Long-time readers of JNC need no introduction to the cars of Seibu Keisatsu. Japan’s most popular cop show, which aired form 1979-1984, was sponsored by Nissan and starred several customized law enforcement vehicles that are as instantly recognizable to Japanese people as the Knight Rider Firebird or the A-Team GMC van is to Americans. Recently, several well-preserved examples of these cars returned temporarily to Nissan’s care for a photo shoot at the Zama warehouse.
Seibu Keisatsu (translated roughly to “Western Police Division”) followed the exploits of Sergeant Keisuke Daimon of west Tokyo’s police department and his special team of lawmen. The show was packed with shootouts, explosions, and car chases, but several examples of its hero cars have survived and remain well-preserved today.
The cars are typically kept by Ishihara Productions, the company responsible for making Seibu Keisatsu. But, when Japan’s Motor Magazine recently decided to create special issue devoted to the program, they gathered the cars at the site of Nissan’s collection of 400-plus historic cars. This is why, at 1:22 in the video, you have the somewhat surreal scene of the Seibu Keisatsu cars next to the Nissan Bluebird 510 SSS that won the West African Safari Rally. For similar effect, imagine the sight of KITT parked alongside Marvin Panch’s Daytona 500-winning 1960 Pontiac Catalina at GM’s Warren, Michigan Tech Center.
The cars featured in the book include the KHGC211 Skyline Japan 2000 Turbo GT-E, code named “Machine X” in the show, a Nissan Safari 4WD that doubled as a surveillance vehicle and a riot control van outfitted with powerful water cannons, and a custom S110 Nissan Gazelle 2000XE-II convertible driven by the police superintendent.
The show also famously had four DR30 Skylines, first a single “Machine RS” surveillance vehicle and later succeeded by a trio called “Machine RS-1,” Machine RS-2,” and “Machine RS-3.” Only RS-1, the battle command vehicle, and RS-3, the surveillance vehicle, were present. Of course, there was also Sgt. Daimon’s own gull-winged black and gold S130 Fairlady Z with hood-mounted tear gas launchers.
The book additionally includes details about the Suzuki GSX1100X Katana and Katana R used in the show, as well as interviews with some cast members and the team who assembled the vehicles for the show. Additionally, if you’re in Japan, the book is on sale now for ¥2,980 (approx. $28 USD).
For more about Seibu Keisatsu, check some of our old posts about it, our tour of Osaka in a Machine RS replica, and the many show clips we’ve posted over the years (many of these videos have since been taken down, but the screenshots are still there).