Monday 31 May 2010

Prototype of Local Car in 1972

This prototype of a Rhodesian car, with design and over-all concept at 80 per cent, local, is going through its final trials. The manufactured cost is 55 per cent. Rhodesian and the local weight content is 41 per cent.

The "G.N.W." Duiker, produced by Willowvale Motor Industries in Salisbury, is a two-seater with occasional seats, is expected to achieve 137 km/hr and will sell for under R.$2000. Its fuel consumption is 40 miles to the gallon at 62 m.p.h.

The aim was to produce a vehicle with aesthetic appeal and which would fill a gap in the range available. The car has a removable hard top as an option and a fixed hardtop as standard.

The general manager, Mr. G. N. Ward, in a Press interview said the Duiker has export potential. Basically the engine, chassis and braking system of the car are imported and the remainder is being made locally.

The Duiker could be the forerunner of a range of body styles, including station wagon and pick-up. The fibre-glass body is strong, light, easy to repair and has a high safety factor in an accident. The suspension is independent all round with torsion bars.

It will be quite easy for either the factory or the dealer to adjust the riding height of the car to suit the owner's requirements. For a farmer, for example, it could be raised as much as 150 mm (6 in.) above normal clearance.

Recompiled by Eddy Norris, for use on ORAFs, from the Rhodesian Commentary Vol. 6 No. 18
Date September, 1972 which was made available by Diarmid Smith. Thanks Diarmid


At 1 June 2010 at 13:33 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Ian Officer Writes:-

I am continually pleasantly surprised by the Gems you keep coming up with.

Aaaah!, the Duiker.
A Unique car.
I saw the Duiker on it’s release at the Salisbury Show.
The display model was Burnt or Daytona Orange, with a Black Interior.
The Duiker was built around a Renault 12 Sub Frame and components. It was quite Nippy being a little lighter than the R12.
The interior was reminiscent of the early British Sports cars and quite spartan, but functional
I believe there were only a few made and sadly it never made it into production.
I only once saw this Duiker on the Road shortly after the show
It would be very interesting to know where it or they ended up?
I wonder of anyone knows?, perhaps it is hidden in someone’s garage somewhere?

We will no doubt have a reply that someone or another who knows where the might Duiker is!

At 1 June 2010 at 13:34 , Blogger Rhodesia Remembered said...

Nick Baalbergen Writes:-

Didn't know this. Did the car ever go beyond prototype into production?

The front grill and light configuration is very reminiscent of my first car, a second hand Renault R10.

Nick Baalbergen.

At 21 June 2010 at 01:22 , Blogger davoward said...

Not hidden in my garage (pity) I did ask my Dad about it many years ago. He thought it was still at Willovale. Never knew more then one to be built but there may have been a few bodies at rough stage.
Dave Ward (son of G.N.W)

At 17 January 2011 at 11:51 , Blogger Unknown said...

I hope I have this one in my garage. *Sigh. Vintage cars like this are as precious as diamonds today. Dad's garage is filled with his luxurious cars; one of his collections is his sweet classic car that he drove when he was in high school. It is still in good condition; beside it is his Buick (LA) which I envy the most. I hope I have one in my garage in Orange County, California. Used cars work for me as long as it is like my Dad's.

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