CC Outtakes: T87’s Singles Collection (Sept./Oct. 2020) – Part 1: Japanese Cars

September’s haul was lackluster and I was otherwise engaged for half of the month, so I decided to do two months’ worth of CC outtakes this time. For whatever reason, the domestic brand that really dominated these past few weeks was Nissan, so let’s kick things off with a gorgeous C10 Skyline 2000GT. Fair warning: there are over 100 pictures in this post, slow connections beware!

These were designed by Prince but badged as Nissans from the start of production in 1968. This one was really unexpected, found on a wet autumn evening, a couple weeks ago, idling in a little side street close to my digs. I’d never seen it around before, but I sure hope to see it again!

Late model (circa 1985) R30 Skyline “Iron mask” coupés are not exactly common either, but they’re just short of exceptional. At least this one had an interesting colour.

I discovered an excellent place, tucked away down by the bay – the other side of the city from where I live, basically – while out on an administrative errand. It’s a Nissan specialist repair shop. It was this early ‘70s Cedric 230 saloon caught my eye initially. Then, I saw other beauties within, such as that ‘60s Bluebird…

Unfortunately, I could only take pictures from a respectable distance, as the place was clearly not open for anyone to just waltz in. Nice to see an old 1000 again, eh? Shame about those wheels. The 410 Bluebird behind it is a direct descendant, just five or six years younger.

Nearby, another 410 Bluebird, with a Nissan-built Austin A50.

I had to return to that part of town a few weeks later and made another pit stop at this particular candy store. The Cedric was still there, but facing the other way this time – and accompanied by a C10 Skyline GTR coupé. The identity of the pre-war car wrapped in plastic behind those two may be one of those mysteries that will keep gnawing at me until the day I die.

Out in the real world, older Nissans were a bit less interesting, but still quite cool. There were Laurels, for instance. Like this C33 hardtop, which I never managed to catch the front of.

This mid-‘90s Laurel C34, on the other hand, was more cooperative.

Who can resist a Pao? I’ve seen a few about – these definitely have a cult following. And with good reason. First time I’ve had a peek inside one and was not disappointed.

It was a very good couple months for Sunny pickups, too. These are not uncommon, but in older early ‘80s trim like this one, they’re becoming scarce.

These look a tad less nice than the B120s from the early ‘70s, but they still have plenty of chrome. Much later models made in the ‘90s, with square headlamps and all, lost some of the charm. But those are the ones that are still seen most often, obviously.

Of course, if you get a ‘90s square-headlight B122 pickup, you can retrofit all the chrome bits if you so choose. Case in point – not bad-looking Sunny pickup. Or this is a later grille dipped in chrome and grafted onto a pre-1989 pickup. Either way, I like the result.

Here we have a late ‘80s Hardbody D21 pickup that’s had a little work done. The result was a bit confusing (for me, at any rate): from far away, I thought I was looking at some alternate-reality Chevrolet or Dodge. Those big round headlamps don’t exactly scream “Nissan Pickup”… Nicely modified all around, with the obligatory plastiwood wheel, brightly coloured gear lever knob and all that jazz.

Not the most original S13 Silvia, but it still made my head turn. These were given the Japanese COTY award when they debuted in 1988 and were pretty successful, though I’m seeing far more Skylines than these about.

Ah, the stodgy Cedric Y31 fleet saloon – still very common as a taxi, but much rarer as a private car like this one. Especially in white.

Unremarkable in many ways and beyond conservative, but dead reliable, roomy, well-built and probably dirt cheap to keep on the road, at least in its home country.

Some of you may know this as the Infiniti Q45, but over here it’s the 3rd generation Nissan Cima (Y33), with a 4.1 litre engine instead of the 4.5 seen on Infinitis. Looks good in black.

Well, we’re almost done with the Nissan bit – all that remains is the top of the range. Those ‘90s Presidents are pretty imposing-looking machines. Just like the Toyota Century, they stick out of the traffic. This was a regular wheelbase car – the proper President, really. Strictly chauffeur-driven.

And here’s the owner-driver model, the President JS, slowly going to seed.

Just for comparison, I found a Toyota Century in a similar condition. How the mighty have deflated.

On the Toyota side of things, then. There was a spate of 2nd generation Soarer sightings, each more amusing than the last. This one was shy about showing its side, but not its ends…

These two were part of a matching set, it seems. The one with the gaudy wire wheels was a top-of-the-line 3.0 GT Limited with air suspension, next to a 2.0 GT Twin Turbo.

And this one demonstrated its nameplate’s situation in the Toyota range (i.e. just above the Crown) in the most literal sense.

That Crown was the S170 saloon. I recently wrote a post on the S170 wagon (1999-2007), where I lamented that all the ones I’m seeing are silver, which is boring. Found this very nice black one last month, so here it is.

Speaking of Crowns, here’s a nicely preserved S150 Super Deluxe from the late ‘90s. This 10th generation Crown was the first to opt for unit body construction. Better late than never!

Another find near Tokyo Bay: a first-generation Celica. It was unfortunately out of bounds in a private car park, so all I could manage were a couple of far away shots.

These A70s are usually still revered as the nec plus Supra of the breed, and rightly so. But whatever the car, blue with yellow wheels is not an easy combo to pull off. It really isn’t.

The Corolla AE86 of the month, as per popular demand. A very tidy Levin liftback in white, this time. Love the black wheels!

Less lovely, but just a rare find in Tokyo: a completely filthy roadster. They call these MR-S here, and this one’s obviously had a few mods, but it’s remarkably dusty. As is the Smart and the other car behind it, too. Wonder why.

Complete digression, but I’ve been having fun catching Deliboys. That sounded less strange in my head. What I mean is that, I’ve been running into these rather obscure and short-lived Toyota vans called “Deliboy.”

They’re not all that common any more, being over 25 years old now, and some, like this blue one, are really showing their age – on the outside. Because when you look inside, it doesn’t look like a quarter century of hard use, does it?

This yellow one’s decals were still pretty much intact. It’s funny, this looks like it should have been made in the ‘70s, not the ‘90s.

Toyota may have given up on the Deliboy, but they certainly still do a wide array of oddly-shaped vans for the domestic market. I have no idea what this particular contraption is called – or why it looks that way – but there are a lot of strange van-shaped things on the roads here. More than I can capture in a few CC posts…

One more example: this is a Toyota HiAce. Very common throughout Asia, this RWD van has been built since 2004 and is popular with a wide array of clients. Nothing particular about this one, but…

This other one has had a bit of facial reconstruction, and boom, it has character. Not sure which van it’s supposed to evoke, to be honest, and the wheels are a bit too much for my taste, but this really looks better than the stock nose.

This is not a classic – it’s a damn legend. The invincible “heavy duty” J70 Land Cruiser. This is a 30th Anniversary model, so it was made in 2014-15. Love the colour, the restrained chrome, the relatively uncommon four-door coupé pickup body. So many Toyotas and so many pickups have become overstyled and overweight, but the old ‘80s tribute band Land Cruiser is still around to show us how it should be done.

And while we’re on the subject of Land Cruisers, I could not resist this J60/J70 pair. Oddly, the ochre J60 is LHD. Might it have been reimported? Given how popular these seem to be nowadays, anything is possible.

Lookout, it’s the Corona! I recently had a close encounter with a 1600GT, which is almost the same car, but crucially without the C word. I will now smear myself in hand sanitizer, possibly inject bleach and remain indoors for a fortnight, out of an abundance of caution.

Last Toyota, but not least! We’ve already seen this Corona coupé about six months ago, but here it is out and about. Or it could be the second wave.

Only three Mitsuokas made it to the finish line this time – another Viewt, as per usual…

A new one (I think) for your consideration: the 2000-02 Yuga, based on the Nissan Cube and obviously made to look like the FX4 London Black Cab. Mitsuoka did a much better job of evoking the FX4 than Mitsubishi did (see further down).

And a good old Galue. Actually, this is a newer one – the 5th generation. These came out in 2015 and are still being made today, based on the Nissan Teana.

OK, now for something truly disturbing: this is the fourth 1997-98 Mitsubishi Flying Pug I’ve caught since I moved to this country. The FOURTH! Out of 139 cars made, four have crossed my path. Most of the world has never seen one of these – or even heard of it. I was among that blissful number for the largest part of my adult life. And now the universe decides I should see four of these awful things in a year?

Suzuki Twins are not exactly rare in this city, but this one was irresistible. Must be the cheerful colour and the impeccable condition. As a Kei car, it was a bit of a flop. As a toy though, it still has potential…

I think I’ve already caught this one before, but from a distance. That license plate number beckoned me over. It’s a Suzuki Carry (again, I think) comically masquerading as a Soviet UAZ 452 van.

Onwards to the Hondas, starting with a 1984-86 City Turbo II. Very cool little FWD car, with a 1.2 litre packing 110hp. Not a kei, but a genuine hot hatch.

This Civic Shuttle is nowhere near as hot, but these days it’s a rare sight. If that license plate is to be believed (and who am I to second guess it?), this Civic is 30 years old. That explains that.

They say the 1995-2001 Honda Integra Type R is one of the best FWD sports cars of the ‘90s. I reckon it’s one of the better-looking performance cars of the era, too.

But the Honda of the (bi-)month was undoubtedly this delightful Life Van Deluxe, made between late 1971 and 1974. There’s a 356cc water-cooled OHC parallel twin under that hood, originally from a Honda motorcycle, providing the front wheels with 30hp. The question remains: why does this classic kei have yellow headlights?

I guess most of you know this as the 1985-91 Subaru XT. On the JDM, these were known as the Alcyone. It seems  Wedgy McWedgeface here was a flop on its home market: they only sold around 8000 in Japan – during the height of the Bubble Economy – and over 90,000 abroad. Makes it all the weirder.

Another one of those strange “Casa Blanca” Imprezas. That’s it for Subarus, but how about a few tasty Mazdas for dessert?

RX7s are always a sight for sore eyes. This red one may be turbocharged, but the two 3rd gen ones below seem ready to race.

Too bad I could not get this coolsome twosome from the front, but they were in the same restricted area as the Celica. And for once, the sign saying “Authorized personnel only” was in English, so I couldn’t play the dumb gaijin card.

Big RWD Mazda saloons ended here: the rarely-seen 2nd generation (1995-99) Sentia. These were sold in Australia as the 929 and were made under license as the Kia Enterprise from 1998 to 2002.

There’s a 3-litre V6 in these – up to 200hp available, too. But apparently, they were just too expensive on the home market to be worth the trouble, so Mazda called it quits after three decades in that market segment.

Finally, here’s something we’ve seen already, but I just cannot resist these. This Porter kei truck was in much better nick than the one I wrote up last year, so I just had to photograph it extensively.

These were made from 1971 to 1989, but they wore this distinctive light blue only between 1977 and 1982. Can’t picture these in any other colour – this one suites them perfectly.

Finally (this time I mean it), an appeal to the great wisdom of the CCommentariat: could you please ID this old truck? I’m betting it’s Japanese, but I’ve had no luck figuring out the make and model. Thank you in advance, and see you tomorrow for the foreign cars.