Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Ying and Yang Datsun Cherry F10

Yesterday Japanese Nostalgic Car posted pictures of the Z-Car Club of Inland Valley Show in Temecula. Even though the name implies that it was a Z-Car only meeting, there were actually quite a lot of non Z-Cars at the meeting!

The most spectacular of them was this double frontend Datsun Cherry F10:
Double frontend Datsun Cherry F10
Double frontend Datsun Cherry F10

The two 1977 Cherry F10s were welded together by Fram to show how important car maintenance is: one half did get its proper treatment while the other half was neglected. The car was driven 20000 miles per year and after 75000 miles the neglected side really performed worse, got a bad MPG and produced more smog.
Double frontend Datsun Cherry F10
Double frontend Datsun Cherry F10

After they had proven their point the whole car got neglected until Steve Jasik found it more than 10 years ago parked next to a church.

The funny thing is that the lights in the grille serve as brake lights to make it road legal. So you can actually drive this car on the road without any problems at all!

He called the car Ying and Yang. According to Wikipedia: Ying and Yang is used to describe how seemingly disjunct or opposing forces are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world, giving rise to each other in turn. I think the name suits the car very well!


  1. Paul Zangari

    Great to see this car after all these years. I worked for FRAM in the late 1980s and we used this car to highlight the importance of maintenance. It was almost as described above, but in fact it was made up of two cars that had been treated differently by their owners. One car (I forgot which color) had been well maintained when our builder got his hands on it; the other had been neglected.

    Although it MAY have been technically street legal I don’t remember it having been registered. (Two VINs???) I did tow it from FRAM headquarters in Rhode Island to Lime Rock Park, the racetrack in western Connecticut to show it off to automotive journalists at IMPA Test Day (IMPA = International Motor Press Association.) I wish I had driven it; I couldn’t use fourth (direct drive) in my towing Jeep’s transmission much and as a result the countershaft bearings in the tranny got noisy. Oh, well!

    • Paul Zangari

      I should have mentioned that the maintained and neglected cars were assembled together after they had already been driven by their respective owners for several years. BTW, it was called the FRAM Double Car.

      • banpei

        Wow! So actually they were two separate cars and got the separate treatment before they were joined? Good to know and thanks for sharing! :)

    • Steve

      Hi, my name is Steve Jasik, I have owned this car for a long time now. It has been quite an adventure owning this Datsun. It has been called Cat Dog, Ying and Yang, Push me Pull you by kids and adults of all ages. It has been written about in newspapers and magazines. It has won quite a few trophies, and placed in top 3 places during parades. I commissioned and artist by the name of Mike House to paint the CatDog character on both sides of the car. On one side the character was sitting on a lit firework rocket, and the other side it was holding American flags. Two 4th of July parades come to mind. One was in Santa Clarita Ca. It won 2nd in Commercial float which was Sponsored by Valencia Nissan at the time. The Signal, a local newspaper, wrote an article on it. I believe it said, Jaws dropped at the site of Steve Jasik’s CatDog car as it mysteriously glided across the asphalt. The cool thing with the car is that steering both wheels at the same time, with my long arms, I was able to drive the car sideways and in circles. The second 4th of July parade was in Frazier Park Ca. My niece and nephew were small kids at the time, so I decided to drive through the parade in reverse with them pretending to drive through the parade. Locking one wheel in place kept one end from steering. At one point they switched seats along the route, it was really a blast to see. In that parade the car placed 1st. The local paper, Mountainview, featured it on the front page after the parade.
      I purchased it from The Shriners and restored it back to original condition.
      I had it registered as a special construction vehicle. It was displayed at the Datsun Heritage Museum for a short while. It was also in the movie Herbie Fully Loaded. The car was at many California car shows and parades. To my understanding, the two cars were driven for thousands of miles, with the blue car being maintained with Fram, Bendix, and Autolite products. The red car did not, including no oil service. The cars were compared for fuel, and oil consumption, and smog ability. That is when they were welded back to back, only sharing a gas tank. They were toured at race track events with Bob Bondurant in 1989. It was seen across multiple race tracks
      between Forida and California. After the last race in California it was donated to the LA Shrine.
      It sat in a basement for years until the Shrine turned it into a parade vehicle, at which point it was painted white. It sat in a yard across from the local DMV for years. My dad hesitantly told me about this weird car that he has seen, knowing I would probably end up buying it. The house belonged to a local auto repair shop owner who’s business was down the street from my dad’s shop. I inquired Jay, owner of Auto Service Plus, to see if the car was available for purchase. He explained that it belonged to the LA Shrine, which his father was a member of. It was their parade vehicle and he would have to find out if they were interested in selling it. One year later one of Jay’s mechanics came to me with the news that the Shrine was ready to sell the car. I purchased it for $200 dollars. The day I picked up the car I found a few kids playing inside it. They were sad to see it go, since it was their playground in the back yard. When I brought it to my dad’s shop, German Autohaus, everyone there laughed at it. My dad couldn’t believe that I bought this weird contraption. I decided to restore it to the colors that were still visible in the door jams of the car. When I unbolted the seats and removed the carpet I found a double sided brochure with a picture of the half red and half blue Datsun. The brochure picturing the car, explained the cost savings of maintaining a vehicle with regular maintenance. I met a gentleman by the name of Ed Cote at a race car Drag Racing event in Pomona CA, who worked for Fram for decades. Ed connected some of the history, stating that Bob Bondurant, Dave Bowman, and he were part of the promotion. Fram, Bendix, Autolite were sold to the Honeywell corporation at which time all of the records were lost. This car has allot of interesting history, and belongs in a museum. I ran it through the Mecum Auctions, but decided not to sell it due to a low bid of $4,500. To this day Mecum is using the pics of it to draw people to their website, which I did not realize they would be able to use my car for personal gain long after the auction ended. I also met a man by the name of George Barris with this car. I was approached by one of his long time friends who set up a meeting with Barris. I explained to him how the car worked and tried to convince him to partner up and create a newer version of a two way car using two new VW Bugs. I showed him my New Beetle, which was painted with Dupont chrome Illusion paint, which changed color depending on the angle of sunlight. George Barris seemed interested in doing the project with me and told me that he would get back to me after his buzzy schedule was over. Two weeks later I found out that George Barris made his own version of a Two way car using Two Mini Cooper cars, using the Dupont Chrome Illusion paint, which was new at the time. George Barris was sponsored by Dupont and won The Sema Car Show that year in Las Vegas with the creation. That incident broke my heart and stopped me from pursuing
      my dream of creating my passion for customizing cars. To this day I meet people who tell me that the Datsun reminds them of The Mini Cooper. I guess that the Datsun inspired the supposedly great car customizer to build a show winning car, even though he went about it in a shady way.

      • banpei

        Hi Steve, great to see you ended up and thanks for sharing that story! :)

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