In the 1970s it must have been awfully tough to be a criminal. In the 1970s, cops had flared pants, suits with wide lapels, big guns and equally big hair. In the 1970s cops could not walk out onto the street without a funky wah-wah guitar soundtrack. And, you’ll be gratified to hear….in the 1970s Japanese cops were no different. Well, at least the TV cops anyway!
From 1979 to 1984 one of the most popular TV shows was Seibu Keisatsu. A typical cop show of the period with the over the top soundtracks and the lurching car chases (ie, the good kind). However, the great interest in the show for us is that it was sponsored by Nissan, and hence there seems to have been an endless supply of Nissan Cedrics and Zeds to sacrifice on the altar of the Great 70s Cop Car Chase.
The opening sequence of the show is pure 70s cheese!
We’re indebted to www.double-clutch.net for these details below but the show was quite a rich seam of old school Nissan love. I’ll let the man from Double Clutch himself take up the story:
The star of the show was sergeant Daimon. He always carried Remington shot gun and not hesitate to shoot down every criminals like Dirty Harry. One day, he got a new weapon…Skyline Machine-X. It was modified from C210 Skyline Japan 2000GT Turbo and was having a computer inside, maximum speed was 240km/h with tuned up turbo engine. This car gained great popularity in Japan instantly so Seibu Keisatsu greatly contributed to the sales of Nissan motors. After that, Nissan thrown out other special machines for Seibu Keisatsu as a police interceptor. All of them were based on Nissan’s brand-new-cars at that time.
A Super-Z was based on S130Z Turbo. It had a gull-wing door and grenade gun on the bonnet.
In response to launching of New R30 Skyline, Nissan also introduced Machine RS as a replacement of Machine-X. This car had a afterburner system for high speed pursuit and maximum speed was a 265km/h. (Of course it was a imaginary situation in the TV.. I know that their engine was not modified.)
Anyway, Seibu Keisatsu had a big influence on Japanese car hobbyist. Even today, many Datsun fans are trying to make a replica of them. If you see a picture of Japanese old car event, I believe you’ll see many cars with “Enkei Slotted Mag Wheels”. The slotted mag was actually ’70s style, but it was also popular as “Seibu Keisatsu’s style” with Cedric or Gloria! because the biggest mag wheel manufacture “Enkei” sponsored this TV program too. (Thus in this program, even though police cars were using slotted mag wheels :-D)
One car that is quite prominently featured in the show’s opening that wasn’t mentioned above was the S11 Gazelle convertible. As far as we know, there wasn’t an official version made by the factory, so this would have been another custom job just for the show, complete with Firebird style screaming-chicken on the bonnet!
Why don’t they make shows like this anymore?
(Credit for the screencaps has to go to Dandy Arata’s Site)