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History Japanese Cars...NOT OT!!

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Bruce Lancaster, Sep 12, 2008.

  1. Astroglide? :)
  2. MorganGT
    Joined: Jun 30, 2006
    Posts: 30


    The Datsun L Series engines were a 'copy' (actually a reengineered version) of a Mercedes inline 6 cylinder engine with 2 cylinders lopped off, as Prince Motors (who started the whole Skyline range, and were bought out by Nissan) were the Mercedes distributors for Japan at the time. Later, when Nissan needed an inline 6, they tacked the missing cylinders back on. The independent rear ends fitted to Datsun 510s (Datsun 1600s down here) were a copy of the BMW rear suspension, too. Pre-WWII, Datsun made Austins under licence - in the mid 30s you could buy a Datsun which was an exact copy of an Austin Seven. Would love to get one, as it would be a great way to annoy 'restoration' nazis and those opposed to anything not of 'their' favourite brand, for no other reason other than the badge. Take it to a British car show and sneak it in between the 'real' Austin Sevens and see if anyone notices and gets mad! Or turn up at a Japanese car show and check the reactions when you park it amongst the modern 'rice'!

    The A Series Datsun engine was a reengineered version of the BMC A Series engine - they were cheeky enough to keep the same name, although there are really no interchangeable parts.

    Maybe the Japanese aren't the best 'originators', but they are great at making things work - the Yamaha XS650 was a copy of the Triumph Bonneville, but was so comprehensively reengineered to make it 'work' that it makes a better bike than a Triumph. It used to be the bike you bought if you couldn't afford to buy and fix up an old Triumph, and had the bonus of not dumping oil everywhere - these days they are so collectible in their own right it's almost cheaper to get an old Triumph, but I'd still rather have an XS650!
  3. Cruiser
    Joined: May 29, 2006
    Posts: 2,240


    It would be cool to build an late 30's Toyota the problem is try to find one it's impossible at best. Almost all of the early Japanese cars went to the melt down unit to build ships, airplanes etc.. If your ever in Tokyo a must is the Toyota museum full of old Toyota's and some old American cars a very interesting place.

    CRUISER :cool:
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2008
  4. Pauly da mick
    Joined: Nov 14, 2006
    Posts: 245

    Pauly da mick

    There were special racing versions of the Datson 240Z called "super samurai" :cool:

  5. Jeem
    Joined: Sep 12, 2002
    Posts: 5,885

    Alliance Vendor

    Great thread!

    Does anyone recall "boutique cars", that were sold only in Japan (I believe). They were made in the later 80's(?) to emulate small euro cars of the 50's. Somewhat like little Fiat 500's. I saw ONE teaser article in one of the car mags back then (maybe Custom Rodder). I realize "boutique" is not the NAME given to these cars, and Google did not help me. These cars were actually pretty neat, definitely not BADASS, but cute. Under dash package trays, bud vases, 12" wheels(?).....

  6. Dreddybear
    Joined: Mar 31, 2007
    Posts: 5,947


    Cool. 1938 Nissan.

  7. OoltewahSpeedShop
    Joined: Oct 18, 2007
    Posts: 3,104


    Is that '38 Nissan for real? Never seen anything like it before.
  8. Asphalt Outlaw Hero
    Joined: Dec 9, 2006
    Posts: 969

    Asphalt Outlaw Hero
    from Dixie

    Actually his was a copy of he Studebaker "Mighty Mite". It was a small jeep that the real Jeep kind of over shadowed.[​IMG]

  9. Most 1938 Nissans were thrown at our guys in 1941-1945 in some form or another, I'd imagine. The ones left after that.. well there's no room in Japan for a junkyard and you're never that far from the coast, either.
  10. Friend of mine had the first dealership around here for those fj410/Samurai things when they first came out. Sold 17 of them and put in 23 replacement engines.....:(
  11. PDQ VW
    Joined: Sep 9, 2008
    Posts: 41

    PDQ VW
    from Canada

    I love checking out foreign cars, especially the iron curtain vehicles!
    Here's a site that will keep you busy!!!
    Check out the left hand margin--tons of stuff ---and one specifically deals with look alikes somewhere in there...
  12. LIMEY
    Joined: Nov 5, 2002
    Posts: 1,986


    Made me think of a documentary i watched the other day about Jap ships at the bottom of Truk Lagoon, most amazing footage in the cargo hold of 30's Jap trucks still intact!

    Found a clip of the same trucks on youtube it till 2 minutes 55 for the trucks

  13. MorganGT
    Joined: Jun 30, 2006
    Posts: 30


    The Japanese seem to have a strange fondness for 50s/60s British cars, even mundane models that the British don't even remember fondly. There are several companies building this sort of thing in Japan, off the top of my head I can only think of the name of one though - Mitsuoka.
    Meet the Mitsuoka Viewt! Based on a Nissan Micra.

    The other Japanese-market-only oddity is the 'Kei' class car, which is a special category of vehicle built to meet a special set of post-war regulations designed to boost the growth of the car industry.
  14. Holy crap a micro gangster Jag!

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