PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 December, 1994, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 December, 1994, 12:00am


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NAME: The 4-Wheel Pose Jeep.


AGE: Straight out of the showroom.

MONEY: Loads. A two-year-old model was advertised for $130,000 in last week's paper.

IDENTIFYING MARKS: Spare tyre wrapped in a condom with a picture of a rhino on it; amah-cleaned, whiter-than-white soft top; giant bull/kangaroo bars to prevent road-kill pedestrians from damaging the paint work; silly, go-faster stickers.

NATURAL HABITAT: Central, Pacific Place or cruising the narrow alleys around Times Square trying to find the way into the car park. Occasional forays up to The Peak to test the four-wheel drive.

DRIVERS: Any yuppie type with creative leanings. You know, the slightly over-long hair, parted in the middle, the teeny-weeny sunglasses, the Camel advert wardrobe, the Maxwell House coffee advert apartment. Perhaps it was that dinky Mazda bubble last year and the convertible Saab befroe that. This person's idol is singer-actor George Lam, and he's certainly driven a Jeep or two in his movies.

CLOSELY RELATED TO: The Land Rovers that Hollywood executives got heavily into a couple of years ago (see The Player ). Mind you, at least there's a chance Hollywood execs might go off-road every now and then. Usually to get on the grass. Failing that, cocaine.

STRENGTHS: Er, they look kind of different. You know, stand out in a crowd of Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs.

WEAKNESSES: Er, they look just a wee bit silly in the middle of a traffic jam.

FANS SAY: 'This is a town of hills and vales, of psycho minibus drivers and lane-cutting taxis. You need all the help a car can give you, and it helps if you're not too upset about getting a dent. You wouldn't feel that way in a $500,000 Jaguar.' CRITICS SAY: 'Don't be fooled by the alleged strength on rough ground of those shiny alloy wheels: insider industry sources confide that they are in fact moulded from discarded TV dinner packaging.' WISE MEN SAY: 'Only fools rush in.' ACCESSORIES: Aviator shades, a suction Garfield, perhaps even a Seven Dwarfs-style row of Action Man dolls across the rear window.

CULTURAL LEGACY: A nation of kiddies who think a rhino safari involves a two-hour traffic jam on the way to Times Square.

NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH: Koh Samui holiday jeeps, the original Jeep (as seen in war movies), an off-road vehicle (unless losing control on the Tuen Mun highway and ploughing through the central embankment counts).