Knock-offs and China go together like fists and fury, and while lacking in originality, the country's craftsmen are wickedly talented in the art of the cheap copy. A perfect example, today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe FUQI 4X4 is sort of, kind of, almost like an old Toyota FJ. Will its price however, have you saying knock it off?
O Alfa Romeo, Alfa Romeo, wherefore art thou, Alfa Romeo? Once the rust takes over, it's possible you won't find your Alfa where you parked it - not due to theft but because of a stiff breeze. That wasn't yet the case with yesterday's 1975 Alfetta Berlina, its rust being being seen as not insurmountable. Its price was apparently also no biggy, as evidenced by the car's 60% Nice Price win. That goes a long way in overcoming Italy's bad rap for producing cars with tissue paper quality. Something else that might help is following up that Alfa with a candidate from a country whose products suffer from an even worse reputation.
You know they make some of the best stuff in China - iPhones, Lenovo laptops, Zhang Ziyi. They also make some pretty scary crap like radioactive drywall and pet food that may make your dog think you're trying to off him for the insurance money. Somewhere in between those extremes of yin and yang lies today's FUQI FQ2022, a Chinese take on the Toyota Land Cruiser. Now, it's not a carbon copy, there being four doors to the design source FJ's two. On the EQ2022S those appear to be exactly the same front and back making for potential confusion as to which row you're getting into after a night of too many Tsingtaos.
The Illinois dealer attempting to sell this truck has had it sitting on their lot for months now, although over that time they've not provided the story behind how a Chinese four by four managed to end up in the Land of Lincoln. They have managed to fit it with a new convertible top which looks spiffy if not a little large - sort of like a kid in his dad's suit. There's also a set of side curtains for when monsoon season arrives, but as the seller says it'd be best to leave them in the storage box in the back, they're probably a pain in the ass to mount.
Who built this truck? Well, it's advertised as a FUQI, which Google reveals to be a maker of all things almost-Toyota. The company not only pays homage to the FJ but also the Tacoma, and more recent Land Cruiser in their creepy Single White Female product lineup. Why do they mimic the products of others rather than carving new design paths? It's hard to say, but I'm sure Mike Daisey will soon have a monologue discussing it wherein he invents a heart-wrenching reason.
This FUQI is being promoted as a 2001, although it's more likely the product of a decade or more prior. I mean, I hope it is, after all it looks like something in which they drove Puyi to the re-education camp. With a Toyota nose, of course, and sans his eunuch entourage.
It's not all Ming Dynasty however, the seller claiming that along with its top and tires, this truck has received a spankin' new engine. That's a four cylinder of indeterminate origin - at least it's not something that I immediately recognize, nor am I familiar with the trophy symbol adorning both the block and head. Regardless, it looks like it's been cast in styrofoam, although that's probably aluminum. Behind the four pots sits a four-speed gearbox - probably of the agricultural variety - the ratios for which are most likely stump-puller, extra-low, low, and low-verdrive. That would explain the truck's 55-mph top speed.
Of course, with an open top, elbow-height gunwalls and the dark cloud of unknown foreign build quality hanging over it, even 55 might be too fast for comfort. Better to keep it low and slow, and perhaps away from other traffic, which means this would make an excellent off-roader. That would help with trying to register the truck, as even though it's claimed to have an Illinois title, other states may not be quite so accommodating.
Also requiring accommodation is the price, which at $16,595 is a lot of Maos. The question is, do you think this Chinese chariot is worth that kind of cheddar? or, is that too much Yuan for you?
H/T to Great Lakecenter for the hook up
Help me out with NPOCP. Click here to send a me a fixed-price tip, and remember to include your commenter handle.