Since we reserve most of our drool for Fairlady Zs and TE27s here at JNC, some of you may have wondered why we went ga-ga over the Mazda T2000 that appeared on eBay earlier this week. Well, because it was a monster.
Unless you see it next to other cars you don’t really get the sense of scale a T2000 brings. We’re used to thinking of three-wheelers as the size of Daihatsu Midgets, and yes, most pre-war 3-wheelers were nothing more than flatbeds bolted to the front halves of motorcycles. In fact, long before Cosmo Sports and RX-2s, the 1931 Mazdago pictured above was the company’s first motorized product of any sort.
However, deliverymen soon got fed up with bugs in their teeth and exposure to the elements so manufacturers began styling full-cabin bodies. The Mitsubishi Leo is a good example. A single wheel out front made for a fantastic turning radius and the narrow streets of 1950s Tokyo buzzed with the constant activity of kei-sized trikes.
But not all three-wheelers are created equal. The T2000’s eBay auction says “rare Isetta microcar sized truck” but don’t believe that for a second. This thing is gargantuan. If you maxxed out the option list with the extended bed, it could measure up to 6.08 meters, or just a hair under 20 feet long. That’s a foot and a half beyond the rear bumper of a 2009 Chevy Suburban.
Here’s the Mata-Ne photo from JNC Issue 1. As you can see, an entire Mazda K360 can fit in the back, and that’s just the short bed version.
It’s not just long, but tall as well, a trait clearly seen when the T2000 is parked side-by-side with an Isuzu box truck. Imagine looking over the nose of that thing as you steered. Pets and small children were probably routinely maimed.
Mazda was by no means the only builder of these iron giants. Mad scientists at Mitsubishi, Daihatsu, Rogane, and Orient were all cranking out mega-trikes during the same period. If there’s demand, we’ll do articles on those too. Let us know in the comments.
But for now our fave is the Mazda T2000. It was the last of its breed, built from 1962 until 1974 (imagine it parked next to a Luce RX-4 of the same era). Besides, who couldn’t love that atomic robot face?