Being exposed to a vehicle I’ve never seen or heard of before is a genuine thrill that doesn’t happen often enough anymore. A Hino Briska? But here it is, and Cohort poster Yohai Rodin shot it in Israel, no less. Why in Israel, of all places? Because it was built there, by a Kaiser division. And it has a Renault-based engine. And it’s so cute, to boot. That grille is even original too. What a find.
Before Hino joined forces with Toyota, and focused on only large trucks, it built the Briska light truck (and van), from 1961 through 1968. And its provenance is a bit unusual too. Its 896cc engine is derived from the Renault 4CV, the rights to which Hino bought for its rear-engine Contessa sedan and coupe.
In 1963, Hino inked a ten-year deal with Kaiser-Illin Industries, in Haifa, to build Contessas and the Briska. Later version of the Briska had a larger 1251 cc engine, making it decidedly brisker. During 1964-1965, Israel was the second largest market for the Contessa and Briska. Israel production ended in 1968 after Hino was purchased by Toyota.
If this is all news to you, it was for me too. This may be as obscure a vehicle as we’ve aver had here. Until next time.