Madagascar is certainly the last paradise for 4L and other 2-horsepower vehicles in Africa.
In the capital, Antananarivo, the interior of the country, the vehicle is most widely used model in public transport.
Relegated to scrap or legendary in Europe as classic cars, these vehicles still travel the streets of Malagasy capital as well as the pushing tracks of the Big Island. To the point of almost becoming its national emblems.
The 4L is perfect for Madagascar, because it is economical, both in terms of maintenance and parts.
Elysée Rakotondrakolona, a mechanic specialized in 4L said as a specialist, it’s better than an SUV adding that if you put it in a ditch, three or four people are enough to lift it up and out. And the 4L can drive on any road where an SUV goes.
According to him, 4Ls no longer circulate abroad, but spare parts still exist, both second-hand and new parts but just a little expensive.
“The 4L is perfect for Madagascar, because it is economical, both in terms of maintenance and parts. It’s go od for those who don’t have too much money,” said Rakotondrakolona.
The 4L was also assembled in Madagascar until the 1980s by the Malagasy car manufacturing company. The owner of this garage worked there as a mechanic.
“It only takes two weeks for the chassis. For the bodywork, it takes a week too. And when the bodywork is perfect and the chassis is perfect, we bring back the engine, the front axle, the rear axle, and then we do like this one, like the putty, everything to refurbish it,” said an Anonymous, mechanic.
Introduced in the early 1960s, thousands of 4Ls are still in circulation on the big island. Since 2014, this mythical car has had its own club of enthusiasts in Antananarivo, the Malagasy capital.