A couple of days ago, a Proton Perdana was seen in a YouTube video that provided a tour of an underground facility of defunct manufacturer, Bristol Cars. As usual, Malaysians are curious and wondered how did the flagship Proton sedan ended up with other abandoned cars that are said to worth millions of pounds.
Turns out the car with the registration number VK 5231 belongs to former Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir. This has been confirmed via Kelab Che Det on Facebook along with supporting documents.
According to the post, the car was exported to the UK after initial discussions on a hybrid car experiment through Frazer Nash Research Limited, an R&D company that belongs to British Pakistani businessman Kamal Siddiqi. The Bristol Cars building was owned by Siddiqi who bought the company in 2011.
It was said that Tun Mahathir on his own initiative had sent his own Perdana to the UK for R&D purposes with the intention of enabling Proton to produce its own hybrid vehicles. The attached letter was signed on 4th January 2017 and the vehicle is base model Proton Perdana with a 2.0L engine. It was also mentioned that the car will be sent back to Malaysia once R&D has been completed.
It was previously reported that Frazer-Nash group specialises in electric vehicle technologies and had supplied electric vehicles during the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur. Interestingly, the same company had partnered with Tenaga Nasional in 1996 to establish Perusahan Otomobil Elektrik Malaysia (M) Sdn Bhd. The joint-venture was supposed to produce Malaysia’s first electric car but the plan appears to have been abandoned in the early 2000s.
As pointed out by some commenters on Facebook, the Perdana in question is actually a rebadged 8th generation Honda Accord. It would probably be more practical to purchase a second hand Accord in the UK but it’s worth pointing out that a different version was sold in the European market.
It is also worth highlighting that the abandoned Perdana is also among the affected cars in the recent airbag recall for Proton Perdanas manufactured between 2012 to August 2018. As revealed by Proton, over 700 Perdana owners have yet to replace their airbags.