This aero kit and Saucer wheels on the Honda City was developed in the early 1980s by a tuning shop called Motor Sports Meiju in the Kyoto prefecture in Japan. 40 years onwards, it looks strange and heavily dated. It looks crude and this is not how Aero evolved over the past 40 years. So what is it and who is this Keiji dude sitting with a wheel in his lap?
Motor Sports Meiju history
I guess I first have to explain what Motor Sports Meiju is. It all begins with the late racing driver Keiji Matsumoto (松本恵二). Matsumoto started his career in 1968 when he bought a used Toyota Corolla and, unbeknownst to his parents, he stripped off all unnecessary accessories and started practising on Suzuka Circuit and the Higashiyama route near his hometown of Kyoto. He debuted in 1969 in the T-1 class and worked his way up via FJ1300 to F2000, a precursor to the F2 class in 1976. In 1979 he managed to win the, by now renamed, F2 class. Shortly after this, he started his own tuning shop called Motor Sports Meiju. Matsumoto is a very well-known Japanese racing driver and featured in many Cabin Spirit ads.
This Fortran Drag Wheels advertisement has so many WTF?!s in it that I simply don’t know where to begin. I did feature the Fortran Revolt wheels before and those wheels also had some interesting advertisements. But these Drag wheels, oh boy! Let’s just unravel this ad. Layer by layer, detail by detail.
Gigantic woman towering the Manhattan Skyline
I think we can first start with the 1980s airbrush painting of a giantic woman which I can best describe standing in a Kiba-dachi stance towering over the Manhattan skyline. Her right high-heeled shoe is standing on top of the water in the Upper Bay or the Hudson River.
Is she wearing 1970s plateau shoes? She’s holding chains that seem to be coming from somewhere in downtown New York. The chains seem to break somewhere in the middle, but her arms don’t seem to suggest she is the one breaking it with force. On the contrary: she’s just holding them. Maybe the chain is put on a high voltage and now the centre link is disintegrating?
Over the moon and Jupiter
Behind the woman on the left, there is a gigantic moon. If the moon were this close to the earth, probably New York would have been flooded by the immense force of Moon-gravity. On the right of the woman, we can see a planet. Presumably, this is Jupiter. What is it doing there?
The Manhattan skyline isn’t the only skyline in this advertisement. At the bottom of the advertisement, we can see a facelifted Nissan Skyline GT-EX C211 with a big golden 2000 GT Turbo sticker on the side of the car. Oy has some huge bubble-shaped over fenders and looks just like it was inspired by its Group 5 contemporaries. Why it’s floating on top of the water we don’t know. What we do know is that the wheels featured on this car are Fortran Drag Wheels. Even the license plate tells us so.
Above the woman, we can also see DRAG in bold painted letters and the tagline the Dynamic wheel. Why dynamic is written with a capital D is a mystery to me.
So, what do I make of this? If you look at all these pieces separately, it doesn’t make sense at all. The chain, the moon, Jupiter, the floating Skyline GT-EX, and the woman over the Manhattan skyline. Nothing makes sense.
That is until I realized the randomness of all these things must have a meaning. The Fortran Drag wheels are called the Dynamic wheel for a reason. They need to be dynamic in any situation: a too-close-for-comfort moon with a huge gravitational pull. Rescuing a Godzilla-sized woman who is being chained down. Floating with big balloon-sized tires on your Fortran Drag wheels. Yes, it all makes sense now!
What is this 1982 Toyota Carina ad supposed to mean? Are the Toyota LASRE engines supposed to fuel the infamous Sirocco winds? Sirocco winds are “a hot wind, often dusty or rainy, blowing from North Africa across the Mediterranean to southern Europe.”
Alternatively, are these engines supposed to give the Carina competing in the second Paris-Dakar rally a small push? Or perhaps, are these Toyota LASRE engines supposed to be giant windmills that work the reverse: wind makes them turn and in effect they suck up hydrocarbons via the exhaust and poop out fuel on the intake side?
We’ll probably never know what went through the minds of the marketing people at Toyota in 1982.
The crash video of the 1985 Honda City below is only 3 seconds long and it must be one of the shortest videos you can find on Youtube! Regardless of this, the three seconds (and video description) contain a lot of information. So let’s dissect that information!
First of all, the title is “1985 Honda Jazz (City) crash test” and that gives us the information that either the car is a 1985-model, or the crash test was performed in 1985. I think the former may be true as there is a timestamp in the video that reads 21-12-1999, which indicates the test might have been performed on the 21st of December 1999.
Someone sent me a picture of this Lancia Delta Integrale with a Toyota Corolla Levin AE86 front end crafted on it. I don’t remember who sent it and I’ve searched to no avail through my WhatsApp history. So if you are the person who sent it to me: very much appreciated and you deserve all the credit!
The Delta Integrale is about the same red as the panda-red AE86 colour scheme. I love the previous owner retained the panda-paint scheme on the front bumper. It would have been even more radical if the whole Delta Integrale had received some panda-paint as well. However, the Delta Integrale doesn’t feature the necessary lines to support that.
The photo is a typical Japanese car auction photo, so my guess is that it went through auctions some time ago. I’m not a big enough expert to distinguish the 8V from the 16V Integrale. All that I know is that it looks mad enough! So, what do you think? Blasmephy or the perfect marriage?
The 1988 Nissan Cefiro A31 was offered as a sporty four-door saloon alternative to the Toyota Cresta and Chaser competitors. It shared many components with the Skyline (R31), Laurel (C31) and Leopard (F31) of a similar generation. The drivetrain and rear multi-link setup were shared with all four of them and the front strut-based suspension with the Laurel. If you squint your eyes, you will also conclude it shares its design with the beautifully styled 1988 Nissan Silvia S13.
So can we conclude the Nissan Cefiro A31 is just a Nissan Laurel C31 with a Silvia S13 nosejob? Perhaps it does. Judging from the various ads I found online it’s rather aimed towards the sportier image of the Silvia than the dull salaryman image of the Laurel. Most ads tend to highlight this. Most of them. Most of them except this one featuring a whale:
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