Remembering Japanese cars from the past

Tag: kei car

Commercial Time: pushing the Daihatsu Leeza ChaCha

I would say this Daihatsu Leeza ChaCha commercial is the weirdest ever: what car company would like to sell their car by claiming you are able to push it?
Commercial Time: pushing the Daihatsu Leeza ChaCha
Was it a selling point that any typical Japanese young women in the late 80s and early 90s could push their own car? Did she run out of gas? Did the ChaCha run out of ChaCha-juice? Did the engine cut out? Did the battery die? Did she loose her key? I really don’t get the selling point right here…

Watch and see the commercial yourselves: Continue reading

Minipato: small kei patrol cars

Just found a new mind boggling term: Minipato (ミニパト).

Basically I was searching around for the Suzuki Cervo SS20 and stumbled upon a page about the Suzuki Cervo used in the Mechadoc manga and anime. It was referred to as the Minipato. So what is a Minipato then? Simple: a mini patrol car!
Minipato: Mechadoc's Cervo SS20 pato!
Now how awesome is that?

I also found when searching for the phrase Minipato lots and lots of pictures of kei patrol cars used by the Japanese police. Another famous one is, obviously, the Honda Today driven by Natsumi and Miyuki in Taiho Shichauzo (You’re under arrest!): Continue reading

Super Lucent Mira

What can badge tuning do to an awesome kei-car like the Daihatsu Mira TR-XX?

Make it’s name even more awesome! A Daihatsu Mira L200 Super Lucent TR-XX! How long can a name get? :D
BTW: I love the little bosozoku hood fins! ;)

Hilarious: kei cars19 years ago in Top Gear

Honestly I do love Top Gear, but I simply can’t find the time to actually follow it… Most of the time I just wait for the reviews and see if I really need to see an episode…
People already speculate that this actually might be the last series of the new Top Gear, which I can understand since all three of them are already presenting the new format for 8 years now (I know, May only 7…) and it slowly starts to become difficult to make the series even better than last season. ;)

Back to the old series: I found this clip from the old series (1991) where Jeremy Clarkson test drives a couple of the finest Japanse kei cars:

I was really puzzled on how much he actually liked them! Was he more forgiving in his early years or did he become soft for the little ones??

DOTS: Subaru Justy J12 4WD SLII

Another DOTS from my vacation in Hungary: I drove through a small town with a junkyard and spotted a tuned Corolla with big foglights up front. I wanted to take some pictures of the Corolla but it was an EE80 model, too far away and half hidden behind other vehicles. Then I spotted this faded Subaru Justy (aka Subaru Rex in Japan) next to the fence:
Subaru Justy J12 4WD SLII
Subaru Justy J12 4WD SLII

I already saw that the Justy was an 4WD model. The 4WD is very rare in Holland: there is absolutely no use for 4WD unless you are a farmer. But then again: which farmer wants to drive around in a Justy??

Subaru Justy J12 4WD SLII
Subaru Justy J12 4WD SLII

Back home I found out it is the Justy J12 4WD SLII version. Basically it means it is powered by the superior 1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine. In 1988 the 4WD Justy on the Mk1 was introduced in Europe and the Justy got facelifted to a rounder model in 1989. This means this car can only be an 1988 or early 1989 model then.

3 door Subaru Justy J12 4WD SLII
3 door Subaru Justy J12 4WD SLII

The 4WD models were only in 2 door trim (not very logical IMO) and this one is no exception. ;)

I could not take more pictures than this: there was a big trench next to the fence, so either the view would be blocked by the car next to it, or I would be standing inside the trench.

I also failed shooting the first picture of the car: I had been playing with the whitebalance of the camera the day before and forgot to switch back to normal mode. Back home I saw how that turned out:
Subaru Justy on drugs!
Subaru Justy on drugs!

Now the paint even looks more faded! :)

Maybe someone can turn this car into a small drifter? The car is a full time 4WD with a LSD on the rear axle, so only cutting the front axles would transform this Kei-car into a Kei drift car! Or maybe someone wants to turn this beautiful rare Japanese car into a rat look? The paint has already faded and it already has a rack on its roof! ;)

Kei-car fun!

I found this video about a historical kei-car race some time ago on youtube. The drivers are having a lot of fun with their kei-cars in the rain and it does have a lot of action in it!

The race is viewed from a Suzuki Fronte Coupe (better known as the Cervo outside Japan) and since this car is a RR setup the driver really has problems finding enough grip in this race. He isn’t the only one: another car has crashed into the wall at 0:52. And at 2:30 he almost knocks off his rear view mirror while recovering from going sideways and at 2:49 when he barely avoids collision with a Subaru R-2 spinning around!

Who said old kei-cars are no fun at all? ;)

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