Monday, 27 March 2017

A fearless Fiori laughs in the face of danger!

One from a wreckers-run last weekend - a sunny Sunday afternoon hunting Kei..

..because I just have a bit of a thing for every-damn-one of that segment's pint-sized gems the different Japanese manufacturers had somehow managed to justify for Australia.
Wagon R? Mighty Boy? Carry? Copen? Yep, I'm there. Always.

Today's (..well, last weekend's..) little weapon is one I'd mentioned in the past; but due to an absolute array of names it was sold under, hadn't covered specifically with its Australian-market moniker: Fiori!'s 'flowers' in Italian. "but.. uhh.. it's a Japanese car.."? Pah! Small detail...

The 1990 KN5 Subaru Fiori.
Third generation of Subaru's Kei beastie, introduced in Japan in late 1986 as the Rex. These were marketed in Australia as the Sherpa, which for whatever reason then changed to Fiori in 1989.
From "eastern people" to Italian-for-flowers - it was a decorative change regardless - the compliance still says Sherpa!

Relentless name-changing aside, the third generation Rex continued on the Australian market through to the generation's end in 1992, at which point it wasn't replaced. Shame..

Adorable panel-mounted prop on the bonnet.

Although dimensionally a Kei car; not too unusually for the Australian market, these got a much larger engine. This is the 758cc (Kei limit was 660cc) EN08 - a comparatively-vanilla carburetted single-cam four-cylinder, which delivered a screaming thirty-odd kilowatts at ~6000rpm. Fiesty Fiori.

While these were offered with autos and four wheel drive elsewhere; Australian Fioris had drive sent through a four-speed floor-shift to the front wheels only. Basic strut-front with a swaybar otherwise..

 ..while at the back, a trailing independent coil-sprung layout. Someone's pinched the passenger shock here, and just look at that travel! Should've set them up that height standard; a missed opportunity Subaru..!

The dainty 12" steel wheels...

...wrapped in 145/70R12 tyres.

Let's cut some pizzas!

Drum rear and disc front, absolutely adequate for the featherweight (~600kg) Fiori...

..sized to suit though, of course! I haven't seen disc brakes this small since Nissan's Silvia was last on the market!

"FIORI \\"

Another thing the Australian Fioris missed was rear seats. These were sold as a van here, and fitted out to suit..

The small plate up next to that cargo barrier/rack is off the inside of the rear door.

Pop-out rear quarter glass for ventilation. 

Spare wheel carried inside.

Now to hop in and make screaming engine noises? Although I can't help myself, the car certainly tried! Someone had snapped the interior lock pin off in the door.. around we go...

The Honda-esque "OK" inspection decal.

..and the remains of the Fiori's signature pinstripe decals.

Love those headrests. I suppose I'll just slide in and over? It's a small car, but genuinely quite roomy inside..

No, just the bare minimum here.. although the temp gauge could be considered a little bit of luxury!

Interior mirror adjustment and a U13 Nissan Bluebird..

Very basic HVAC controls, and a manual choke over to the right. It's always a laugh seeing the blanks left behind from the top-tier variants!

The four-speed floor shift.
I sometimes feel like I'm painfully alone here, but I love a long throw shifter...

..urgh, now I have to crawl back out? Yep, done deal - I'm bloody cooking in here!

..and that was that. A thorough Fiorinspection done.


  1. Is that 30 kw before or after the addition of those high power topgun spark leads?

    1. Ha! Well that'd have to be before, surely; it's not as if pre-TopGun it'd been in the negatives..!

  2. Ironic that the genuine "subaru rex" faded into anonymity right before the wrx was released and stole its name

  3. In the USA we call these headache racks. This car has more of a backache rack!