Fantastically odd news from Japan! This is the Daihatsu Taft DAMD. Off to a good start already, huh, its name sounding like the exclamation of a pained Welshperson upon stubbing their toe.
The truth only gets odder. DAMD stands for Dream Automotive Design and Development, a Japanese tuner that’s already turned some cute Suzuki Jimnys into butch G-Wagen and Defender impersonators.
Its work, we’re delighted to inform you, didn’t stop there. For the Taft – a diminutive little five-door hatchback – has had a pair of makeovers that look even more flamboyantly silly.
The Little-D, in green, intends to look like a Land Rover Defender. The original, it’s safe to assume, with its horizontally slatted grille and muddy green paint. As for the tweed interior, try-hard Union Flag and kitsch trip basket? Well, we don’t remember those appearing on too many Landies, but they’re sweet nonetheless.
Perhaps DAMD’s Taft 80s is more successful. It apparently apes old Toyota trucks, the retro vinyl patterns in particular, and it’s arguable the Japanese have an easier time harking back to their own heritage than Britain’s.
Either way, don’t expect the Taft’s dinky ground clearance or barely less dinky 64hp 660cc engine to get you down too many green lanes. These are tributes in aesthetics only.
STORY Stephen Dobie