The Namco Pony is a small Citroen SUV assembled in Thessaloniki - Greece - and a predecessor of the Citroen FAF “Facile a Fabriquer” / Facile a Financer” (Easy to manufacture / Easy to finance).
It is likely that the Pony was inspired from the “Baby Brousse” - originated in 1963 from “Les Ateliers et Forges de l’Ebrie” - a smithy and metal workshop in Abidjian, Ivory Coast. Mr. Letoquin and Mr. Lechanteur, the owners, used an Citroen Ami 6 chassis with a pressed steel body to design a rugged “buggy” type vehicle that could be used for utility and recreational off-road access. From 1963 to 1969 they oversaw the production of 800 “unofficial vehicles” until Citroen bought the license with international development of the concept in mind.
Namco was founded in 1961 by The Kontogouris Brothers - already involved with FARCO to produce the Farmobil, a no frill utilitarian vehicle with a BMW 700 flat 2 engine. Though the 1961 project to built a three wheeler truck never materialized, NAMCO resurfaced in 1972 with the Pony project at the Thessaloniki International Fair after an agreement signed with Citroen. The official production started in 1974 and lasted until 1983, where around 17,000 Pony were produced and exported to many countries.
Nicknamed the “poor man jeep”, the originality of the Pony (and the FAF and Baby Brousse) resides on the assembly simplicity of the vehicle: no wielding required to assemble the body, only bolts and pre-cut pressed steel sheets. This concept made a perfect candidate for a “basic world car project” that allows local production without large infrastructure. It also results in a square body that leaves absolutely no space for curves…
The chassis and mechanical piece are based on the Dyane 6, a simple 602cm2 flat twin developing a meagre 32hp at 5750rpm with a top speed announced at 118km/h. Just enough to power the economical 640kg (Curb weight) Pony.