The 1971 film 3000km Trap tells the story of a young man, played by Jiro Tamiya, whose wealthy businessman father has just lost a golfing bet with the president of a large Hokkaido department store. The wager? The “best sports car on the market,” a Mitsubishi Galant GTO.
It falls to Tamiya’s character to then deliver the prize from his father’s home in Kagoshima (on the southern tip of the southern Japanese island of Kyushu) 3000 kilometers across the length of Japan to the northern island of Hokkaido.
The night before his departure Tamiya receives an threatening phone call that leads him to question the wisdom of his journey, but nevertheless he embarks on his quest, undeterred. Almost immediately he encounters a mysterious woman in distress, and before long he’s being followed by a Mitsubishi Debonair. The further eastward he presses on in the GTO, the deeper the mysteries.
But the most stunning aspect of the movie are the gorgeous driving shots filmed on location across Japan, from the palm-lined coasts of Kyushu to the snows of Hokkaido. There are few images quite as breathtaking as the black-striped, bright orange GTO floating over blankets of white.
Like Hairpin Circus, 3000km Trap sprang from the golden age of Japanese automotive films. A cool jazz score by Norio Maeda is the perfect companion for an epic cross-Japan road trip in a nostalgic car. This is what moving pictures were made for. Watch a montage of the GTO scenes below, and scroll down to see the exciting movie poster.