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Rare Proton Models that you never knew

Proton, our first National Carmaker spearheaded by Tun Dr Mahathir Muhammad, has been through a lot since its founding partnership with Mitsubishi till its current ties with Chinese Carmaker Geely. There have been many successful models, like the ever popular Proton Saga that has been on sale since 1985, to flops like the Proton Tiara which sold terribly during the short 4 years it was sold. We aren’t going to touch on the special edition variants of models here, but those that millennials have probably never seen or rarely sighted on the road.

Proton Tiara (1996 – 2000)

Proton’s attempt at a partnership with PSA Peugeot Citroën, this small hatchback was based on a Citroën AX, and was a competitor to the popular Perodua Kancil at the time. But the quirkiness of the car (since it was of french descent) didn’t hit too well with its target audiences, and was axed just 4 years (1996 – 2000) after it was launched due to low sales figures.

Proton Juara (2001 – 2004)

Another short lived Proton Model, the Juara which was a mini MPV engineered in partnership with Mitsubishi, was Proton’s go at offering a Kei-van like vehicle for their local audience. Sad to say that it wasn’t received well for its (again) quirky design elements versus the Perodua Kenari that was on sale at the same time. Low demand for the car contributed to Proton killing off the model after 4 years on the market.

Proton Arena (2002 – 2009)

Proton’s first ever pickup, with the front of a Wira but a cargo bed at the back, was something that nobody expected from the National carmaker of Malaysia. Although technically a ute, it was a local alternative if you were looking for something to haul your goods throughout Malaysia. Surprisingly, the Arena had higher popularity in the export market due to increased demand for vehicles of its kind, compared to its sales locally. What makes it different from the Tiara and Juara is that its market value is quite high owing to its uniqueness.

Proton Putra (1996 – 2001, 2004)

Looking from its front, don’t let it fool you into thinking that it’s a Wira. This Mitsubihi Lancer look alike is indeed a 2-door Wira briefly sold by Proton in the late 90s. It had a 1.8 litre 4G93P engine only available in the equally rare Wira Limited Edition and Satria Gti, and came with Recaro seats, Momo steering wheel and gear knob from the factory. As with the others on this list, coupés weren’t popular in Malaysia so as to it being axed after a short 5 years, and briefly reappeared in 2004 to clear out the old stock but replaced with a normal interior.

If you are the proud owner of one of these models, and are looking to sell your car, don’t hesitate to visit www.ezauto.my to get the best deal for your car!

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