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Old 12-12-2015   #1
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Da Panda from Downunder

G'day all.

Just joined... just finished my first week as a Panda owner
As a model, the Panda has had a troubled life here in Australia, partly because they overpriced them but I also wonder if people actually knew what it was (it, most definitely, is not just another little car). Anyways, it meant that I was able to pick up a dealer demonstrator that they were desperate to get rid of because they aren't importing them any more - kinda good (coz I got a good price), kinda sad.

Anyway, I've quickly learned to love my little beast and am even getting my head around her weird handling (previous vehicle was an MG ZR160 - rather different). She's got that lovely TwinAir motor which, I feel, is what gives this vehicle most of its character and some truly remarkable driving characteristics.

My daughter reckons she's small on the outside but huge on the inside... just like the Tardis, so that's what she's being called. She's been on her first run with the Fiat/Lancia club which involved some exuberant hills driving and about 10km of dirt road courtesy of a wrong turn.
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Old 12-12-2015   #2
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Re: Da Panda from Downunder

Now, a question of style. I know style is a personal thing but, as countless women over the decades have pointed out, I have none (unless you can all Bush Grunge a 'style').

A local car detailer reckons he can put the Red White Green Italia stripes on my car for a very modest price. He can do this because the vehicle is white and all he has to do is add a red strip and a green stripe - he's also got a very good reputation and was recommended by the dealer who sold me the car. I'm rather keen to do this as it'd break up the 'white box' effect as well as making her a bit more individual... and as we all know, racing stripes make them go faster

Any thoughts on this?
And where to put them - over the bonnet and roof or down the side?
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Old 12-12-2015   #3
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Re: Da Panda from Downunder

I would choose something simple like this.
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Old 13-12-2015   #4
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Re: Da Panda from Downunder

That's what I was thinking, particularly the one on the right - I believe over the driver is traditional.

Not sure I could convince my son she's a Lambo though

That leaves those great big slabs of sides though. No problem if you've got the black, plastic filler. That got me thinking about side stripes but I think I'm more drawn to the stripes over the top myself.
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Old 13-12-2015   #5
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Re: Da Panda from Downunder

Looks good mate! Like the window tint -- I'll have to sort out some for mine soon. Yes the thin stripe looks like the go to me too.
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Old 13-12-2015   #6
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Re: Da Panda from Downunder

Quote Originally Posted by AusPanda View Post
Looks good mate! Like the window tint -- I'll have to sort out some for mine soon. Yes the thin stripe looks like the go to me too.
Thanks mate.

Like your little caravan.

I'll be shopping for a tow bar next week, but was told they're unavailable here. Can you give me some pointers? I know I can get one custom made but last time I did that (to the MG ZR), it cost nearly 4x the price of fitting one off the shelf to my son's Subaru.
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Old 13-12-2015   #7
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Re: Da Panda from Downunder

Yep no worries.

I bought mine from a company in Italy called Umbra Rimorchi. They are familiar with export orders, were very helpful, the bar was boxed very well and it was very good quality and well priced.

I have the fixed towbar, p/n 21040/F.

I also bought from UR a Right Connections loom, which was plug and play. It disables the rear parking sensors when connected to a trailer. Only thing wrong with it is interference when indicators are on -- the clicking can be heard through AM on the radio. I have left the plug as a large 7-pin round as that's what the bracket that came with the bar suits (I use a adaptor for the 7-pin flat trailers I tow). One of these days I'll buy or make up a 7-flat bracket.

I fitted the towbar myself. It was very simple, except the last steps were a bit confusing, when fitting the swan neck. I'll explain if you need me to, I'll have to go through the instructions to remind myself!

There is a very small cut you have to make in the middle bottom of the bumper bar but you can't see it with the bar back on anyway.

The loom was much more time consuming for me to hook up, but I was being careful.

I can PM you the contact details and price I paid if you like.
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Old 13-12-2015   #8
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Re: Da Panda from Downunder

A swan neck. That's a worry because I will be mounting a bike carrier on it and for that, you need the flat neck and tow ball set up

Thanks for the info. I'm now off to do some research.
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Old 13-12-2015   #9
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Re: Da Panda from Downunder

I've used a bike carrier that clamps on underneath the ball part of the swan neck (bought locally). I'm not sure if it's stable enough for a couple heavy bikes but it's taken my bike and my son's small bike without any problems.

I don't think you'll find a towbar with a flat tongue to suit the Panda. I looked online for ages for all towbar options and the Europeans don't use the flat tongue-type at all. That was in August 2014 though, so you might find a flat type now.
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Old 13-12-2015   #10
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Re: Da Panda from Downunder

I definitely need a solid mounting - it'll be used daily and sometimes with two bikes on the back. I've had my son's fiance's roadie in the back of the car... and needed to remove both wheels to do it (disappointing, but it is a small car). My own bikes are steel and with a more traditional long base so a carrier is the way to go.

I'll have a chat with Allin Towbars before I decide anything - they did a brilliant job of the MG ZR but being a custom build, it was pricey.

Of course, I could use the fold up, strap on, hatch back carrier that I used to use on the MGB but that's so darned frustrating to fit, I'll probably leave it mounted in the hope that someone steals it

Then there's my little boat - it's an 8ft pram so won't stress the Panda towing it. I carry it to the water so there's no launch and retrieve issues, but I'll need a tow bar for that.

I know this sounds like I'm grizzling about my new car however, this is the only area in which it's not ready 'right out of the box'. I love her. I'm even learning to drive around the understeer.
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Old 13-12-2015   #11
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Re: Da Panda from Downunder

You could do the side as simple like de VW Scirocco Bologna 08.
Right mirror cap green, left mirror cap red, and some small stripes. 😉
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Last edited by The Pretender; 13-12-2015 at 07:22.
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