Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Friday Video: Mitsuoka BUBU 501 Ninja action

I wasn’t really aware of Mituoka’s past and assumed they started building kit-cars at first and then creating their own cars. Actually they did manufacture their own cars before that! May I introduce to you the BUBU Shuttle-50:
Mitsuoka BUBU Shuttle-50
The Shuttle-50 is probably the most boring “car” you ever have seen, but somehow Mitsuoka managed to sell quite a few of them!

More interesting are the successors of the Shuttle-50: the Mitsuoka BUBU 501 (sedan) and Mitsuoka BUBU 502 (van)!
Mitsuoka BUBU 501
Both are nothing more than a fiberglass body on a tubular chassis and a Honda 50cc moped engine. As the BUBU branding was obviously not as appealing in Japan it was branded as the Honda Zoe Zipper overseas.

Reverse gear on Mitsuoka BUBU 501
As the Honda engine lacked a reverse the BUBU 501 also features an electric motor connected to a bar that directly connects to the tire and rolls the car backwards.

Now the Mitsuoka BUBU 501 may not appeal to you but I can ensure you that you can outrun a couple of Toyota Hi-Ace Ninjas on roller-skates with it! You can watch it here in action:

This scene is taken from the incredible awesome Taiwanese movie called Ninja Thunderbolt. I promise to post more about that in the near future. 😉

If you thought Mitsuoka builds weird cars, you probably just learned they built even weirder in the past!

Direct link to video: HIGH SPEED NINJA ACTION
Reverse gear photo by Hemmings

1 Comment

  1. Graham Clayton

    That scene from “Ninja Thunderbolt” is one of the funniest things I have ever seen!

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