An early example of a Brigadeer Mk1, undergoing testing by the Mamayan army
It would not be completely right to say that the first (or any!) generation of the IP Brigadeer is one single car. While all the variants always have been sharing the same platform, it has been everything from pure workhorses to luxury limousines with offroad capabilities. But it all started with a vehicle developed for the army in the home country of Mamaya. There was just too much of a sales potential to not enter the civilian market too, and the Brigadeer was born. From the beginning just a plain jane workhorse, it was after all developed as a military vehicle, with 4x4, locking differentials, solid axles front and rear and a 4 cylinder “Saturn” engine with the modest power output of almost 57 hp.
January 1959 - the first examples are delivered to the Mamayan army.
May 1959 - the civilian “1900 DX” version hits the market. Chrome bumpers and trim and a (just slightly) more comfortable interior are the largest differences
1966 - First refresh of the model. Front lap belts, padded dashboard and a power steering box with a rag jointed column and a safety steering wheel with recessed hub now standard. 1900DX version replaced by the 1900DX2 with a 75 hp “Hicam” four cylinder (a change also done to military spec vehicles). New model introduced, the 2600 GLX with the 109 hp “Stellar” V6, automatic transmission, front disc brakes, much better sound insulation and more luxurious interior.
1970 - The short lived 2600 GLX is discontinued, and its replacement is the “Grand Brigadeer”. An even more refined interior with equipment on par with many luxury cars, square headlights and longer wheelbase. 154 hp 3.5 litre “Stellar” V8 engine. Metallic paint available for the first time in the model history, only offered on the Grand Brigadeer. Another new variant is the “Brigadeer Uti-Lite” pickup, mechanically identical to the 1900DX2.
1974 - The Brigadeer is withdrawn from the US market due to all engines requiring leaded fuel. Production for markets still using leaded fuel continues.
1977 - The last Mk1 Brigadeer is leaving the assembly line. Its replacement, the Mk2, features a more modern body and a coil sprung front axle. Also, the engines in the Mk2 models being able to run on unleaded fuel means the reintroduction of the Brigadeer in the US market.
2003 - After 44 years of duty for the model, the Mamayan army retires its last remaining Mk1 Brigadeers. Many military spec examples of course still survives as surplus on the civilian market.