Author Archive: Jamie Mullins

Author Archives for Jamie Mullins

The Mitsuoka Viewt is a supermini that is among the most recognizable and distinctive of the eclectic Mitsuoka range. The company is known, of course, for adopting the principal design of mass-produced models and modifying them with a whole new character and spirit. The Viewt is a car based on the Nissan Micra, also known as the Nissan March but also modelled to look quite a bit like the 1963 Jaguar Mark 2. Key Stats for the First-Generation Mitsuoka Viewt (1993 – K11) Wheelbase: 2,360mm Length: 4,250mm Width: 1,640mm Height: 1,425mm Curb Weight: 870kg Key Stats for the Second-Generation Mitsuoka Viewt (2005 – K12) Wheelbase: 2,430mm Length: 4,400mm Width: 1,680mm Height: 1,520mm Curb Weight: 1080kg 27 Years of Retro Splendour The Viewt has sold well over 12,000 units, which for a hand-built custom model is an impressive figure. The production run for the Viewt started back in 1993 and is still going today. Drivers quickly fall in love with the unique styling, but also immediately d [...]
When you’re learning about the singular Mitsuoka automotive brand of Toyama, Japan, two words that you will never be able to avoid using are “unique” and “unconventional.” Where other Japanese names like Toyota, Nissan and Honda have become global giants with sprawling production lines and eclectic ranges with mass, universal appeal, Mitsuoka never seems to have betrayed its core message of a limited range of truly interesting and special vehicles. Mitsuoka Company Background: A Maverick Tale Mitsuoka Motor Co. Ltd was founded on February 1, 1968 in Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture, Japan. It has built its reputation over the years on unique luxury vehicles, but despite its long history the company still only boasts under 500 employees --- just 470 as of December 2019. Compare that to the likes of Toyota, which employs 340,000 people around the world, and you can safely say you have a niche brand. Founder of the company, Susumu Mitsuoka, was a real automotive maverick who was just crazy about cars, and in particular, British cars. Back in the 1960s all he could see in the Japanese mark [...]

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The Suzuki Every Landy name goes back to 2001, but its specific model actually started in 1999. It was originally called the Suzuki Every Plus, and was built as a large 7-seater MPV. The idea from Suzuki was to create a passenger version of their successful vehicle the Suzuki Carry. Production began in June 1999, and the name was changed to Every Landy in May 2001. The Every Landy represented a considerable upgrade to previous related models. There were big differences in the engines, and the entire design received a big facelift. It was a popular van choice not only in the Japanese domestic market, but also for export where it found great success in both India, Chile, mainland China and Taiwan. Key Stats for the Suzuki Every Landy (Every Plus – 1999-2005 in Japan) Wheelbase: 2,350 (92.5”) Length: Max 3,705 (145.9”) Width: 1,505mm (59.3”) Height: 1,905mm (75”) Fuel efficiency: The Suzuki Every Landy is a very efficient van with an estimated consumption of 45mpg combined fuel efficiency on average. Background [...]
As the old TV ads used to point out, “the car in front is a Toyota.” This Japanese automotive giant has been on the forefront of innovation, design and reliability since its founding just over 80 years ago. In 2020, the Toyota marque continues to be popular in countries all around the world. As with many Japanese brands, however, there is an interesting world of vehicles that exist, created initially for Japan’s domestic market but now sought after by drivers here in the UK. Toyota is equally part of this world. Company Background Toyota was founded in 1937 by Kiichiro Toyoda, a man with great prowess and renown in the world of loom making. After making the shift from textile machines to the world of automotive engineering, Toyoda wanted to make a new company with an iconic name and logo that would help put the stamp of Japanese quality and innovation on the burgeoning world of the motor car. At first, designers tried to incorporate the name “Toyoda” into a circular design, but Toyoda instead favoured a change to “Toyota” which could be written in Japanese with 8 brush strokes. The n [...]
Nissan Presage: Still Alive and Kicking The Nissan Presage was first introduced in 1998 and was a mainstay in Nissan’s eclectic auto range until 2009 when production of the car’s second-generation model final ceased. Like many of its Japanese-designed brethren, the Presage was created in the searing heat of inter-company competition. Rivals Honda were having success with the Odyssey, as were Toyota with the Estima.As mentioned, the Nissan Presage has existed in two generations, the first of which was the U30. Its initial production run was from 1998 to 2003, and featured a 5-door (all swing doors) people carrier with hints of earlier Nissan designs present, particularly the Nissan Cedric, R’nessa and Bassara models. It carried either a 3.0L petrol or 2.5L turbodiesel, making them a relatively powerful model for the category. The Presage was also noted for its exceptional braking technology, such as the Electronic Braking Force Distribution System, which did wonders to help ensure greater brake effectiveness with less force. The [...]
Like some of its Japanese counterparts, the Mazda Bongo has a history dating right back to the 1960s. You may have also heard of the Mazda Bongo as the Mazda E-Series van, or the Mazda Access. You may have even seen it with Ford badging as the Econovan. It continues today in its fifth generation (H200 chassis). Its simple yet pleasing design and reliability on the road have made it a consistent favourite among JDM importers. As mentioned, the Bongo is currently on its fifth generation, with its predecessors coming as follows:  1st generation – 1966-1975  2nd generation – 1977-1983  3rd generation – 1983-1999  4th generation – 1999-2018  5th generation – 2019-present Key Stats for the Mazda Bongo (using 4th generation as example 1999-2018) Length: 4,600mm (181.1”)
Suzuki is among the biggest blue-chip Japanese automakers in the world. The company is headquartered in Hamamatsu, Japan, and creates a wide range of products, including automobiles, internal combustion engines, motorcycles, ATVs and outboard motors. Globally, Suzuki is ranked 10th for sales volume of automobiles, but domestically it is ranked third, making it one of the biggest players in the vast automotive world. Among their popular JDM models are cars like the Suzuki Landy and the Suzuki Every Landy, MPV cars that boast great design with typical high-quality Japanese engineering and are consistently well received by UK buyers. Background Suzuki’s founder was Michio Suzuki, who in 1909 founded the company initially as the Suzuki Loom Works. The company’s first riches and commercial success was found in their weaving looms, which were sold to producers in Japan’s silk industry. This line of business continued for three decades, including some successful export models. Michio Suzuki knew that it wasn’t good to be so dependent on a single prod [...]
Why the world loves a Nissan In 2020, Nissan sits as one of the most successful and most trusted automotive brands in the world. With over 5 million units sold in 2019, people all over the world still turn to Nissan when they want stylish, reliable and innovative cars to enhance their lives. Don’t let the chic designs fool you, though, because Nissan is a company of heritage. It all started with Datsun The somewhat surprising humble beginnings of the Nissan brand start in Japan with one of the marques currently owned by Nissan group --- Datsun. The earliest corporate entity formed connected to Nissan (and the first automobile manufacturer in Japan) was the Kaishinsha Motor Car Works. whose first car was the DAT. The early model name originated from the surnames of the three key investors (Den, Aoyama, Takeuchi). In 1931, with the creation of the Datsun Type 11, the addition of ‘sun’ was a reference to the word ‘son.’ Many viewed the Type 11 as a “son” of the early DAT models produced by the company.
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