Remembering Japanese cars from the past

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Drive on the Tokyo Expressway KK-line (1986 versus 2024) – Friday Video

My favourite Showa-nostalgic Youtube channel Kamepo posted another video: the two-kilometer-long Tokyo Expressway KK-line. The Tokyo Expressway has a rich history and already dates back to 1951 when the first plans were drawn up. In 1959 the first section opened up and it was fully opened up in 1966.

Onramp to the Tokyo Expressway KK-line
Onramp to the Tokyo Expressway KK-line

Kamepo describes in the video that most of the expressway is built on top of commercial buildings or that the commercial buildings have been built underneath it. The 1960s were definitely strange times!


As this section of road is only 2 kilometres in length, there aren’t that many cars to spot. Unlike my usual spotting, I have also included some cars from the opposite lane. I normally omit to spot these because they are very difficult and hard to distinguish as the frames get very blurry.

Yet still I managed to find a couple of highlights: a diesel powered Nissan Cedric or Gloria 430 wagon, a Nissan Cedric Y30 taxi, a duo of Toyota Carina A60s, a Honda N-WGN and a Nissan Skyline Ti C210/C211.

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Be a dingo in this Mitsubishi Mirage Dingo! – Commercial Time

When I watched a compilation of 1998 Mitsubishi Mirage Dingo ads I thought it was quite strange. It wasn’t just the fact that the styling got bland after the facelift, but also the choice for the Dingo name. If you are unfamiliar with the dingo, a dingo is an Australian dog. So what’s so strange about naming a family car a Dingo then? Let me explain!

Why you shouldn’t use Dingo as a name


First of all, there is a very famous dingo we all know and love. His name is Goofy and he’s Mickey’s best friend. The issue with Goofy is…well, he’s goofy! He’s not the brightest, he’s clumsy and he often messes up things. So naming your car a dingo might be a bit clumsy.

Goofy is a Dingo. Image credit: Kathy Vreeland at Wikimedia
Goofy is a Dingo. Image credit: Kathy Vreeland at Wikimedia

A dingo is a male cougar

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Finish this Finnish Lexus-powered Carina! – Carina Sightings

Some projects turn out to be too big to ever pass the finish line, but this Finnish Lexus-powered Carina doesn’t seem to fit that category. However, it’s still an unfinished project that is almost there.

Unfinished Finnish project: Carina TA60 with a 1G-FE engine
Unfinished Finnish project: Carina TA60 with a 1G-FE engine

The unfinished Finnish Carina project

The ad describes it as follows:
Project carina. 2.0 direct weave from lexus. Immobilizer on, has been tested. A mild project. Not inspected. Good basket.
Normally a basket-case would never be good, but this Carina is an exception to that!

How can you fit a 6-cylinder in a Carina?

Fitting a 1G-FE 6-cylinder engine is possible on the Carina TA60 as the A60 Celica XX also featured the 1G engine family in Japan. Sourcing a cross-member from Japan for it should be possible. However, I’m not sure if the current owner went through all that trouble though.

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Alain Delon debauchery in Japanese Mazda Capella ad? – Commercial Time

I had two WTF?! moments in this Japanese Mazda Capella ad with French actor and playboy Alain Delon. One of them is the corny scene set in France. The second is the Alain Delon lunging at the girl on the rollerskates. Let me explain!

Alain Delon with his beloved Mazda Capella SG-X Extra CG
Alain Delon with his beloved Mazda Capella SG-X Extra CG

You can watch the whole ad here:

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Dutch AE86 with FWD complex – AE86 Wall of Shame

It has been a while since I posted in the AE86 Wall of Shame. It’s not that I ran out of pictures, but rather more other interests took priority. Today I have another Dutch beauty for you: a white Corolla GT Twin Cam 16 AE86 including period-correct 1980s stickers and a Corolla FX AE82 front end! That surely looks goofy!

I really wonder why this European Corolla AE86 with AE82 front end doesn't sell...
I really wonder why this European Corolla AE86 with AE82 front end doesn’t sell…

I presume the front has been swapped for the AE82 front end because of a minor front-end collision. As the left-hand-drive headlights are difficult to obtain, it would have been a very expensive accident. The much cheaper and more obtainable AE82 front end has been crafted onto the AE86.

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Retro-kitsch with the Mitsuoka Viewt – March-athon

Mitsuoka is a company that is known for it retro-kitsch cars and their March K11-based Viewt is no exception to this. Today we will continue the March-athon and we’re deep-diving into the Viewt-rabbit hole.

It's hard to believe the Mitsuoka Viewt K11 is based on the Nissan March K11
It’s hard to believe the Mitsuoka Viewt K11 is based on the Nissan March K11

However, we need to ask ChatGPT first if it can come up with a joke about the Mitsuoka Viewt:
Why did the Mitsuoka Viewt challenge the Nissan March to a makeover contest?
Because it wanted to prove that even though it’s based on the humble March, it could still turn heads with its vintage-inspired style. But in the end, they both realized that whether classic or contemporary, they were both just “viewt”-iful in their own unique ways!

ChatGPT is as brilliant as ever!

History of the Mitsuoka Viewt

The K11-based Viewt was conceived in a period when Mitsuoka was still doing small on-demand conversions. In the mid- to late-1980s, they started to build Mercedes-Benz SSK and Porsche 356 lookalike kit cars. After this, Mitsuoka created the Le-Seyde which was a Panther-lookalike and based upon the Nissan Silvia S13. This Cruella DeVille retro kitsch mobile sold moderately well and near the end of the run, Mitsuoka decided to build a Jaguar Mark II inspired car based upon the humble underpinnings of the Nissan March K11.

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