The Daihatsu Rocky, or Daihatsu Rugger in the US, was an off-road vehicle produced from 1984 to 2002. Because this vehicle was sold under various model names in different countries, it was also known as the F70 based on its chassis code. During its production years, the Daihatsu enjoyed a mildly successful stint as a reliable off-road vehicle. And despite the fact that Daihatsu packed its bags and left the US market in 1992, its Rugger units continue to attract buyers of rare, discontinued vehicles.
1984-1992: First generation
Built as a replacement for the Daihatsu Taft, the first-gen Daihatsu Rocky was sold during the early eighties up to the early nineties. Buyers could choose either an extended wheelbase model with a metal top or a short wheelbase version with a removable hard top or convertible soft top. A wagon version--Rugger Wagon--was also released, which could seat a maximum of eight passengers at the back.
The first-gen version was sold in three different engine configurations: a 2.8 L diesel engine with 73 PS, a turbocharged, 2.8 L diesel engine with 88 PS, and a 2.0 L Toyota 3Y petrol equipped with a single carburetor and one overhead cam. A part-time four-wheel drive layout was a standard feature on all models. In Japan, a version equipped with a Toyota engine was sold under the name Toyota Blizzard. Chassis types for the first-gen models were the F77 pickup, the LWB f75, and the SWB F70. Over the years, the model received numerous upgrades. The following parts were equipped on all 1989 2.8 turbo diesel variants: square headlights, timing belts as replacements for timing chains, and an electric switch for the 4WD system.
1992-2002: Second generation
Although Daihatsu stopped its production of vehicles with US specs, it continued to produce the second-gen Daihatsu Rugger/Rocky for other export markets. To set it apart from its earlier version, the leaf sprung axles were replaced by a coil spring axle and an independent front suspension system. A bigger petrol engine was also introduced, and the 2.8 turbo diesel was equipped with an intercooler to increase power to 102 PS.
In the Indonesian market, the Rugger had a longer lifespan, which was sold under Daihatsu Hiline, Rocky, or Taft. Versions powered by petrol engines were sold under the Feroza brand. After Daihatsu pulled the plug on its US sales and car manufacturing projects, parts for the Daihatsu Rocky became harder to find. As a result, finding a second-hand Rocky is quite rare nowadays. Despite the discontinuation, however, Daihatsu Rocky fans from around the globe continue to remember this model as a tough yet very economical and reliable off-road vehicle. As a matter of fact, it was a popular farm vehicle in other countries because it could pull heavy trailers without breaking down.