CC Capsule: The Cockroach of Utsunomiya


Thanks to Ivan Lecoursiere for taking the pictures


This week, business has carried me half way across the globe, to the rural depths of Japan. Utsunomiya is a town 100 kilometers north of Tokyo, and about 30 kilometers from the Motegi racetrack. I did not expect to find much in the way of Curbside Classics, but walking back to the hotel from the train station, I spotted this “Cockroach of the Road™” sitting in a long term parking lot. It seems hurtful to call such a well-equipped and lovingly maintained wagon a cockroach, but the name is properly earned- These things appear everywhere!



The plate is clearly Japanese, but I’m not sure why the tailgate is emblazoned with German phrases.


Here’s a nice shot of the (mandated) fender side marker. Combined with the unique tail lights seen in the rear view above, it’s clear this model was built for overseas sales, and not imported as a used car from the US. This picture also makes it clear the car is US style left hand drive.

I wrote this mid-week, but returned to Tokyo before posting it. Walking back to my hotel on Sunday night, I also spotted a Ford Wagon in Ikebukuro traffic. It was turning a corner some distance away, but appeared to be a mid eighties Crown Vic. If so, it had unique tailgate trim and tail lights. It seems Japan has more curbside classics than you would think…