The NAMCO Pony was produced in Greece and it almost was imported here.
If you fall in love with this little NAMCO Pony (or Pony Super), you’ll be sad to hear that it was built in and for the Greeks. No American imports on this baby. Built between 1972 and 1985, this little truck stood out among other Greek vehicles such as crude three-wheelers and lumbering machines meant more for agricultural work than transportation.
Greek consumers needed something more utilitarian, that could both serve as transportation and as a working vehicle. Founded in 1972 and based in Thessaloniki, Greece – the NAMCO name stands for the National Motor Company of Greece.
The leading-link front with trailing link rear suspension, right out of the
Citroën’s 2CV, was remarkably flexible off-road.
The first generation of the NAMCO Pony was based on the Citroën’s 2CV’s frame, 602cc flat, two cylinder engine, and four-speed manual transmission. Putting out about 29 horsepower and 28 lbs-feet of torque, the NAMCO Pony only weighed between 1,200 – 1,400 lbs.
It’s not much bigger than a Chinese knock-off Jeep Willys go-kart.
A few snuck their way into the U.S.; however:
An ambitious plan was also made to export the car to the U.S. with a 1900 cc engine via Inthelco as the Desta at a rate of 20,000 per year. However, the costs and prospects proved to be grossly miscalculated and the plan was abandoned.Wikipedia
Despite being a tiny front-wheel drive utility vehicle, these little things were known as being very capable on nasty roads. They were also known as being rugged, easy to drive, easy to work on and the least expensive vehicle in its class.
Various countries imported the Pony, many from Africa.
In 1985 the Pony was replaced by the all-new Pony Super. This was a completely different vehicle based on Ford as opposed to Citroën, the Pony Super had much more powerful power-trains ranging from 950 – 1300 CCs.
A diesel was also added as well. They were also built in two and four-door versions.
While not as charming as the original, it was just about as rugged and far easier to drive. In time, NAMCO moved on to other endeavors such as truck manufacturing and Pony Super production came to an end in 1992.
Speaking of cheap and rare –