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The Africar was the idea of Tony Howarth, an English journalist and photographer who spent much of the 1970s in Africa.

He disliked the developed world’s policy of selling vehicles to developing nations which were unsuitable for the conditions, and the fact that the cars disintegrated long before the bills were paid.

And so the Africar was designed to handle unsealed roads, to be constructed from local materials with low-skill labour and a minimum of imported content.

Howarth constructed 3 cars: a break, a pickup and a 6-wheeler.


They were built in England and driven to the Arctic Circle from where they headed south and reached the equator four months later.

A British Channel 4 TV program, produced by Howarth was broadcast in May 1987, which helped raise awareness in the project.