***** (K|C|F) *****

J A P A N E S E

M i c r o  Related image  C a r s

[ 1955 – to date ]

kc126"Kei - Cars - Fanzine"MY19

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A pictorial look into the rarely seen genre that is ‘JAPANESE | MICRO | CARS‘ and their special place in the post-war era of a Japan struggling to bring itself back from the abyss of defeat to the modern society that it is today.  Although helped somewhat by the Japanese Governments desire to produce a cheap and easily affordable “people’s car”, the legacy of which is still being carried on today.

Micro-cars in Japan are called kei-jidōsha

kei-jidōsha” is often shortened to “Kei-car” or “K-car“, it literally means “light car” and is pronounced as in the letter “K“.  It is a Japanese category of small vehicle of 660cc or less, they include passenger carsmicrovans, pickup trucks and even sports-cars and 4×4’s.

m17 m19 m16  

J a p a n e s e | K e i | C a r s . . .

. . . have to adhere to a set length, width, height and weight which is strictly controlled by the Japanese Government, which today is as follows:

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MaximumWidth 4.9 ft.   Length 11.2 ft.   Height 6.6 ft.

In May 1955 the Ministry of International Trade and Industry ( MITI ) announced a promotional program entitled the “People’s Car”, calling upon industry to create: “A 4-seater with a top speed of 100 kph62 mph ), priced at ¥150,000£1,145 ).”

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The engineers of the Nakajima Aircraft Company developed the first truly successful kei microcar (above), namely the ‘Subaru 360’ ( 1958 – 1971 ).

The Suzuki Wagon R (below), is the best selling kei-car in Japan since 2003.

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Kei” micro-cars are designed to comply with Government tax & insurance regulations, and in most rural areas are exempt from the requirement to certify adequate parking is available.  Some roads are also specifically marked ‘kei-cars only‘, due to their narrow width.

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Japanese  micro-cars  have  special  number  plates . . .

kc1                kc2

Yellow for private cars )        ( Black for commercials )

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Since  WWll,  engine  sizes  have  changed  3 times . . .

The 360cc Era1949 – 1975 ):  kc26  e.g.  1955 Suzulight.

The 550cc Era1976 – 1990 ):  kc27  e.g.  1976 Daihatsu.

The 660cc Era1990 ~ ): my105  e.g.  2006 Subaru.

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Early  Manufacturers  include . . .

Auto Sandal1947 – 1954 ): kc53 kc48 kc84 kc83

Cony Cars1955 – 1965 ): kc50 kc40 kc67

The  Fuji  Motor  Company  ( 1957 – 1961 ):   fuj4

Hope Star 1952 – 1974 became Suzukimy31 kc103 kc97

Nihon Nainenki Co.1961 -1962 ): kc129 my81 my90

NJ / Taro1954 – 1955 ): njjj kc80 my42

Suminoe Manufacturing1951 – 1955 ): kc123 kc132 kc122

Suzulight1955 – 1969 became Suzukikc148 kc149 kc146

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Fleeting  marques  include . . .

my48  Mitsuoka Motors: cc127 my72 my73 my74

( The  Mitsuoka  Ray  was  produced  from  1996 – 2004 )

my96 SmartDaimler AG ): my93 my95 my94

( The  Smart was  produced  from  2001 – 2004 )

six91   Yamaha Motor Co Ltd :  cus29 cus25

( Only 3 Yamaha Ami’s of a projected 600 were produced around 1997 )

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The  Manufacturers  today . . .

With  a  cross – section  of  the  models )

AUTOZAM (Mazda)    m1    ( アウトザム )

Carolm2  Scrumm3  Wagon

DAIHATSU    Related image    ( ダイハツ )

EsseDaihatsu Esse 2005 2.jpg  LeezaRelated image  Movem11

HONDA   Related image   ( 本田 )

N360   Life Honda Life 1998 Rear.jpg  Today : 

MAZDA    m20    ( マツダ )

ChantezChantez-F.jpg  Flaircc126  Laputa : Mazda Laputa.jpg

  MITSUBISHI     kc154    ( 三菱 )

Minica Toppo (Saloon) : kc157  Minica Toppo (Van) : kc158

NISSAN     Related image    ( 日産 )

Nissan only sell badge-engineered    Mitsubishi & Suzuki models )

SUBARU    my100    ( スバル )

R1 : my104  R-2my103  Vivio : my107

SUZUKI     kc159     ( スズキ )

Altokc162  Lapinkc163  Palette : kc164

  TOYOTA     Related image     ( トヨタ )

Toyota Pixis Mega’s are badge . . . Daihatsu WAKE G "SA" (LA700S) front.JPG . . . engineered Daihatsu Wake’s )

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K e i | M i c r o | T r u c k s  . . .

Micro-trucks are known as “kei-tora”, “tora” being a poorly contracted version of the English word  “truck” ( torakku ).  They cost as little as ¥1,000,000  ( £6,400 ) or less !!

The main manufacturers, models and No of Generations . . .

Daihatsu Hijet10G’s ) : kt2  Honda Acty4G’s ) : kt3

Mitsubishi Minicab8G’s ) : kt5

Subaru Sambar7G’s ): Image result for subaru sambar  Suzuki Carry11G’s ): kt7

Trucks come in a wide variety of styles for just about every use imaginable, such as :  Agriculture; Hunting, Fishing & Construction.  There are many body configurations including, Vans, Pickups and many specialist uses, here are a few . . .

Twin Cabkt10  Cherry-pickerkt12  Tipper-truckkt13

Motor-homekt11  VW Classickt20  Fire-truckkt22

Canvas-backkt24 CitroenHClassicact1 Stretcher-bearerkt26

Wagonkt29  High-topkt31  Refrigeratedkt34

Mobile-shopkt35  Road-workskt36  Wood-back : pp17

Walk-thru’ Vanpp18 Camping-carpp21 Wheelchair-carrierkt27

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S p o r t s    C a r s  . . .

The Sports micro-car was born by the “bubble boom” in the latter years of the 1980’s, although a few cars with sporting aspirations had appeared prior to this.

Saloon  cars  with  sporting  pretensions include the . . .

1968 )   Suzuki   Fronte  SS :  ss36    1969 )   Subaru  Young  SS :  ss35

1970 ) Honda Z Coupépp31  1971 ) Suzuki Fronte Coupé: ss78

1987 ) Suzuki Works RS-R:ss88 1989 ) Daihatsu Mira TR-XX: Related image

1989 )  Mitsubishi  Dangan ZZ-4: ss77 1992 ) Subaru Vivio RX-RA: sp23

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ss2 P r o d u c t i o n     S p o r t s     C a r s    ss27

Suzuki Cappuccinoss19 ss17 ( 1991 – 1997 )

Honda Beatss4ss5 ( 1991 – 1998 )

Autozam AZ-1ss37ss44 ( 1992 – 1995 )

Daihatsu Copen 1Gss60ss49 ( 2002 – 2012 )

Daihatsu Copen 2Gss66ss62 ( 2014 – date )

Honda S660kc62ss69 ( 2015 – date )

Caterham Seven 160: Image result for caterham seven 160 Image result for caterham seven 160 ( 2016 – date )

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&   not    forgetting  . . .

T h e   Image result for 4x4 logo ‘ s

The   SUZUKI   JIMNY   1970 ~ )

1st GenerationSuzuki Jimny LJ10 001.JPG 2nd Generation 3rd Generation

The Mazda AZ – Offroad is a re-badged Suzuki JimnySuzuki Jimny JA12W 001.JPG

The  MITSUBISHI  PAJERO  MINI  1994 – 2012 )

   

The Nissan Kix is based on the Mitsubishi Pajero Mini: 

Most micro-cars and trucks today are available in 4WD or AWDall-wheel drive ), there is even a craze for extreme off-roading:

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 ss77

The 1989 Mitsubishi Minica Dangan ZZ (above) has a 657cc turbocharged 3-cylinder engine with 5-valves per cylinder that revs to 9,500 rpm and a computer-controlled AWD system that later appeared in the 440 bhp Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution !!

It is well known that Japanese micro-cars make good test beds for their bigger brothers !!

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