SHOWA SNAP: A Toyota police car pulls over a Datsun, 1965

Like many cities around the world, traffic has died down dramatically due to stay-at-home advisories stemming from the coronavirus pandemic. Tokyo’s Shuto Expressway has seen a 60 percent drop in traffic, meaning it probably has not been this traffic-free since its early days in the 1960s. In this 1965 photo it was so traffic-free, in fact, that a Toyota Crown police car was able to pull over a 310 Bluebird driver, blocking off an entire lane during daytime hours on the famously narrow Shuto. Other vehicles include the ubiquitous Crowns and Cedrics, but also a 1960 Chevy Impala.

Image: eBay

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5 Responses to SHOWA SNAP: A Toyota police car pulls over a Datsun, 1965

  1. Troy said:

    In Japan, before there was Japanese car culture, there was American car culture…

  2. MWC said:

    “All these other cars on the road and you had to pick me….”

  3. Ian N said:

    The ol’ Datsun might’ve broken down.

  4. MikeRL411 said:

    When the Shuto first opened the speed limit was 60 KPH. A blazing 35 MPH. My 55 Chevy Bel Aire didn’t have any problem keeping up with traffic.

  5. Negishi no Keibajo said:

    Going down the Shuto from Yokohama in a Nissan Cedric or Toyopet to the old Sanno Hotel was a monthly ritual for my family. The corner by the US Embassy in Tameike-Sanno had a huge yellow bulldozer prop on the roof of a nearby building. The adjacent canals still had barges with people living in them. An unfortunate aspect was the pollution as you can see from the photo. The smog from from the Kawasaki industrial area was really bad. The air is so clean now it’s unrecognizable. The have really cleaned it up. A lot of the canals have been filled in for roads. You can still tell where they were by the bridges over pavement in the middle of nowhere.

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