Japan obsession with cuteness even trickles down to their cars. Look, for example, at the Suzuki Twin we spotted the other day in Yokohama, leading us to wonder:
What’s the cutest JNC you ever did see?
The Twin got its name from the fact that it was a two-seater and that, as the first hybrid kei, it had two propulsion methods. Though it looks like it could hail from the early 90s it’s not nostalgic at all, with production starting in 2003. It was so bad that Suzuki killed it after two years and moving a little over 10,000 units. But it sure is cute!
What say you, dear reader? As always, the most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a toy. Click through to see the winner of the last QotW, “What’s one thing a JNCer must do in Japan?”
The winner this week is KPGC10-001218, who eschewed all the talk of museums and car shows and went straight to this (which proves true no matter where in the world you are):
What you *must* do is try to meet and converse with ( Japanese ) kindred spirits. Have a piece of paper ( or a table cloth ) and a pencil handy if you don’t speak Japanese. Old cars come alive through their owners. You just might learn as much about yourself as anything else, and you might just make a friend for life…
Omedetou, Your comment has earned you a rare Hot Wheels x JNC Super Speeders mystery pack Mazda RX-7!
The Nissan Figaro deserves to win this contest. It is the 90s retro-interpretation of 60s design well before the New Beetle and Mini Cooper popularized retro style in auto design. Granted performance was pretty lackluster, but it just screams cute when you look at it. Just imagine putting the top down and puttering along with you lady or guy at an adequate speed.
These little rascals pack a huge punch if modded and driven correctly. Seeing one on the tougé brought out a lot skepticism, but its done the job right. Plus its one of the cars in INITIAL D.
Although these guys are small in stature and very nostalgic, these cute little runners are sleepers that most JNC’s laugh about. I’m pointing at YOU AE86… shame on you.
Mazda AZ-1. True Gullwing door styling a-la Mercedes 300SL, at a fraction of the price!!
I remember it like it was yesterday. Z-Con10, on the grounds of Nissan Headquarters, there she was, sitting on a small hill, her cuteness was as sweet as cotton candy. Her name was Figaro, Nissan Figaro, we spent quite some time together just day-dreaming of our future together. How could you forget those eyes?, that smile? So petite, curves everywhere, and that wonderful revealing top! Yes, I have been in lust (love) with this cutie for quite some time. We will never be together, but I still have her photograph.
I’m so glad you enjoyed your time with the Figaro. It was my pleasure to bring her out. The two of you could be together, if only for a day. We always list the Figaro as one of our rally cars for our annual fundraiser, Rally for the Lane.
Ok,lets just bypass Paul Walkers death,i thought you guys would atleast put up a photo of him in the hakosuka,cmon guys, rip Paul Walker. I know hes known more for driving new cars but hes done alot for bringing the japanede car culture to America’s attention, geez
there is nothing cute about this comment.
And…. the car?
This is technically not a JNC (<25 y.o.), but it's absolutely the cutest car I know: the Nissan S-Cargo. A product of Nissan's illustrious "Pike Factory," imho it's the most creative take on the whole retro thing. And it totally preceded the modern retro trend. Mini Clubman has NOTHING on this car. Everything small business–pizza delivery, flower delivery, ice scream truck–should have had one of these. I see one occasionally being offered by this import dealer in Vancouver, and I always covet it (not sure how easy it would be to register here though). Other Pike Factory cars are pretty awesome as well, but I think this is the cutest and coolest.
A Honda city turbo ll with a motocompo scooter in the back is comparable to a baby giggling hysterically non-stop
I agree with this 100%.
Complete with rattles. 😉
i think they were staring at a choro-Q toy one day and one said “wait i have an idea” lol
Yes, couldn’t agree more 😀
my choice is the OG suzuki samurai convertible. sure it was a death trap what with it’s tendencies to flip over when making high speed maneuvers but it also kinda looked like an fj and a jeep had a secret love child too. it was light weight, rugged (ish), simple to work on, and had a real deal 4wd transfer case with low gear. i’m not with all that cutesy rounded bubble looking kei cars, a teeny tiny 4wd though is right up my alley.
I think the wee little 1960 Mazda R360 is the cutest car I ever did see. The stubby little body, bubble top, shiny domed hubcaps and little round headlights that say “harōwārudo!” just make me want to smile when I see one. A dinky 16 hp engine tops it off to give it just enough speed and a cute puffing exhaust sound as it chugs along the back roads of Nihon.
Definitely not a JNC so I’m out of this one, but I mean really, the clear winner here in any situation is the Mazda 3 and MX-5.
Look at these cute bastards! They just scream “DRIVE ME! PLEASE PICK ME PICK ME PICK ME OOOOOOOOOOOOOO”
These are cars that greet you in the morning without having to say a word.
Those happy faces brought a smile to mine!
While it’s on the border of classic status, I’ll go with the Geo Metro Convertible. It was made in the Suzuki plant in Japan, rather than in the CAMI plant in Canada like the rest of the 90+ Metros, so it does qualify as fully Japanese. It’s tiny and a bit jellybean like with it’s rounded shapes and bright, candy colors. It’s not a car that anyone takes too seriously, yet it does have an endearing charm to it. The three cylinder engine has a personality all it’s own and how it runs is very dependent on what mood it is in (or at least the outside temperature and humidity). The seats even have color keyed piping to match the exterior color on some cars. It’s easy to park and inexpensive to run on a daily basis, making it the perfect little city car for those who want something with a bit more character than a normal car, but don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on financing.
As usual I’m going to come in with a weird suggestion and in fact a very specific one too.
Nakazoto’s Mitsubishi 360 Van.
Already these things are button cute and quite attractive for what is in fact a utility vehicle. But then you add in the story to that car in particular. Finding it amongst the bushes, abandoned in a field and dragging it home and lovingly breathing life back into every single piece of it. It’s the story itself that won my heart, the fact that someone could put so much effort and passion into such an obscure car.
Is it weird that I’m crushing on another dude’s car?
Thank you so much for the compliments!
I can’t wait to get back to Texas in a few days and see her again! Expect updates on the thread over Christmas break.
I’m amazed people can narrow it down to just one car. There’s too many contenders for me to think of…
For me it’s the Toyota Sports800. It’s like Zooey Deschanel on wheels!
I see the Figaro has already been mentioned twice, and it was the first of two cars (the other being the Toyota Sports 800, of course) to drive into my mind when I read the QotW. Between the two, the Figaro just edges out the Yotahachi, and here’s why:
I’ve been graced with the opportunity to drive a lot of cars during my life on this planet. From rusty old Chevrolets and Hondas, to Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Jaguars, Mercedes, and most of the Porsches in town. Originals, restored, brand new, and race cars. And then there’s my work at the museum. 😉
When I drive such cars, guys pull up alongside on the highway or at stop lights, and give a thumbs up or compliment the muscle car, exotic car, or just plain weird car I’m driving that day. But when I drive the Figaro, it’s women who stop me and gush about the cute car I’m driving. Really attractive women. Constantly. Trust me guys, it works better than a puppy. And you don’t have to worry about the Figaro wetting the living room carpet or chewing up your good shoes.
My bid is for the Suzuki Cervo. The first time I laid eyes on this was walking my beat 3 years ago in Shikoku. Nihama City to be exact. I caught the rear quarter glass first thinking it was some strange 240z. As I got close, I realized it was quite small and nowhere near the proportions of a Z. The best way I can describe it is a Power Wheels that was meant to get “close enough” to a Z. Worse yet, the best it could do in HP was 37! Still, I had to give it to Suzuki for making a 2 seater that, if more than one person was in the car, couldn’t break the 100 km barrier.
I would have to vote for the Mazda Porter cab:
If you don’t see it instantly: squint your eyes and you will clearly see why!
It is small, nimble, can haul a decent stack of groceries and probably a real chick magnet to attract Japanese girls who scream kawaii when you pass them…
Not only is it overly cute, with a little help from accessories you can make it look any way you like it to. The following picture was used for the famous “this makes me very sad Mazda” meme:
I bet it can’t get cuter than this!
My demands go for the Subaru 360…..also known as the “Ladybug”
I may be biased, but my vote is for whats sitting in my driveway 🙂
1982 Daihatsu L55 Handivan, 550cc 2 Cylinder and rolling on 10″ Volk meshies 😛
It’s cute in a busu-kawaii way. Not sure if it classifies as a JNC though