[ Snippets ]
(In no particular order)
The ‘Gasuden’ minivan name, which means gas powered, comes from the Japanese for Gas “Gasu” (petrol) and the Japanese for electricity “Den” meaning “power“.
The Suzuki Spacia concept : “Roomy and convenient, lightweight and fuel-efficient, height-class mini wagon”.
In America the Subaru 360 advertising slogan was “Cheap and Ugly does it” !!
The name “Tiatro” in the “Nissan Tiatro for Dayz” is Italian for theatre.
In America, a Fuji Cabin sold at auction for $110,000 !! (Not even a runner)
The “Dangan” of the Mitsubishi Dangan ZZ-4 is the Japanese word for “Bullet”.
Author Tony Davis inducted the Cony Guppy into his “Motoring Hall of Shame” in the book Extra Lemon! (Page 42). He called the Guppy a lemon and a failure.
Shinroku Momose 1919 – 1997, designed the Subaru Sambar. He was inducted into the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame in 2004.
The Mitsubishi Minicab was originally only sold by a specific retail chain called “Galant Shop”. Mitsubishi has two retail sales channels, the other is called “Car Plaza”.
The 1969 Subaru Young SS was nicknamed the “Ladybug” in Japan. There was a dent in the roof to take a surfboard !!
This 1968 Suzuki Fronte SS was driven by Stirling Moss in a high speed promotional event along Italy’s 750 km (466 miles) Autostrada del Sole, from Milan to Napoli.
The “Acty” in Honda Acty stands for “Activity”. It has been made since 1977 and is now in its 4th Generation.
The 1971 Suzuki Fronte Coupé was designed by the famous Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro.
Japanes Kei (light) class trucks are known as “kei-tora” (軽トラ) from “kei” meaning “light” and “tora”, which is Janglish for the word “truck”.
Colin McRae the famous rally driver drove the Subaru Vivio Super KK in the 1993 round of the African Safari Rally.
The Suzuki Jimny offroader is sometimes classed as a kei-truck.
The Daihatsu name is a combination of the first “kanji” (character) of Ōsaka in Japanese, which can be pronounced “Dai” and the first “kanji” of engine manufacture which is pronounced “hatsu” hence “Dai-hatsu”.
The Daihatsu Copen name is derived from a combination of “Coupé and Open”.
The name Mazda is derived from its founder “Matsuda” Jūjiro (松田·重次郎) 1875-1952.
The sales launch of the Suzuki Cappuccino was November 1991 in Japan, with the advertising theme: “fulfilling one’s dream of owning a stylish and very affordable 2 seater sportscar“.
The name Mitsubishi is a compound of “mitsu” (three) and hishi or “bishi” (lit: “water chestnut”, often used in Japanese to denote a diamond or rhombus shape).
The 1991 Honda Beat was designed by Pininfarina the famous Italian design and coachbuilding company.
Mitsuoka described the model “Ray” as “like a dignified and graceful flower”, it was also said that “This kind of beauty is a transcending beauty“ however in Britain, it made it onto “The Ugliest Car Ever” list, but it was voted the most attractive car in Australia!!
Subaru is the Japanese name for the “Pleiades” star cluster “aka” The Seven Sisters. It is also a reference to the number of companies that merged to form the company. There are only six stars on the badge, because traditionally one of the stars is invisible.
The Toyota Motor Company derives its name from founder Kiichiro Toyoda (豊田 喜一郎) in 1937. Toyoda the family name was changed to Toyota as it sounded better, and its 8-stroke count in Japanese is associated with wealth and good fortune.
The “eK” of Mitsubishi eK stands for “excellent Keijidōsha” (excellent kei car) and was marketed by the retail chain “Car Plaza”.
The 1998 Yamaha Ami was very loosely based on the Ferrari F40 !! Produced by “YM Mobilemates”, a branch of the Yamaha Motor Company, it was only available via event ticket supplier “Ticket Pia” of Tōkyō.
The “D” in the Datsun company acronym “DAT” was from “Den” after one of the founders’ Den Kenjiro and was later changed to “Datsun” as it sounded better.
The 1960 Hope-Star Unicar NT was advertised as being a pickup in the coupé style, with the slogan : “The People Has Many Dreams as To The light Vehicle” !!
The 1951 Flying Feather was conceived by “Mr K” (Katayama) whose dream was to create a light car with good performance and economy, rather like a gull in flight !! Hence the Flying Feather.
The “Sandal” of the 1947 Auto Sandal refers to a type of shoe or flip-flop.
The 1998 Honda Z was manufactured by the Yachiyo Industry Co. and was only sold through Honda Primo sales channels.
The “N” in Honda N360 and other variants, stands for “norimono” which is Japanese for vehicle.
The “Pajero” of Mitsubishi Pajero Mini is a Spanish word with two meanings. It’s a slang word meaning “He who fiddles with himself for sexual gratification“, and it is also unknowingly used by a major automobile manufacturer, who took the more academic translation to mean “Straw Dealer” !!!
[ Q U I R K Y N A M E S ]
Daihatsu Naked; Daihatsu Opti Aerodown Beex; Honda N-Box Slash; Honda That’s; Mitsubishi Minica Lettuce; Nissan Dayz Roox; Nissan Teatro for Dayz; Suzuki Every Joy Pop Turbo.