This next tip comes from David who writes: Ach zo! – hey you need to lay ocular orbs on this Nippon spacecraft: I lived in a Japanese town once upon a time known for its retired Yakuza (look for the missing pinkie finger) and a burgeoning subculture of Bosozoku numbnuts who liked to ride around in motorcycle gangs and block the roundabouts. Oh the stories I could tell. Anyway, this van was very much the style of the Yakuza’s son or wealthy Bosozoku who wanted to flex. As I cycled through the photos I had no idea that there was a door to a WC … Find this 1993 Toyota HiAce offered for $14,850 in Oldsmar, FL via facebonzai marketzuck.
he Suzuki Cappuccino was introduced for the 1987 model year as an attempt to add some sportiness to the Suzuki lineup in native Japan. In a photograph it looks like a Mazda Miata competitor, but with a total length of only 129 inches and a 1598 lb curb weight, the Cappuccino was closer to a go-kart and it conformed to Japan’s Kei (Keijidosha light car) regulations that gave buyers a tax break and easier license/insurance requirements. The pint sized cup of Japanese coffee was never sold in North America, but a few made it across the pond and into the wilds of the US car market. Find this 1992 Suzuki Cappuccino offered for $11,000 in Clifton, TX via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The Honda Beat might not be the first car styled by Pininfarina to be featured on Daily Turismo…in fact, it is the second Pinin car featured today, but it does have the dubious crown of being the smallest car to ever come from the legendary Turin based design house (at just under 11 feet long). Today’s Beat is covered with some crazy looking anime wrap, but it can be removed to expose decent looking red paint. Find this 1991 Honda Beat offered for $9,999 in Pittsburg, PA via craiglist. Tip from Rock On!
I saw this next can and a little earworm immediately jumped into my head. And her name is G…L…O…R…IiiiiA…GLORIA…I wanna shout it ev’ry night (GLORIA!). Oh man. If I owned this car, I don’t think the cassette player would have anything other than Van Morrison’s single GLORIA stuck on repeat 24-7 at top volume. Makin’ me feel so good, huh, Make me feel all right, huh! I don’t think my wife or kids would want to ride in this car with me…mmmm…that’s just a bonus, I guess. Find this 1995 Nissan Gloria Gran Turismo bidding for $4000 on cars&bids with a few hours to go.
Happy Pi Day to all the true Pi-day adherents, I won’t get started on those wacky Pi-approximatists who celebrate on July 22 (heathens & heretics the lot of them!!), but I will explain what this next car has to do with 3.14. There is an expression about being American as apple pie, so I have to assume that there is an equivalent expression about something being as Japanese as a pie. Probably not apple pie, in fact the pie is probably fish flavored or one of those delicious okonomiyaki pancakes…so this next car is as Japanese as okonomiyaki. Which is essentially pie…a synonym for pi…wait I don’t have to justify myself to you non-pi day plebeians…I’m going to go eat some pi…or…err…pie now. Find this 1995 Mitsubishi FTO GPX offered for $8950 in Bend, OR via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
This next Previa looks so familiar at first glance, but falls apart under scrutiny. What’s up with those headlights? Is that wing stock? Why is it so narrow and skinny? Why are the bumpers so trim and tight to the body? Why does it have a postal truck backup mirror and a bumper mounted parking pole? The engine starts with the glack-glack sound of a turbo diesel 4-cylinder? White curtains and seat cover doilies? But the steering wheel on the right side is what gives it away — this is a sweet Japanese Domestic Market version of the Previa, known as the Estima Lucida and it comes with Lexus rims, a 3C 2.2 liter turbo-diesel, 4-wheel-drive and a manual gearbox. Looks like fun. Find this 1993 Toyota Estima Lucida offered for $13,890 in Canton, GA via eBay.
Kawaii is not a Hawaiian Island — it is the Japanese word for what is known as the culture of cuteness. Rainbows, Hello Kitty accessories, and childlike aesthetics is the rule, and I won’t go into the details or controversy around kawaii, other than to say that is quite strange to descendants of uptight Westerners like myself…but if you were into that kinda thing, I can’t imagine a better car to go with your Pikachu fishnet stockings and miniature backpack than one of the retro Pike cars (Pao, S-Cargo, Figaro, Be-1, K10-Micra) from Nissan 90s catalog. This next one has some rust, but you could probably get someone to fix the rockers and keep this thing alive. Find this 1991 Nissan Figaro offered for $7,500 in Athens, GA via craigslist. Tip from Rock On!
The Honda Beat might not be the prettiest car to be styled by Pininfarina, or even the coolest mid-engine Pinin, or the most affordable with styling by the Young One (and his successors), but it is the smallest car to come from legendary design house. Regardless, they were never sold new in the USA and driving one will get you smiles and front row valet parking wherever you go. Find this 1991 Honda Beat offered for $6,500 in Seminary, MS via craigslist. Tip from Rramjet.
Toyota started using the Century name way back in 1967 on a V8 powered luxury liner that was based on the Crown Eight. The same basic design continued in production through 1997..yes…a staggering 30 year production run. Imagine if you could buy the same Tesla Model S that you see in the showroom today in 2042…actually, that is looking like a good probability. But nobody wants a used electric car, so save your money and buy this 1992 Toyota Century offered for $13,500 in Gaithersburg, MD via craigslist.
In the world of strange car names, this next feature is a doozy. It is a Honda (that looks like a Toyota to my eyes) that is inexplicably called the “Today Humming.” I don’t know what to say. Today Humming, tomorrow Life Dunk…that would be my ideal car stable. Throw in a King Midget for good measure and I’ll be driving my Mazda Proceed Marvie home now. Anyway, today’s Honda Today Humming is equipped with all-wheel-drive and a 660cc 3-cylinder engine and all the JDM right-hand-drive Kei-hatch style you need. Find this 1995 Honda Today Humming offered for $7,400 in Dallas, TX via craigslist. Tip from Brad.