We found this 2007 Ssangyong Chairman for sale on carfromjapan.com. I presume it was located in Japan, although it seems strange being a LHD car when the Chairman was also produced in RHD.
Anyway, being an Australian I find the Chairman a fascinating car. Ssangyong has been linked to Mercedes for a long time, and the Chairman model is one of the strongest links, not only from a styling perspective, but the car is actually based on the W124 E class sedan. To what extent the relation exists is quite difficult to tell. We know it certainly shares the driveline of the E320, with the smooth 162kw straight 6 and 5-speed auto as was applied to the late 124s. But beyond that it's difficult to say exactly how related to the W124 the car is. I would presume it shares overall a vast majority of mechanical features.If it aint broke, don't fix it.
I'd love to have a closer look at one of these to see, for example, whether the underlying superstructre (chassis / body underpinnings etc) are also shared with the W124. Clearly, the body is quite different in shape - most notably the full window frame doors (like an AU/BA Falcon), among other things. But is it essentially a W124 body deep down underneath the exerior shape? Something to think about.
One thing we can say for sure is that the Ssangyong's dashboard really does show its link to the W124. It's really just a smoothed out upgrade of the Mercedes dash, brought from the 1980s, into the late 90s. In my opinion, it looks good, and is a conservative evolution of the 124 dash.
I would love to see comments from anyone who knows more about the Ssangyong Chairman. Very few came to Australia (I suspect only a few hundred). Priced under $60,000, it was aimed at the Australian LWB competitors (Fairlane / Statesman), but simply didnt have the brand power or reputation to succeed - and the styling was very subjective.
A future classic, perhaps not, but who knows - some W124 enthusiasts may be looking to keep the tradition alive.
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