Remember the Highlander movie from the ’80s? It was about a bunch of immortal people who live among us right here, on Earth, the only place in the known universe you can get chicken strips, and every now and then they meet up and try to cut off one another’s heads, because, according to their culture, there can be only one. Well, for some reason, that was the phrase I thought of when I saw that ad for the SEAT Panda Montaña, which made me think of Hanna Montana, because that’s how it sounds.
Before we go into this extremely tenuous link, allow me to show you the Highlander trailer, complete with Sean Connery as an ancient Egyptian who now lives in Spain but somehow just speaks exactly like Sean Connery:
Does this really have anything to do with the SEAT Panda Montaña and Hanna Montana? Not really, except for the how the similar-sounding names caused me to imagine a world where entities, car or teen sensation, that shared names that sounded strangely similar, felt compelled to fight to the death because there can be only one.
As I type this, I realize it’s inane. Oh well. Let’s talk about the Panda Montaña, which I came across via this wonderful tweet:
Unlike Fiat's Panda 4X4, SEAT's 'all-terrain' Panda Montaña of 1982 retained two-wheel-drive. It made do with modifications like guards for the lights, a sump protector, beefier tyres and a large roof rack to render it suitable for rural adventures. #carbrochure #SEAT pic.twitter.com/arFDgF51lt
— Car Brochure Addict (@addict_car) January 29, 2024
The SEAT Panda Montaña is an interesting little car!
That’s because it’s a license-built version of the Fiat Panda, a fantastic, utilitarian little car that Giorgetto Giugiaro nicknamed the “fridge” but in an affectionate way. He also said this of the Panda:
“The Panda is like a pair of jeans, that simple, practical, no frills piece of clothing. I tried to bring into this car the spirit of military machinery, especially helicopters, that means light, rational, built-for-purpose vehicles.”
These also were one of the few cars that came in air- and liquid-cooled versions at the same period in time!
There was also the legendary 4×4 Panda, but that’s not what the car I’m talking about right now was based on, strangely. Yes, the Spanish-built SEAT version, in Panda Montaña form, was just the 2WD Panda, but outfitted with a tough-looking faceguard to protect the lights, chunky tires, an oil pan protector, and that great roof rack up there.
Honestly, I bet these things did okay off-road! It’s still light and nimble and has the weight over the drive wheels, so I would feel confident taking it in some rough stuff. I mean, look at it, all cool and filthy!
So, yeah, if there truly can be only one, and the Panda Montaña and Hanna Montana have to fight to the death, I think I know who I’m pulling for.
Besides, it’s okay to root for a car to kill a little girl if that girl is technically fictional, right?