ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
DESPITE NOT HAVING ENOUGH grunt to pull the skin off a rice pudding, a north Betootan townie stands by his beloved Proton Jumbuck, saying that it deserves to be called a ute.
Stephen Francis has been openly mocked by friends and family since purchasing the Malaysian billy cart in 2014, but he hit back at his detractors this afternoon – saying that while other more powerful and stylish utes exist, he’d still rather drive the Proton.
“Yes, I know it only has 64kW. Yes, I know that in the event of an accident, my life is almost certainly going to end in the most horrible way fathomable. Yes, I know my friends think I look like a poon driving it and none of them would be caught dead in it. Yes, my own father has questioned my sexuality because of it, but I stand by Tony.” he said.
The Proton Jumbuck has the honour of being one of three one-star ANCAP-rated vehicles registerable on Queensland roads, meaning that you’re more likely to be killed driving one than you have dying from a form of cancer in your lifetime.
The Advocate’s motoring writer, Alistair Catseye, has spoken of how woeful the pseudo-ute really is many times before, most recently in 1998.
He lashed out at the makers of the townie ute, saying they should be ‘caned’ by the Malaysian government for unleashing such a ‘colostomy bag of a vehicle’ into the global market.
“The Proton Jumbuck stands as the last true example of an automotive death trap. I’d rather ride a motorcycle after being maced by a policeman. Derryn Hinch, in his current state, could defeat the engine in an arm wrestle,” he wrote.
“When you pull the door closed, it sounds like a junkie coughing in your ear. If I had a choice between owning one of these fucking things and fighting the Russians on the Eastern Front in ’44, I’d take my chances retreating through Poland.”
Alistair Catseye well said
That’s nothing – driving in my Suzuki Mighty Boy last week I was given 50 cents and a look of pity by a homeless man.
I bought a Proton Jumbuck GLi back in 2005, it had 6,000klms on the clock. It now has over 270,000klms on the clock. Those klms have been put on with trips from my home in Laidley to places Like Cairns, Canberra and Winton. While not having the ability of carrying a large load like your “real” utes, it quite capable of bringing home a load of topsoil or mulch from the landscapers. I love this little ute so much, I put personalized her with JUM81 plates. OK, so the pickup is a bit slow and it won’t do 180k’s like the “real” utes but, I’ve got all day and the speed limit is only 100k’s anyway. Hearing a junkie coughing when closing the door is better than the sound of a tin lid landing on the concrete like some of the modern vehicles there are around at the moment. As far as the ANCAP rating goes, drive carefully.
Bit rough on the little ute. The mitsubishi express had a fucking terrible reputation for safety but it was a fucking great van. They made them for decades. I drive a holden ute with a big v8 in it and i’m looking at buying a jumbuck. It is a ute and a great little town ute.
My commodore is better for long trips but the little ute would be great.
If youre that underwhelmed about the power you can get an evo half cut,
boost it up and make the v8 guys look like fuckin idiots.
The evolution lancer motors bolt in. I’m looking forward to getting one.