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Wednesday, July 11, 2018

The Past And Future Of Japanese Automobiles

Okay... even I admit this is filler, because I'm short on time to write something better, but what a photo montage!

What we have here are booth babes at an automobile show showing the latest in Japanese architecture.

The Nissan pictured on the left looks like a 1960s car, while I can only assume the car on the right depicts a concept car built by a Japanese auto manufacturer showing their vision of what the car of the future might look like.

Is it me, or are the wheels on the future car looking more like a Stark prototype hover car, or are the rounded wheels merely hidden by the full skirting that the booth babe has obviously failed to mimic. Not that I'm complaining.

Back in the 1950s when Japan's automobile industry was struggling to right itself after the horrors of WWII, the average Japanese family could not afford a family car. And why would you need one, when the country was already establishing its terrific train network for commutes between cities, had excellent buses and taxis, and bicycles were readily available.

Back then, it was still possible to live and commute without having to live outside the city where one called home.

As such, the Japanese automobile industry catered its business to markets outside of Japan, such as to North America and Europe.

However, even then nothing could compete against the might of the American auto industry, with its heavy steel and chrome machines that made the Japanese economical vehicle look like cheap toys.

It was a reputation that persisted through the 1980s and 1990s in the United States. In Canada, however, it was more than willing to accept Japanese cars as not only driveable, but as luxurious and fun.

My father had a 1981 Nissan Stanza, a 1984 Toyota Camry station wagon, and a 199s Toyota Camry station wagon... the later two I inherited and drove into the ground well into the year 2000. In between, I had a 1986 Mazda 323... a car the Japanese knew as the Familia.

In North America, it was originally called a GLC, then 323, then simply the Mazda 3. Personally, I miss the Camry wagons... they were full loaded with all the bells and whistles, and could really move quickly down the still uncrowded Toronto highways.

I did purchase a 2001 Hyundai Tiburon (it's Korean, but bear with me)... and when I drove it down to Chicago, I had people come up to me and ask me just what the heck I was driving because they had never seen anything like it. My point, is that even then, foreign cars... and I mean Japanese cars, were still a bit of a rarity in the U.S.

Sure there were Audi's and BMW's and Mercedes in the U.S., all considered luxury or sporty cars, but back at the turn of the 21st century, Americans still preferred to buy American.... regardless if the Japanese cars were being built in American factories (or Canadian ones).

Obviously what really drew my attention in the above photo were the booth babes.. the Japanese models whose job it was was to pose in front of the cars, and when the male customer asked the same old joke question, "Do you come with the car?" they would cover their mouth and snicker, "Oh, you..."

I must admit that prior to my three year jaunt in Japan, I really loved the look of the classical Japanese kimono, as nothing said Japan more than that!

Since then, the sexy, short skirted Japanese model has come to be more of an eye catcher for this old bugger, who freely admits he likes the thigh high boots...  but really hates the tiny futuristic car designs.

By the way... did you notice that the future car doesn't seem to have any doors? Me either. Still, I would assume that would imply it's not a very fast car, and is loaded with a whole bunch of safety features, and may even be driverless...

Personally, the whole concept of driverless cars is a complete waste of money. Or am I the only person who still likes to drive his own car?

I don't even care if I have to sit in traffic for hours... I still enjoy being in control of a car. 

Someone bring back tail fins! And maybe a bubble top!

Look at this American concept car from the 1950s. Are you telling me you wouldn't want to drive this car that highly resembles the torpedo bras of the era? I mean it has a hood scoop and everything! Okay... I can see how parking might be a bugger, but you have to admit this car is a head turner

Andrew "I'm currently driving a Nissan Micra SV" Joseph


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