VIDEO: Even when skies are gray in 1970s Tokyo, the cars shine

Most of us probably try to avoid driving our 1970s JNCs in the rain. But decades ago, in 1970s Tokyo, streets teemed with yet-to-be-nostalgic cars, even during a downpour. Bluebirds, Celicas, Savannas, Crowns, Sambars, Skylines, and even a few examples of Detroit Iron packed the city. It’s a glorious sight to behold. 

This footage from the Kino Library was discovered by reader Toyotageek after viewing the Goodnight Tokyo short film from 1992. It begins with umbrella-toting commuters walking through Shimbashi Station during a rainstorm. A Corona Mark II taxi enters the frame, followed by a Cedric. Suddenly, the camera flips around, shooting down what looks to be old Sotobori Street towards the Nakagin Capsule Tower, capturing an explosion of Nihon Steel swarming the avenues. Talk about a JNC overload!

Our favorite part comes at 3:03, filmed in what looks to be Ginza. A beautiful Mazda RX-3 pulls up next to a 610 Bluebird, while on the other side of the street a Celica Liftback waits by the curb between a Ford Granada and an A-body Buick Regal. We can’t help but wonder if any of these cars survive today.

Thanks to Toyotageek for the tip!

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8 Responses to VIDEO: Even when skies are gray in 1970s Tokyo, the cars shine

  1. Ian N said:

    Looks to be from a “Shell Films Unit” shoot for a doco on natural gas.

    At 2.18 a green Diahatsu 360 two-stroke van comes into frame next to an orange truck. I drove one exactly like that van, back in the 1990s.

    Great footage!

  2. Needs some score, maybe some Lalo Schifrin. Try this:

  3. Toyotageek said:

    Ben, if you really want to get nostalgic, check out this video from 1958 and see how many cars you can ID. 🙂

    • Ben Hsu said:

      Cool video! There’s lots Crowns and Datsun 210s, some Fuji Rabbits, a Nissan Junior, Isuzu bus, and lots i don’t recognize! I especially like the 3-wheelers.

  4. Jim Simspson said:

    Well that was 6 minutes well spent… very cool

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