Daihatsu Compagno (1963 – 1970) Review

Daihatsu Compagno (1963 – 1970) At A Glance


+Small and snice looking, especially in convertible form

-Rare in the UK, and more interesting to historians rather than drivers

Although few would have predicted it at the time, the Daihatsu Compagno was the beginning of what turned into a tidal wave of Japanese cars imported into Europe during the 1970s. The car itself was a rather unremarkable two-door saloon that failed to set the world on fire. However, it was the first four-wheeled Daihatsu to go into production, and it made an effort to get it right first time. Styled by Vignale, the look was neat and stylish without much of the clutter and chrome that became associated with its Japanese decendants during the 1970s.

The Compagno was powered by a water-cooled 797cc four-cylinder engine driving the rear wheels, and featured an all-synchromesh four-speed gearbox. In 1965, it was upgraded to 958cc and power increased to 55bhp, giving it a useful performance boost. The range then expanded to include a four-door saloon and estate car based on the saloon body. More interesting was a convertible that had a more powerful engine thanks to a twin barrel carburettor that boosted output to 65bhp and produced a top speed of 90mph.