October 04, 2014 @ 12:18 AM

Friday Fives: Most beautiful Japanese cars of the 60s and 70s

CAR Malaysia takes a look at the striking cars that rolled out of Japanese factories in the 60s and 70s! By Arvind Kumar

While Japanese cars in the early 60s were mostly known for being boxy and an economical mean of transport, there were still a few beauties that managed to slip past the company accountants to etch their name in history. 
Here’s CAR’s list of the five most beautiful Japanese cars of that decade.
5: Mitsubishi Galant GTO
Produced right at the end of 1970, the Galant GTO was Mitsubishi’s ultimate expression of a 2-door hardtop. Echoes of the then famous Ford Mustang can be traced all over the GTO’s brawny sheet metal. Designed by Hiroaki Kamisago, the Galant GTO was powered by a 2.0-litre inline four; the top trump form with power going to either a three speed auto, or four and five speed manuals. The Galant GTO stayed in production till 1977.

Photo source: Mytho88
4:   Datsun 240Z
Launched in 1969 and staying in production till 1978. The 240Z, or otherwise known as the Nissan Fairlady Z, still sports a nameplate that stands till today. Front engined with a 2.4-litre inline-six powering the rear wheels. Mr. Yoshihiko Matsuo was responsible for the timeless designed that continues to have a healthy following of fans and tuners till the present day. There’s little doubt those barrelled front wings and slinky silhouette can’t still grab a second gander today.

3: Honda S600
It’s hard to believe Honda designed a car like this in 1966. This zesty and downright cute sportster only weighed a meagre 715kg and was the successor to Honda S500 model. The car is offered either as 2-door roadster or coupe. A short three-year production lifespan produced only a smidge over 13,000 vehicles which garnered the H-badged car high regard and demand all over the world. Imagine driving past this car in your Honda Civic...

Photo source: Rich Niewiroski Jr.
2: Mazda Cosmo
Launched as ‘halo’ car to showcase Mazda’s building prowess. The Mazda Cosmo certainly looks like it should have rolled out of Lotus’ Hethel factory, beside the Lotus Elan, instead of Hiroshima, Japan. Production of the GT coupe started in 1967 and the Cosmo nameplate will go on to grace Mazda cars till the mid-90s. Now you know the humble yet beautiful beginning of this exciting nameplate.

Photo source: Mytho88
1: Toyota 2000GT
Just take a second to look at it. Jiro Kawano and Satoru Nozaki were responsible for creating possibly the most beautiful and timeless coke-bottle design ever hemmed into a Japanese car. It has not been bettered and probably never will be. While the 2000GT echoed Jaguar’s famed and also strikingly beautiful E-type, a limited production run of only three years and 351 cars means it’s far more collectible and cherished than its British counterparts with examples changing hands at premium auctions for no less than USD1,200,000!  


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