Wed | Aug 5, 2020

Floyd Falloon’s joyride

Published:Sunday | October 6, 2019 | 12:00 AMMickella Anderson - Automotives Writer

Often spotted around St Thomas and through the sometimes busy streets of Morant Bay is Floyd Falloon’s tiny Meyers Manx automobile, the source of much excitement and curiosity. It’s a standout for a number of reasons, but to Falloon, the bright-orange bug is simply a source of relief from the everyday hassles of life – the attention is just a bonus.

“Is mi likklejoy ride this, man,” he told Automotives. “I tell people all the time, when I am driving this car, I feel like I have no problem in the world, I am problem-free, and so I love this car.”

A longtime want

From as early as age 18, Falloon had wanted a car like this one. It took him all of 30 years, but in 2018, he finally bought the car from a friend, one Deano Lewis, who is also his former classmate from his days at Munro College in St Elizabeth.

“He (Lewis) assembled it locally; it is a kit car. It comes with a VW (Volkswagon) engine, but mine has a Toyota engine because we made some conversions,” said Falloon.

The car is sometimes used for racing, which is a given, considering the turbo starlet 5E engine inside.

Hard to ignore

And when it’s not being raced, it is St Thomas’ most talked-about automobile and piques the interest of onlookers wherever it cruises. And Falloon does not make it easy to not pay attention. The car also houses a powerful sound system that is notorious for blaring some of today’s hottest tracks, especially from fellow St Thomas native ‘ the unruly boss’, Popcaan – his favourite artiste.

The questions are many.

“People ask, ‘ are you selling it?’, ‘ can I get a drive?’,” he said. “Everybody wants to take a picture; I did not know that Jamaicans are so quick with their camera phones until I started driving this car.”

But does it ever get annoying? “My personality matches the car,” he said. “I will never show you that I am annoyed. I am always smiling when I am driving the car, and that’s why all the schoolchildren want a ride or want to take a picture on it.”

As Falloon is a trailer driver in his everyday life, it is ironic that his tiny motor car is an easy victim to bigger vehicles if they aren’t careful.

“I have a truck horn on the bug to make sure I don’t get run over by a truck or a tractor trailer,” he joked. “That (the fact that he also drives a trailer) is why I love it; it’s from one extreme to the other.”

Falloon is a member of the Jamaica classic car club and the team Volkswagen club, which makes it relatively easy for him to access parts for his car by utilising his expansive and knowledgeable network.

Until something is needed, he is enjoying cruising around town in his bug and has even driven across the country.

“I drive it every chance I get,” he told Automotives. “Right now, I am in Montego Bay, and I drove down from St Thomas – it was fun!”