CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (April 2020) – Part 1: Japanese Cars

The COVID-19 lockdown has been rather soft, in Japan – more fishnet than mosquito net, in a way. Just ask this late ‘60s Toyota Crown S50 wagon. Since the second week of April – i.e. much later than in Europe or North America, all schools were closed and daily announcements on the country-wide PA system are warning people against the virus; many (but not all) shops and cafés are now closed. But you can still walk down the street without a mask, take the Shinkansen or have a picnic in a park. Go figure. The CC hunt carries on regardless.

I seem to be running into a lot of X70 Mark II wagons, these days. This one was almost pristine…

This mildly customize one, on the other hand, was looking a bit forlorn.

Staying with Toyota’s bread-and-butter RWD family car platform, here’s a 1989-92 X80 Chaser that looked like it came off the factory line yesterday.

It’s not like me to pollute this great site with road cockroaches, but this “Lexus” Prius was quite eyebrow-raising and deserves a wider audience. Love the moon discs. By the way, “Lotteria” is the fast-food arm of Lotte, a Korean-Japanese multinational.

The Mitsuokas were numerous, this month. Finding two baby blue Viewts – a first generation K11 at the top, its rounder K12 successor below it – in the same week was certainly strange. The universe seems to be trying to tell me something, but what?

The 1998-2004 Ryoga is a much less common Mitsu monster. This one was a bit on the scruffy side, though.

However, I had never documented a Ryoga wagon before. I knew of them (and recently published a post on their descendant, the Ryugi), but this was my first real encounter. Frightening.

But the scariest one was always the Galue. This is a Nissan Fuga-based Series III (I think), a heady blend of Bentley and Cadillac.

The Galue lives on – here is a 4th generation model (post 2015) caught from my balcony. These are now based of the Nissan Teana J33 (a.k.a. Altima), with Fiat 500 taillights.

Let us clean our palate, brighten our minds and wipe our eyes with some Nissan classics. A circa 1985 “Iron mask” Skyline R30 coupé, for instance.

How about a very ripe R13 Silvia, which some of you may know as the 240SX? On the JDM, these were labelled J’s, Q’s and K’s, from lower-spec to turbo. This one is a post-1991 facelift Q’s, with a 2-litre 16-valve SR20 engine. Probably needs a bit of work to pass the shaken.

Here are two early ‘90s takes on Nissan’s “big” platform. This is the classy rear end of the Y32 Gloria Brougham, made sometime between 1991 and 1995…

And here’s the Y32 Cima, which was the top of the Nissan range (barring the super-exclusive President). This generation was available with a 4.1 litre V8 and, it seems, a gaudy golden hood ornament. To complete the Y32 family, I would have to find a Leopard (i.e. the sporty one), but I haven’t had any luck so far on those.

I’m not overly familiar with the Nissan Laurel, but judging by this one, I should get to know them better. This 1991-93 Laurel C33 is a high-spec Medalist version, sporting a 2.5 litre straight-6 and probably as much gadgetry as possible.

I’m not very good at identifying Hondas in general and NSXs in particular, but this one seemed like an older one. Impressive car, but not my cup of tea.

I managed to snap most of this 1972-73 Subaru R2 before the guy who worked in this garage closed the door. He had a dozen classic bikes and mopeds in there as well. A glimpse of a treasure trove…

Last month, I caught a Mitsubishi Jeep wagon. Now, here’s the military CJ version. I’m sure some of you have a good eye for these and will catch on the peculiarities of this version immediately. To complete neophytes such as yours truly, the triple wipers, turn signals and RHD are the only strange features that really pop out.

To finish off this all-Japanese buffet on a somewhat awkward note, here’s a 2nd generation (1986-92) Mitsubishi Debonair. I hope I’ll be able to do a detailed piece on this unusual car someday, but I really hope to catch a first generation Debonair, if possible a ‘60s model. I’ve seen (but alas not photographed) about three of those in traffic in Japan so far – hands down, the prettiest Mitsubishis ever made.

See you tomorrow for the best of the rest!