Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: hino contessa

Cutaway BRE Hino Samurai – Picture of the Week

If you never heard from the BRE Hino Samurai, you’re not alone! I did read about it years ago, but I forgot about it until I spotted this awesome cutaway drawing by Takashi Jufuku!

Cutaway drawing of the BRE Hino Samurai by Takashi Jufuku
Cutaway drawing of the BRE Hino Samurai by Takashi Jufuku

You may be familiar with Brock Racing Enterprises (BRE) with the Datsun connection. However, before Peter Brock joined forces with Nissan on that endeavour, he first created the Samurai for Hino Motors. This is completely unrelated to the Hino DSL RSB race car!

Hino History in a nutshell

Back in the 1960s, Hino Motors was still a passenger car manufacturer and they were churning out Hino Contessas by the masses. In my opinion, the Hino Contessa is one of the most beautiful cars ever to be made in Japan. My opinion doesn’t just limit itself to the beautifully styled Contessa Sprint and Contessa Coupe, also the basic four-door Contessa’s are almost equally beautiful! I really must create a blog post about the Contessa soon. But I digress…

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Manga Car Spotting: Shelby GT350 and Koenig Porsche 928 – Ah! My Goddess

Manga Cars

What do a Shelby GT350, a widebody Koenig Porsche 928 and a 3WD Mazda T2000 truck have in common? They are all featured in this fifth episode of reading spotting manga cars! I’ll read these two Japanese mangas of Ah! My Goddess and I found 13 different cars in it!
Mazda T2000 NIT CC special

Ah! My Goddess by Kosuke Fujishima

The story revolves around a student called Keiichi Morisato. He attends the Nekomi Institute of Technology (NIT) in the fictional Japanese town called Nekomi in the Chiba prefecture. Kosuke Fujishima modelled Nekomi after his own home town: Chiba.

Keiichi has to take calls for his fellow sempai in his dorm. He get’s hungry, so he decides to order a pizza and dials the wrong number. Instead of the pizza delivery he actually phones the Goddess Helpline who will help anyone in distress. After some wrong assumptions Keiichi decides his sempai are probably pulling a prank with him and he wishes that the Goddess in front of him stays with him for the remainder of his life. That’s basically the beginning of the Ah! My Goddess story.

So what’s the connection with cars and motorcycles then? Well, Kosuke Fujishima is a petrolhead who loves cars and motorcycles. Keiichi is probably his likeness and is into cars and motorcycles as well. He’s also member of the NIT CC: the Nekomi Institute of Technology Car Club and this obviously helps to increase the number of motorized vehicles in this manga!

You can find the video and the high resolution scans of the panels containing manga cars below:

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Picture of the Week: Inspiration for Speedracer!

This picture of a Hino DEL RSB racecar from the prototype class reminded me of the Speedracer car greatly. The big exhaust pipes and tail fins just look too unreal to be true!
Hino DEL RSB with Crown VG10 v8 engine
Hino started racing with the Hino Formula DEL 900 in 1964, powered by Hinos famous 893cc Contessa engine. This car was succeeded by the Hino Formula DEL 1300 and the Hino DEL RSA both powered by Hinos 1251cc Contessa engine.

After Toyota took over the company they quicky altered the Hino DEL RSB to feature the Crown Eight VG10 2.6 litre v8 engine. Back in 1967 this V8 engine produced decent power (165ps) to propel this car to the first place in its class in the All Japan Sports Car Race. After its victory Hino even tried mounting this very same engine inside a Hino Contessa!

Found at Gianni-Agnelli

Double classic: 1965 Hino Contessa Sprint filmed in 1985

How about a double classic? This one off prototype of the Hino Contessa Sprint was filmed in 1985:

The Contessa Sprint 900 was drawn by Michelotti and exhibited at the Turin Auto Show in 1962 and it looks a bit like the beautifully styled Glas cars.

This 1965 Contessa Sprint was prepared for the 1966 Paris Auto Salon by French autobuilder Alpine (before they became part of Renault) and its underpinnings are shared with the famous Alpine 110 and featured a specially tuned DOHC 1300 engine from the Contessa 1300! Now that is a car I would certainly like to drive!

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