Mitsuoka Le Seyde: The Compact Zimmer

It’s not easy getting good information about the Mitsuoka Le Seyede. Cold hard facts, that is. There’s plenty of pictures and rabid commentary, but I had to do a little digging to turn up the most elementary facts, like which car it was based on. The chassis, that is; everyone knows what car inspired its styling.

Yes, that zenith of seventies kitsch-mobiles, the Zimmer Golden Spirit. Well, if you really want one, they’ll still make a new Zimmer for you, for “when you’ve truly arrived”. Where?

While the Zimmers were based on big Lincolns, the Japanese version obviously had to be a bit more compact. And that distinctive window line gives its source away pretty readily,

the Nissan Silvia/200 SX (S15), which was never imported (sadly) to the US. Obviously, the Le Seyde had a front end extension, but even then, it was “only” 206″ long overall. Just the thing for those crowded Japanese streets.

Mitsuoka has made a number of retro and other unusual designer cars, and its current one is the inimitable Orochi, the only car possibly uglier than the Le Seyde. How do they do it? Upholding one’s reputation is hard work.