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[ Kei- trucksKei-tora ]


Japanese kei class trucks are known as kei-tora (軽トラ) from kei meaning light and ‘tora a Japanification of the word truck.  Most trucks currently being built use the cab over or FC (forward control) design which maximises on its load carrying capacity.  They can be either rear-wheel or 4-wheel drive. They cost as little as 1,000,000¥* (£6,400) or less !!

*The symbol ‘¥’ for yen is not a Japanese character, but a Western symbol used to describe Yen currency.

Typical manufacturers and model names include – The Daihatsu Hijet; Honda Acty; Mazda / Autozam Scrum; Mitsubishi Minicab; Subaru Sambar and the Suzuki Carry.

Daihatsu Hijet: kt2  Honda Acty: kt3

Mazda Scrum: kt4  Mitsubishi Minicab: kt5

Nissan Clipper: 

Subaru Sambar: kt6  Suzuki Carry: kt7

Many of these trucks are produced abroad under licence, such as Daewoo (Korea) andKia (Asia) who re-badge the Suzuki Carry / Every.  The Daewoo Labo / Damas and the Kia Towner are re-badged Daihatsu Hijets.

A late 1960’s Subaru Sambar: kt8

The Suzuki Jimny is classed as a truck: kt9

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

Twin Cab: kt10      Cherry-picker: kt12      Tipper-truck: kt13

Motor-home: kt11    VW Classic: kt20   Sambar Classic: kt21

Fire-tender: kt22   Pickup-truck: kt23  Covered-wagon: kt24

Fire-engine: kt25 Citroen Classic: act1

Stretcher-bearer: kt26

Transporter: kt28          Wagon: kt29         Mobile-office: kt30

High-top: kt31          Off-roader: kt32          Gullwing ?: kt33

Refrigerated: kt34    Mobile-shop: kt35    Road-works: kt36

Wood-back: pp17 Walk-thru’ Van: pp18

Catapillar-track: pp19

Folding-side Flatbed: pp20                               Camping-car: pp21

Snow-crawler: pp22 Panel Van:  pp24 Wheelchair-carrier: kt27


Daihatsu    Atrai

The Daihatsu Atrai is a passenger car version of the Daihatsu Hijet.


Daihatsu pp23 Hijet

The Daihatsu Hijet is now in its 10th Generation.  In 2002 a hybrid concept car was debuted, but it never made it to production.


Image result for computer games clipart  The ‘Daihatsu Hijet‘ in Computer Games :

The Daihatsu Hijet in Road Blaster (Road Avenger) (1985):   ’94 Hijet in Test Drive 4 (1997):   Hijet in Test Drive 4 (1997):   ’94 Hijet Dump in Top Gear: Dare Devil (2000):   ’88 Hijet Van And Pickup in The Getaway (2002):   Hijet in Midnight Club II (2003):   ’91 Hijet in Poketto Monsutā Faiareddo Rīfugurīn (Pokémon FireRed and LeafGreen) (2004):   Hijet Jumbo in Mad Monday (2008):   Hijet in Mirror’s Edge (2008):   Hijet in Speed Rider (2009):   Hijet in Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing (2010):   ’91 Hijet in C-OPS (Critical Force) (2015): 


Daihatsu q1 Midget II

The Daihatsu Midget II is available as a 1 or 2 seater with either a manual or automatic gearbox.  It has EFI (Electronic Fuel Injection) as an option as well as 4WD and air-conditioning.


Honda pp25 Acty

The “Acty” in Honda Acty stands for ‘Activity‘.  It is now in its 4th Generation.


Honda  Street

The Street is an upper trim level Honda Acty, intended mainly for passenger use.


Mazda/Autozam pp26 Scrum

The Mazda / Autozam Scrum, is a re-badged version of the Suzuki Carry.  It is available in 2 or 4-wheel drive.  The 4WD version can be switched between 2 and 4-wheel drive, and has high and low gears.


Image result for computer games clipart  The ‘Autozam Scrum‘ in Computer Games :

Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (2012)


Mitsubishi pp27 Minicab

The Mitsubishi Minicab has been made since 1966 and is now in its 8th Generation.  In Japan it was originally only sold by a specific retail chain called “Galant Shop”.  An all-electric model the Minicab MiEV has been on sale since Dec 2011.


Nissan  Clipper

The Nissan Clipper is a badge engineered version of the Mitsubishi Minicab.  The Clipper name was originally used on the 1950’s Prince range of trucks.  Following the merger with Nissan in 1966, the name then changed to Nissan Prince Clipper.  The name was resurrected in 2003 for Nissan’s entry into the Kei truck market.


Subaru pp28 Sambar

The Subaru Sambar introduced in 1961, is now in its 7th Generation.  Shinroku Momose (晋六百瀬) 1919-1997, designed the Subaru Sambar.  He was inducted into the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame in 2004.


Suzuki pp29 Carry

The Suzuki Carry went under the Suzulight name for its first 2 generations, and is now in its 11th Generation.  The Suzuki Every, the van version, is now in its 5th Generation.


Customising, Drift Racing and Tug-o-War Tests are popular with young people…

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