The New Year Meeting is an magical festival of vehicular awesomeness, but what happens when the party’s over? Most owners drive their cars home, but sometimes you want to ship your precious cargo. With many areas of Japan more crowded than the middle seat on a Spirit Airlines flight, you need some pretty ingenious ways of loading and unloading cars. There’s a reason why Transformers were invented in Japan.
The most common form of transporter is the flatbed truck. The most common form are ones that tilt back and turn the bed into a ramp, but there are others where the whole bed hydraulically lifts off of the chassis and lays flat on the ground. Then you can simply drive your car onto the bed without worrying about tearing off your chin spoiler on a sharp angle.
If you have a Toyota 2000GT, an enclosed transport is the only way to go. What do you think this is, the 405? A long, sturdy ramp is good insurance. You don’t want a million dollars of irreplaceable Aichi steel hinging on two flimsy planks.
If you brought a slew of minizoku scooters to the show but have only one butt to ride the, the solution is to just throw them into a cargo bed. The sides of the bed flip down for easy loading, but it probably still takes some upper body strength to heave a scooter three feet off the ground.
As we saw in Part 03, Isuzu brought out a couple of classics from the company’s own collection. With priceless museum pieces at stake, a large container truck is required. This unique type of transporter, called a “wing roof truck,” has massive gullwing doors on the container that open upward, allowing you to actually drive a car inside and not have to crawl through the window to get out. For some reason, it’s also a Mitsubishi Fuso. Awkward.
For those without Isuzu money but still have more than one car to carry, a double decker car carrier is the key. With a built-in ramp in the rear, you can see how this B110 Sunny was able to climb aboard, but how do you get a car onto the second story?
The answer is that the rear of the upper level can be lowered to allow a car to drive up. But what if the angle’s too steep? In that case, hydraulic lifts emerge from the chassis to lift up the truck itself! It sure looks precarious, but apparently the owner of a Fuji GC Minor Touring Cherry X-1 racer is confident in its stability.
To be continued…
We’ll have more New Year Meeting coverage coming up. In the meantime, in case you missed it, here’s Part 01 – Swap Meet, Part 02 – Club Scene, Part 03 — Isuzu and Hino, Part 04 — Aichi Steel, Part 05 — Nissan & Mitsubishi, Part 06 — Trucks, Wagons, and Kei Cars, and Part 07 — Motorbikes. Also, check out coverage from the 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 New Year Meetings.