VIDEO: Jay Leno drives a Hakotora

Jay Leno's Garage Nissan Sunny Truck Hakotora

When the Japanese builders at 09 Racing debuted their Hakotora at the 2013 Tokyo Auto Salon, it was easily one of the most talked-about cars at the show. The name comes from the blending of hakosuka and sanitora, the Japanese nicknames for the C10-generation Skyline and the B120 Sunny Truck, respectively. Who would’ve thought that one day, there’d be one driving around in Burbank with an SR20DET under the hood and Jay Leno behind the wheel?

Dominic Le Nissan Sunny Truck Hakotora

This particular car belongs to Dominic Le, who used a 1974 Sunny Truck as its base. Though we got the B110 generation Sunny in the US in the form of the Datsun 1200, we never received the unibody truck body style. It was, seemingly, sold everywhere else in the world, however, including South Africa until 2008.

The Sunny truck is still hugely popular in Japan, no longer as workhorses but as shakotan rods. It was only natural that someone would think to graft onto it one of the most iconic noses in Japanese automotive history (callbacks are a thing at the Auto Salon). But while it looks like this Sunny ute is wearing a hakosuka mask from the windshield forward, actually the entire front end was created from scratch by 09 Racing because of the size difference between the two cars.

Dominic’s Hakotora was a top 21 finalist at last fall’s Battle of the Builders at SEMA, where it caught the eye of Jay Leno. Watch as they visit Mr. Leno’s garage below:

Images: stills from video.

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22 Responses to VIDEO: Jay Leno drives a Hakotora

  1. Ant said:

    Love the way that looks. Pity that it doesn’t appear to drive quite as well – I’d have to find a solution to stop the driveshaft rubbing as it does during that drive.

  2. Mike Valencia said:

    Such an awesome unique car, I love it!

  3. Princeton said:

    Why is he speaking as if he/his shop did all the custom front end and dash details from scratch every time Jay Leno compliments it with no mention of 09 Racing? How annoying

  4. Scotty G said:

    A very, very rare OMG issued here! What a work of art – man is that thing beautiful! I’m speechless, for once..

  5. Nigel said:

    In South Africa, known as the Bakie… one with a Hako front end is very cool.

  6. Brandon said:

    These are great little Utes. Wish they were imported here. The US got 4wd Subaru Brats with rear facing seats and ski pole grips, wtf?

    And who cares if it’s not sorted, most of our cars aren’t perfect which is ok. Leno asked him to be on the show not the other way around. Jay looks so cramped in that cab, he could suck his own d.

    The driveshaft would drive me crazy but would be a great deterrent from me burying that tiny pedal to the floor and burning those pretty stencils off.

    • Ant said:

      While I agree that it’s still great to see the car whether it’s finished or not, it’s slightly frustrating to see a car that looks so great and then realise it probably doesn’t drive that great.

      Leaves a nasty taste of being cobbled together for style alone – which is fine for some, but cars like this are always more appealing if they’re as functional as they are great to look at. Driveshafts and tyres grinding away at their respective contact points is one of those things you ideally want to get right before someone puts pedal to metal…

    • Yoda said:

      I agree, it’s pretty cramped in there. Nissan really should’ve used the long doors from the two-door sedan all along.

  7. Matt Thomas said:

    What’s with all the criticism? When Jay Leno calls.. you drop everything and just do it. I’m sure the owner will sort out all the minor issues in time. Congrats to the owner,

    • wantyerknobbies said:

      No you don’t. Not unless you’re a panderer. We’ve gotten this far as a community without mainstream pr. plus leno’s interviews are lackluster at best. notice he asks same questions multiple times

  8. Dnicle said:

    Sorry about the Driveshaft noise everyone. 2 days before the filming I did made a ton of adjustments for the extra weight on the car. I tested the drive with a buddy and everything seem fine with no tires rubbing or driveshaft hitting the exhaust bracket. I also made the shocks a bit softer to handle the bumpy LA roads and raised the car an extra 2 inches. But during filming every time boost kicked in the rear end would dipped more than what I had planned for. Instead of asking the producer or bitch about editing it out I left it in there to show that it was a built car and things happen (#DATSUNPROBLEMS). On the 09racing credit parts. So much was edit out and I was told not to drop names since I didn’t represent those companies. I did place the 09 racing decal in the middle of Jay and I so it would get the most camera time. To be honest, I think the best part about the whole video are the problems, It was a car we built from the ground up in 2 months to make it for the SEMA show. In my wildest dream would I have thought it got this much attention. Thanks for all the comments, good or bad. PS she drives fine now even with a heavier person.

    • G.M said:

      You have had to do some much damage control and defending of your self since this video aired…..I want to compliment you on a cool build. Obviously very rare and unique. I challenge anyone here to post the link to an episode of Jay Leno’s garage where the owner credits the shop who did the work…. MAYBE the one with the Outlaw Porsche, since it’s literally the shop owner doing the video. The guy with the RX-2 makes no mention, “Fluffy’s” VW Bus… no mention of shop who did restoration. They are on there to showcase the vehicle, not the shop. FOR CHRIST’S SAKE…Leno has his own mechanics…he never brings them on for praise.

      There is barely a car on this website’s forum, and others, that comes even close the level of build you have done. Keep up the good work, and don’t sweat the internet haters and the hipsters with Rotas on their daddy’s 280zx.

      • Savant said:

        That was a Rx3 actually and I did mention JRX Rotary did the build of my car….. I don’t see the issue wether or not the owner chooses to mention who helped with their car!!!

    • Dylan said:

      Every car has its own minor problems after a restoration, or all out custom build such as the one you’ve built. I’m glad you kept them in the video instead of editing them out. Big creds to you and your beautiful pickup!

    • john said:

      you cant see the 09racing decal at all. also all you had to say was it was kit. how hard would that have been? and on top of everything, now you’re saying Jay is a huge fat ass. and seriously, 15 minutes to raise the car up and stiffen the suspension a bit and you’d only be defending why you made it sound like you made the by yourself and not the rubbing issues as well. i want to say congrats, but you burned so many people on this it’s just sad.

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