The Daihatsu Midget is a single-seat mini-truck made by Japanese automaker Daihatsu. Several distinct vehicles have borne the Midget name over the years, but all have had in common a single-seat utilitarian design, with an enclosed or semi-enclosed cab.
First generation (1957–1972)
The original Midget featured a three wheel, a single seat, a doorless cab, and handlebar steering. In 1957 the DK Midget was introduced. The engine was an air-cooled 2-stroke design of 250 cc which produced 10 hp (7 kW).
In 1959 the MP Midget was introduced - updated with such features as a steering wheel, doors, and seating for two. The engine was an air-cooled 2-stroke design of 305 cc which produced 12 hp (9 kW).
Subsequent revisions to the MP design were made, resulting in the model MP4 (which featured a larger cargo bed than the original model) and finally the MP5 (which introduced automatic oil mixing for the 2 stroke engine) which remained in production until 1972.
By 1972, 336,534 units had been produced, and production was terminated because of the falling popularity of three-wheeled models to more modern four-wheeled models.
The Midget I has also been sold outside Japan as the "Bajaj", "Tri-Mobile", or "Bemo". It is one of the first cars manufactured by the Japanese automaker Daihatsu, known for its low cost, practical vehicles. Almost exclusively used as an autorickshaw (or 'tuk-tuk') the Midget was also a well known icon of public transportation in South Asia. Not meant for performance, this obscure vehicle does weave through larger traffic well, despite the fact that it only has three wheels. These original tuk-tuks are a little harder to find in modern times.
In Thailand the Midget MP4 is still in production as an Chinnaraje Midget in Chiang Mai and as an TukTuk Midget MP4 in Bangkok. The facelifted version, known as MP5 is also still manufactured by the TukTuk (Thailand) Co., Ltd. in Bangkok.
Second generation (1996–2001)
From 1996 to 2001, Daihatsu manufactured a four-wheeled kei Midget with four-wheel drive or air conditioning as options. As Kei cars, they were equipped with 660 cc engines.
The Midget II was introduced as a concept at the 1993 Tokyo Motor Show. There are 2 types of engine available, differentiated by the injection type, one being electronic. Both are identical in width and height, but the EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) version is shorter by 75mm. They are available in one seater or 2 seater, with automatic and manual transmissions available. This midget is semi unusual as the spare tire is on the front, a popular thing to do to Volkswagen Type 2s'.