QotW: What’s your favorite Japanese truck?

Today, October 9, is Truck Day in Japan. Like many such days, the occasion is a pun on the word toraku, which means “truck” in Japanese. The syllables to and raku are alternate pronunciations of 10 and 9, respectively. While the holiday was started by the Japan Trucking Association, established in 1954 to promote the interests of cargo haulers, it’s not a stretch to include pickups, kei trucks, vans, and other workhorses from Japan’s long history of trucks.

What’s your favorite Japanese truck?

The most entertaining comment by next Monday will receive a prize. Scroll down to see the winner of last week’s QotW, “Do you give your cars names and, if so, what are they?“.

There were way too many car names to list them all here, but we did have our favorites. Some names were a twist on the car’s actual name, like Micky, Banzai‘s 1975 Chevy LUV Mikado, or Max, Land Ark‘s J30 Maxima. Other names came from the car’s personality, like Green Monster, Lakdasa‘s hillclimb Suzuki, or Jiggy, Ian G.‘s autocrosser MR2.

Some of our favorites included Red Two, Randy Hone‘s Toyota MR2, and we can’t think of a car more fitting for a Star Wars call sign. Luigi, Socarboy‘s Suzuki SX4, gave us a good chuckle, as the car is really a rebadged Fiat. We’re not sure if that was a reference to Mario’s bro, but the winner this week was Paul Markie and his extensive list of video game character-inspired car names:

Yes, I name my cars. I adopted a tradition of naming them after female video game characters probably sometime in the late 1990’s. Here’s the list from most recent to distant past:

1976 Datsun 280Z: Samus Aran, from Metroid, since she is 110 red and a true classic.
2018 Subaru WRX: Aloy, from Horizon Zero Dawn. A very tech laden car.
2015 Subaru Forester: Sheeva, from Mortal Kombat
2013 Ford Focus Titanium: Sonya, from MK
2009 Nissan 370Z: Sindel, from MK
2002 Subaru Impreza WRX Wagon: Millena, from MK
2002 Subaru Impreza WRX sedan: Kitana, from MK, she was World Rally Blue.
1992 Subaru Legacy: Jade, from MK, she was green, so this name fit, and was the start of the video game naming tradition.
1987 Ford Thunderbird: the Thunderturd, aka BWDPODS (Big White Dehydrated Piece of Dog S***). Hands down the worst car I ever owned. One friend called it the Millennium Falcon, but calling it that would be an insult to Star Wars.
1986 Toyota Camry: Old Faithful, due to the fact the exhaust would fail every 30k miles
1976 Monte Carlo: The Beast. Named by a former hs girlfriend and it stuck. Pretty big and imposing as well, so I guess the name fit.
1983 Datsun/Nissan 810 Maxima: Identity Crisis. She couldn’t decide whether to be a luxury sedan, 4 door sports car with the heart of the Z, and even the factory had a hard time picking one name.

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10 Responses to QotW: What’s your favorite Japanese truck?

  1. Fred Langille says:

    My favorite truck is fairly obvious … the Nissan S-Cargo! Although it is down for a bit to get needed repairs in order to pass inspection, it is a tough, useful cargo van that has come in handy many times. SYNARA (my name for it … my ’72 Honda Z600 Coupe had that on it’s Arizona plate and, it’s now on the S-Cargo’s West Virginia plate), has done double duty as a van and show car. When picking up a tool cabinet for my garage, it was the only vehicle to handle it. It has hauled other things as well … including 10 trophies home from shows and parades. SYNARA has been the first commercial type vehicle I have ever had (I even have a bumper sticker on the rear that says “Not A Commercial Vehicle” in English AND Japanese!
    When it’s showtime, All my wife and I need to do is get in and drive to the venue as we keep all of the necessary detailing and show gear in the cargo area. Although it really isn’t good on gas due to it’s shape and 7 gallon tank, I get more smiles-per-gallon than any other JDM type I have seen, even if many judges don’t understand it. The fact that it has earned To-50 to Top 20 plus, Best Import, People’s Choice, Most Unusual and other trophies plus getting featured in a car magazine (OK, so it’s Truck Roundup … loaded with cars or, in this case, trucks, for sale … MY tiny, van mad it into a magazine and yours didn’t!). For all of its past needs (we made it to the USA from Canada with some deficiencies but, was tough enough to do so. Now he needs some more work to get truly finished. Work and expense that we are happy to do … letting SYNARA rest while we update him so, the smiles keep coming, is our priority now for our most-favored truck!

  2. Taylor C. says:

    With or without all the recent nostalgia craze, I’ve always been a fan of those old Nissan D21 Hardbody trucks. It has a slightly more chiseled shaped than the Toyota truck. When I saw and heard the term “King Cab,” I thought that was one of the baddest configurations to say and see. “Dude, look at that King Cab!, that’s RAD.” Make mine the dark red SE 4X4 with the fender flares, the 90s decals, and the triangular pattern wheels that Nissan has resurrected. Make it manual obviously,

  3. Art says:

    Without any doubt I would say the Mazda Porter Cab!

    Both the first and second generation have a cab over design where the front is rounded off. The first generation has huge round headlight bezels which make it look like it has puppy eyes. The second generation has has a similar design, but the bezel for this generation is square and this makes it look like a panda. Both have an air vent shaped like a mouth that’s making it look like a sulky pout. As the headlights are mounted somewhere on one-third of this arch, it appears as if its looking up to its master after it did something wrong. If it has such a face, what isn’t there to love about this little truck?

  4. Alan says:

    Toyota’s mythical Dyna 200 High Mobility Vehicle.

    Imagine a 4-door COE body with a drop side bed atop a Mega Cruiser body — four-wheel steering, triple locking diffs, central tire inflation, portal axles, 15B-FTE, the whole shebang. A factory Dakar homologation truck, in essence.

    Countless hours of research have produced nothing beyond a few enigmatic factory brochure images, and I can only speculate that fewer than few were ever built, likely by hand, painstakingly and slowly, in some unused corner of an unknown Toyota factory staffed by an elite, bearded team of ancient assembly line workers.

    F A S C I N A T I N G

  5. Alan says:

    Gar! “Atop a Mega Cruise chassis”.

  6. Dave Patten says:

    1966 Datsun V520 Van with single headlights. Never sold in North America.

    The “Van” name is a little misleading, as it conjures up images of a box. The reality is it looks more like a 2d station wagon, similar in styling to a Chevy Nomad. The 520 Van uses the nose and doors from the 520 pick-up, but with a full length station wagon style body. I has sliding rear side windows for the backseat passengers, when the rear seat isn’t folded down for added cargo space.

    Often confused as a version of the 410/411 Bluebird Wagon, but the Van is a truck using the 520 truck chassis and driveline. 1300cc J13 engine with a 4 speed and 4.875 rear end gears. No speed demon, but it was never intended to be.

  7. エーイダン says:

    Toyota Hilux. The favourite of construction companies, farmers and armed militias the world over. Durable drivetrain, virtually impossible to kill one, as. Top gear proved that one quite well.

  8. RX626 says:

    “Geijyutsumaru” is a legendary dekotora owned by a custom truck paint artist named Sekiguchi Kougei. That’s my favorite japanese truck.

    If the Fuso posted in this article, “Ichibanboshi”, is a legend of dekotora from the Showa era, Geijyutsumaru was a legend from the Heisei era.

    This truck appeared in various Japanese works during the Heisei era, including video games, movies, and TV shows, and captivated us Dekotora fans with its beauty.

    This video is a clip from the Japanese movie “Super no Onna” starring Geijyutsumaru.
    You can see just how symbolic this art truck was as it drove through the city at night.

  9. Lakdasa says:

    “Mitsubishi Fuso Fighter” what a name? Also the Isuzu TX series trucks. Interestingly I would say the Nissan 4W73 or the Jonga that was spawned in India as a licensed product for their Military. Old school 4wd truck.

  10. GeorgeL says:

    Absolutely the Nissan Sunny truck, second generation. The 2nd-gen Sunny has some of the classic lines of the Hakosuka Skyline and the Bluebird of the era, but in a simpler package. I also love the coupe utility body style. Stock or modified, it is a great looking vehicle that has a friendly face and makes people smile. Having owned one myself, this was a bucket list car for me and I loved every minute of it.

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