Today in Chinese Car Brands That Time Forgot (CCBTTF™): Chengdu Shanlu, a brand so unknown that most of my period catalogs don’t even mention it. The brand made a series of wagons and pickup trucks in the early 1990’s. Car on the first picture is a Shanlu CJY 6420B.
Chengdu refers to Chengdu city, capital of Sichuan Province. Shanlu means ‘mountain goat’, referring, we guess, to Sichuan’s mountainous terrain and the car’s ability to go over that, like a mountain goat.
Chengdu Shanlu (from now on: ‘Shanlu’) didn’t make its own platforms. Their cars were based on the BAW BJ212 and BAW BJ2032C pickup truck chassis. The engines came from BAW as well. Shanlu used two variants of the BAW 492 2.5 liter four-cylinder petrol engine: the 491Q rated at 94 hp and the 492QA2 rated at rated at 84 hp. Lone gearbox was a five-speed manual.
Interestingly, Shanlu used two designations: SLC and CJY. SLC is the original designation for Shanlu. CJY belonged to a company called China Jinyan Auto, a subsidiary of Chengdu Shanlu. All cars were marketed under the Shanlu name, so there are Shanlu SLC cars and Shanly CJY cars.
Multiple-designations within one automaker are not uncommon in the Chinese auto industry, even today. The are mostly the result of takeovers and mergers.
The CJY 6420B arrived in 1991, based on the BAW BJ212. It was a rough ‘n ready 4×4 wagon. There was a civilian variant, seen here driven by a man wearing sunglasses, and many variants for various government agencies.
Beautiful striping typical for the period. It was rated as an 8-seat car, with two seats up front, three in the middle, and three in the rear.
Size: 4625/1780/1910, and wheelbase was 2600. Curb weight is 1900 kilo. Engine was the 492QA2. Shanlu claimed a top speed of 98 km/h. Price in yuan in the early 1990’s was 60,200 yuan.
CJY 6420B government variants
Clockwise starting from top-left: Road Construction Commanding Car, Family Planning car, Public Security – Traffic Accidents Site Survey Car, Forrest Fire Fighting Commanding Car.
The Family Planning Car is the most intriguing. The term ‘family planning’ has a bit of a bad name outside China, often associated with forced abortions and such like. But in China the term refers to the whole set of regulations concerned with the process of getting a child. So this car is most likely a midwife-ambulance.
This one is interesting; a variant called the News Gathering Car. The tower on top is an antenna to broadcast radio signals. Perfect to go to hard-to reach newsworthy places, like earthquake zones and similar.
A virgin-white example with military license plate.
A CJY 6420B with different light units. Instead of one big light it has two smaller ones.
The SLC 1020S was a four-door pickup truck. The body is heightened but the axles are not. It is rear-wheel drive and powered by the 419Q engine. Shanlu claimed a top speed of 112 km/h.
Size: 4820/1620/1745, and wheelbase is 2850.
Image from a period advertisement.
The 1992 SC 6470Y was a large wagon based on the BJ2032C pickup truck. It has an extra-long body with a limousine-like panel behind the B-pillar, with a round-cornered window! The wheels are tastefully painted in white.
Size: 4650/1800/1800, and wheelbase was 2750. Engine was the 492QA2. Shanlu claimed a top speed of 105 km/h.
Another SQ 6470Y, with unpainted wheels.
The second Shanlu SLC 1020S was a large four-door pickup truck with a sedan-like body. The c-pillar is angled and very thin. The 1020S was based on the SQ 6470Y but wheelbase was a full 10 centimeters longer. Beautiful striping typical for the period, here in bright orange and blue over a green colored body.
A blue example with unpainted wheels. Engine was the 492QA2.
Size: 4820/1620/1745, and wheelbase is 2850.
The1995 CJY 6421B was a slightly more modern looking car, with a raked D-pillar and bonnet. The grille was almost stylish with two headlights on each side and a big red Shanlu logo in the middle. Note Chengdu badge on the right under the light.
Power came from the 491Q engine and top speed was claimed to be an impressive 130 km/h. Gearbox was a five-speed manual, sending horses to the rear wheels. Size: 4700/1800/1780, and wheelbase was 2750. Curb weight was 1780 kilo. Price in the early 1990’s: 80,000 yuan.
The CJY 2020 was a big four-wheel drive pickup truck. The car on the photo is painted in a very pretty shade of red and fitted with bulbous wheel covers.
Power came from the 492QA engine, with a claimed top speed of 98 km/h. Curb weight was 1720 kilo. Size: 4650/1810/1850, and wheelbase was 2750.
Chengdu Shanlu stopped making cars sometimes around 1995, but in and completely disappeared into history. Until today.
The CJY 6421D was a Shanlu-branded V31 Mitsubsihi Pajero, produced under a license agreement with Mitsubishi. It was powered by the 4G64 Mitsubishi Sirius engine, which at the time was made in China by the Shenyang-Mitsubishi engine joint venture. The engine delivered 140 hp. The CJY 6421D was made from 1997 until at least 2001.
Mitsubishi license the V31 to many Chinese automakers, at least a dozen, and made good money on the licenses and the engines. Many buyers replaced the Chinese-brand badges with Mitsubishi badges, but this car on the photos has all the original Shanlu stuff, including a sticker on the rear fender, a badge above the license plate, and a Shanlu logo on the spare wheel cover. The only ‘dissonant’ is the Mitsubishi sticker on the window.
Period newspaper advertisement.
Some of these Shanlu Pajero’s are still around today. This is a 1998 example with the Shanlu badge on the grille.
The type plate with the CJY 6421D designation, the CJY 6421A chassis designation, it was rated at 7-seats, and powered by the 4G64 engine.
Note CJY 6421D on the front fender.
And those were all the cars of Chengdu Shanlu. More CCBTTF soon!
Sources: Automobile Technical Parameter Handbook (1993), Handbook of Chinese car models (1993), various period brochures and leaflets.