Cool stuff

Leisure Wheels (South Africa) - - CONTENTS - Text: GG van Rooyen

For­ward-con­trol 4x4s

The world has moved on from the for­ward-con­trol (FC) 4x4, largely be­cause this sort of set-up turns the driver into a makeshift airbag/crum­ple zone for the rear-mounted en­gine. But, while they were around, they sure were cool. Here are five awe­some FC 4x4s.

Speed kills... es­pe­cially when you’re sit­ting 15cm from the wind­screen and are pro­tected by noth­ing more than a thin piece of metal ca­ress­ing your knees. A few decades ago, back when peo­ple gen­er­ally had a more lais­sez-faire ap­proach to safety and seat­belts were seen as su­per­flu­ous; for­ward con­trol (FC) ve­hi­cles had a strong fol­low­ing. These days, though, they are prac­ti­cally ex­tinct. Reg­u­la­tions have made pas­sen­ger/ leisure ve­hi­cles with this sort of set-up just about im­pos­si­ble to cre­ate. In fact, the only area where these ve­hi­cles sur­vived un­til fairly re­cently was in com­mer­cial ap­pli­ca­tions where high speed was un­likely, if not im­pos­si­ble. Yet, there is some­thing very cool about an old-school FC 4×4. Sure, they weren’t the safest ve­hi­cles around, but they sug­gested a no-frills-no­fuss ap­proach to ve­hi­cle de­sign that was ad­mirable. You of­ten won­dered if a de­signer was in­volved at all. Here are five FC 4×4s that prove words like ‘func­tional’ and ‘fuss­free’ don’t au­to­mat­i­cally mean ‘un­cool’.

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