CC Global Outtakes: Dispatches From Bali, Indonesia

My wife is currently on a retreat in Bali that she goes to almost every year.  While it includes a lot of meditation, yoga, long walks through rice paddies, and some sort of juice-only diet, what really interested me was when she mentioned that she sometimes sees vehicles that she doesn’t recognize at all when in the village.  I’ve always encouraged her to send me some pictures and finally, for the first time ever, she has deigned to actually take a few; she’s been texting them to me at all random hours of the day and night for the last couple of weeks.  As I sit here waiting to go to the airport to pick her up, I’m finally confident that these represent all I’m going to see this year, so here we go (there are only four vehicles, so don’t worry…)

Right away things started off on a very promising note, meaning I have absolutely NO idea what this pickup truck thing is.  I assume Tatra87 will recognize it right away, to me it looks partially homemade but other aspects of it seem very mass market, such as the mirrors and headlight surrounds, perhaps even the grille and hood.

It’s sort of a unibody design, with virtually nothing between the bed and the cab besides the support for the seatback.  The lights under the tailgate made me think of old Datsuns, and the layers of Bondo or really thick paint or whatever it is flaking off the body have me wondering how old this really is.

A couple of nights later this showed up on my phone.  I asked her if it was a Tuk-Tuk, but she said, no, it’s another pickup truck.  Apparently with a topper (soft) shell on it.  A Tuk-tuk would have a second opening for rear passengers.  This is more the Regular Cab Short Bed style I suppose.  Judging by the tires I don’t think it has moved for a while.

Still, compared to the green truck above, I’m not sure if this one needs more or less work.  I do like the color though but wonder how much protection that bumper really can provide.

Oh, wait, I just realized it’s a Bajaj!  Bajaj is the Indian maker of cycles and three-wheelers such as this one in cargo and passenger versions.  A Piaggio Ape would I suppose be its rival (and/or inspiration).  After this arrived I asked her if there are more modern vehicles, I had spied one through the cab of the first truck.

Of course there are, here is a 2nd generation Suzuki Ignis.  Looking quite small but rugged with the full black-out package, this is another reminder to me that Suzuki is sadly gone from our market; of course I didn’t step up to the plate when they were available here so these tears of mine may well be crocodile tears.  This version of the Ignis is available as FWD or AWD, I’m not sure which one this is, but it doesn’t look very bare-bones.

Along with the new Jimny and the last/current Swift, and now this, there are a lot of interesting Suzukis out there.  I still see SX4’s around here all the time and even the odd Kizashi now and then.  Maybe if I lived in Indonesia or South America I’d consider one, I don’t think they are bad at all.  And certainly interesting to look at, just check out those three slash marks on the C-pillar above the giant Hofmeister kink, it’s fierce!

When she sent this one, I immediately thought Toyota but the front badge isn’t.  Of course Toyota sometimes badges their cars different, the car lines themselves are sold through multiple sales channels with the individual models sometimes heralding different sub-brands, which is sort of what we have here.  In Indonesia Toyotas are sold through Toyota Astra Motors, the sole distributor, and the badge on the front represents that.

In back it’s badged as a Astra Toyota Agya – this one is of the prior to current generation.  The sister car to the Daihatsu Ayla, both are produced in Indonesia with something like 85% local content and sport a 1.0L 3-cylinder engine.

That’s it for this trip, thanks to Allison for the Indonesian eye candy for the rest of us!