The Japanese have always had their quirks in most areas of culture and the car design zone certainly falls into the slightly different. Japan has had its fair share of different autos during its time and some really stick out in the memory. So, let’s take a look at five of the weirdest.
Mazda Cosmo 110 – S
This car was not so unusual on the outside and we’d go as far to say it was quite attractive, with definite homage to the Triumph Spitfire. However, it was what was beneath that mattered – this was the first car with a rotary engine. The two rotors Wankel engine brought the twin rotary design to the mainstream and set the standard from here on in.
This car was the first Japanese car that really showed what the country was all about. The auto had definite similarities of the Jaguar E Type, though is essentially the father of the Skyline and cheap Japanese super cars. There were very few of these autos imported to the west and those that were worth a cool sum nowadays.
Honda Coupe 9
This weird looking air cooled auto is the company’s first attempt at building a larger car. The car was aid cooled, which meant a fan was added to the fly wheel to cool the air block. This would also be warmer than outside temperatures on cool days, meaning it could be used for heat. It was a strange looking car but one that was also innovative due to this addition.
The little Figaro was the car that brought the whole retro appeal to the masses and these little, practical autos were very popular in the early 90s. The car had a distinctive toy like look to it and seemed to have fallen from some alternative dimension based in the 1950s. It came with a quite nice range of colours, some tasteful chrome additions and also a turbocharged engine to ensure it was both powered well and sounded as you would imagine a car named to Figaro to. The car was very popular as a holiday hire or contract hire car – simply because of its fun looks and also practical appeal.
This car is somewhat the opposite to the Nissan, simply because of its futuristic appeal. The gullwing doors really added to this appeal. Not like your average gull wings, this autos doors would roll down before a portion embedded would curve inwards. Around 16,000 of these cars were sold over half a decade but they could not be said to be popular.
The Japanese have invented some of the coolest and craziest looking and driving cars of all time and these five are just few among many more.
Cormac Reynolds is a car writer who has worked on a variety of blogs and sites in the auto niche.