! A photo better than the famous “two fat guys on mopeds”!
Hey Mr. Tally Man, tally those bananas!
I was going to post that Mr. Tallyman didn’t come fast enough!
From when my parents were in Tanzania in January–I believe near Arusha. They said it took multiple attempts to make it over the speed bumps….understandable, really.
A closer view….
There was a documentary on the Belgian television of how the old beaten 504 & 505 station wagons play a key role in Madagascar to deliver medical supplies, and other necessities to the small communities on the island. These services are a life line and
they are the main communication link between the capital and most of the country, but everywhere in Africa these ‘ taxi brousse ‘ as they are called play a vital role.
Depending on the country they are old Pigot estates and pick up trucks (the 504 pick up was made in Tunesia) or Mercedes 207 vans or Renault-Saviem SG2 or Toyota Hi aces.
There’s even a short film on youtube where an African drives a 404 pick up which is broken in half but still crawls along. Mechanically RWD Pigots are tough, very tough there’s also a film on youtube where a couple of Dutchmen bringing old rusty and beaten 504’s to Mali.
Driving through the Sahara desert the name of the guy is morganier look it up and see how incredibly tough these cars are