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 Post subject: Book Review – Japanese Showcars 1 (1954-1969)
PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:06 am 

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:26 pm
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Location: Croydon
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to step back in time and attend, not the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, but step back and see the debut of the Toyopet Crown, Honda S500, or Mazda Famila Coupe ? Or pretty one-offs that never made production, like the Prince 1900 Sprint or Isuzu Bellet 1600MX ?
Well, this book is perhaps the next best thing. It’s basically a series of entries on selected cars shown at each year’s Tokyo Motor Show, with photos and information for each one. What’s really handy for western fans is that most of the information is English translation, as well as Japanese. (Frustratingly, the translation omits some detail, but most of the information is there I think).

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It is a great sweep through the formative period of Japanese car-making history, reminding one of the achievements of now-gone makes such as Ohta, Hino and Isuzu, and giving a clear sense of development from local assembly of foreign models in the fifties to original and forward-looking designs in the sixties.
The cars shown are a mix of production debuts, blue-sky concepts, and perhaps most intriguing, the ones that got away – the might-have-beens that never made production, yet appear tantalisingly plausible in the photographs. The ’63 Toyopet Corona Sport Coupe and ’66 Daihatsu Sport are perhaps my favourites of these.

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Higher res: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/YFB7SejebRHL_Xlx8Zq_cw?feat=directlink

Obviously with such a book, you learn a little about many cars rather than getting any detailed insight into one or two. In particular, you see the cars but not why they were designed, how they fitted into each company’s strategy at the time. However, the sheer range of cars featured, including many rare and obscure models, makes it a delight to read and well worth the reasonable Y1200 price.

Japanese Showcars 1 Tokyo Motor Show 1954~1969
143 pages
ISBN4-544-91032-3


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:34 am 
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does vol. 1 cover the 1969 mitsubishi gtx4?


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 11:55 am 
Mild Cam
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I'll be looking forward to volume 2, as I'm more interested in '70s-'80s cars, but at the price, this wiill be an invaluable resource for learning about Japanese cars. :tu: Where did you buy your copy?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:22 pm 

Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 4:26 pm
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Location: Croydon
I think the later volumes are already out, I just didn't realise how good it was in the shop - should have picked up the set really! Will have to try and get the rest next time I'm in Japan.

I got mine at Maruzen in Tokyo I'm afraid, so no easy outlets that I know of (and a quick google doesn't suggest any).

I can't see any GTX4. However it does include the '69 Mitsubishi Colt Galant GTX-1:
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Full res: http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/mxYD0TQk0qcZzInhB9TkfQ?feat=directlink


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 1:55 pm 
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Nice find! And from what I found there are 4 volumes printed from 2006-2007:

http://toyotageek.xanga.com/636087257/new-stuff/

I'm going to have to find one and see if my 70 Laurel is in it.

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 7:13 pm 

Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2007 9:26 am
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Location: Midwest, USA
Search "日本のショーカー"

Amazon Japan has it:
http://www.amazon.co.jp/%E6%97%A5%E6%9C ... 4544910323
They ship to the US and you can toggle the page over to English.

And Nigensha:
http://www.nigensha.co.jp/auto/bk_info. ... 01&INF=858

And Rakuten:
http://books.rakuten.co.jp/rb/%E6%97%A5 ... m/4167593/

I searched images for the same keyword, and the Volume 2 cover has the Isuzu Bellett MX1600 II and Volume 4 cover has the Isuzu Como.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:02 pm 
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Very cool reading material, a good source of info too. :tu:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:38 pm 
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It's GREAT that at least some of it is in English :D

The second volume, 70-80 is less interesting. It seems that for most of that decade, JDM showcars all started to sport weird ugly bumpers in the chase to design a "safety car". Except for a few concepts with blue shag upholstery and gullwing doors, it's not that interesting :lol:

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 09, 2011 10:47 pm 
Mild Cam
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kev wrote:
blue shag upholstery


sign me up

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:01 pm 
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KC30 wrote:
Nice find! And from what I found there are 4 volumes printed from 2006-2007:

http://toyotageek.xanga.com/636087257/new-stuff/

I'm going to have to find one and see if my 70 Laurel is in it.


Thank you! :wink:

If you have a Kinokuniya or Sanseido book store near you, you should be able to order them. Here is the info on the books...

Japanese Showcars 1 - Tokyo Motor Show 1954 ~ 1969
printed November 26 2006 - ISBN 4-544-91032-3

Japanese Showcars 2 - Tokyo Motor Show 1970s
printed April 26 2007 - ISBN 978-4-544-91033-9

Japanese Showcars 3 - Tokyo Motor Show 1980s
printed October 26 2007 - ISBN 978-4-544-91037-7

Japanese Showcars 4 - Tokyo Motor Show 1990s
printed November 10 2007 - ISBN 978-4-544-91039-1

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 14, 2011 5:11 pm 
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I need this NOW. Unfortunately $36 shipping for a $15 book its a little out of my price range at the moment.

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