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kei1

Image result for kei cars [ C A R S ]Related image

The Saloon Car in the early years was referred to as a Sedan (セダン).  American English has had a big influence on the Japanese language, and still does today.  The Japanese language has different levels of politeness as does the word for car.  The correct Japanese for motor-car in order of politeness isjidōsha‘ (自動車) lit: self-propelled vehicle,  less polite iskuruma‘ () lit: vehicle or cart and least polite (rough) iskaa‘ (カー).  Oddly, a Volkswagon Beatle is considered a sports car in Japan !!

The Kei car or K-car‘/’kei jidōsha (軽自動車) lit: light car has preferential rates of tax and insurance and in rural areas they are exempt from the requirement to provide proof of a parking place.  In towns and cities, some roads are marked for kei-cars only, as well as certain car parks.  After World War II, the kei car was born as the public car in a government directive similar to that of the Volkswagon Beatle in Germany, in order to provide a cheap mass produced peoples car.  The engineers of the Nakajima Aircraft Company (中島 飛行機 株式会社) developed the first truly successful kei-car, the Suzuki Suzulight of 1955.  The Subaru 360 was next to follow suit in 1958.

(1955SuzulightSuzuki Suzulight 01.jpg

(1958Subaru 360: 1958 Subaru 360 01.jpg

(1960Mazda 360: 

An estate-car, takes the American use of station wagon suteeshon-wagon‘ (ステーション·ワゴン) or more commonly just wagon (ワゴン) which is confusing to the English as a wagon is a  truck in England.  A Hatchback is a hacchibakku (ハッチ·バック), a truck is a torakku‘ (トラック), a Pickup is a kogata torakku (小型トラック) or more simply a pikkuappu‘ (ピックアップ), a Light Truck is a kei-tora (軽トラ), a Light Van is a raito ban (ライト バン).  Confusingly, the Suzuki Jimny 4×4 is sometimes classed as a commercial vehicle !!

(1986Daihatsu Leeza 550 cc: Daihatsu Leeza.JPG

Cars got bigger in the 1980’s when regulations were changed and 550cc engines were now the norm.  The 1986 Daihatsu Leeza (above) is a bit of an anomaly in as much as it had coupé lines, was replaced by a saloon, and was technically a commercial vehicle.  At that time, if a vehicle had strapping points and temporary rear seats, it could be classed as a kei-class commercial.  When the regulations changed again to 660cc, the Leeza morphed again into a convertible and then a pseudo sports car !!

The Spyder based show car the FX-228 appeared in (1991).

(1993) Leeza Spyder (L111SK) (Note the scooped turbo bonnet).

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[ 1969 American promo advert for the Subaru range ]

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[ The Cars covered in this section include . . . ]

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The  Daihatsu  Leeza;  Max;  Mira  &  Move ]

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Honda Life 1998.jpg  m15  HONDA None 1.JPG sp3

[ The  Honda  Life;  ‘N’ Series  &  the  Honda  ‘Z’ ]

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Mazda-carol-1st-generation01.jpg   Thumbnail for version as of 02:35, 15 January 2013   MAZDA CAROL

[ The  Mazda  Carol ]

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1961 Mitsubishi 500 01.jpg  kc154  Mitsubishi Colt 600.JPG 

[ The Mitsubishi 500 / 600 Colt & Minica ]

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1stRex.jpg  Subaru logo and wordmark.svg  Related image

[ The Subaru Rex ]

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  kc159  Suzuki Cervo 1988.jpg 

                      [ The Suzuki Alto; Cervo & Wagon R ]

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