You most likely have seen a Rolls Royce or a C2 Corvette, but it surely didn’t seem like one. If it resembles a Rolls Royce Phantom, it’s the Mitsuoka Galue. If it resembles a C2 Corvette, it’s the Mitsuoka Rock Star idea.
When you have by no means seen one in every of these, you most likely surprise why somebody would do this to a Rolls Royce, but it surely’s not the case. Mitsuoka is a Japanese firm established in 1968 specializing in constructing new automobiles from different automobiles primarily manufactured by different Japanese producers corresponding to Toyota, Mazda, and Nissan.
Mitsuoka technicians rework the physique, leaving solely the engine, drivetrain, suspension, and a few components of the inside. For instance, the Mitsuoka Roadster is constructed on the Mazda Roadster platform, has the identical 1.5-liter Skyactiv engine and transmission, and is front-wheel drive.
Unknown to many, Mitsuoka began out as a automotive restore store in 1968, later increasing to dealerships and accredited service facilities primarily coping with JDM automobiles and J-spec automobiles.
Nonetheless, Mitsuoka didn’t begin “manufacturing” till 1982, after they made the 3-wheeled BUBU 501. In 1985 they started constructing replicas of automobiles from different producers, beginning with the BUBU 505-C, constructed just like the 1958 Morgan 4/4.
The CEO, Susumu Mitsuoka, wished to be acknowledged as a completely pledged automaker and began designing an authentic chassis used within the Mitsuoka Zero-1. It featured the 1,6-liter and 1.8-liter Mazda Roadster engines and transmissions, however this was not the focusing level.
To be thought-about an automaker in Japan, you needed to design a secure, dependable, sturdy, and distinctive chassis. It might cross crash exams that have been fairly demanding on the time. This grew to become a wrestle, and shortly, Mitsuoka discontinued the Zero-1and began specializing in remodelling automobiles from different producers, primarily utilizing chassis from JDM producers.
Being a British automotive fanatic, Susumu Mitsuoka first began making automobiles that resembled some Jaguar and Lotus fashions. The Zero-1 resembles the Lotus Seven, and never many would know the distinction if the 2 have been put aspect by aspect.
Mitsuoka is understood resulting from three fashions in its “manufacturing” line-up, the Mitsuoka Galue, Mitsuoka Himiko and Mitsuoka Viewt. When you thought a Rolls Royce Duplicate was the worst they might do, wait till you see the Mitsuoka Orochi constructed on the NA2 Honda NSX platform. It has been criticized earlier than, however in Japan but it surely has some distinctive look you possibly can’t appear to note, corresponding to this one donning a Liberty Stroll physique package.
Mitsuoka Galue 1996-present
That is amongst one of the produced Mitsuoka Fashions, with manufacturing beginning in 1996. The primary sequence consists of 4 generations; most are constructed on the Nissan platforms. The second sequence used a Nissan Platform, whereas the third sequence Galue is constructed on a Toyota Axio chassis.
First Collection 1996-2011
Galue 1- 1996-1999
Mitsuoka didn’t strive a lot with the primary Galue to Roll out of their manufacturing plant in Kakeomachi, Toyama Metropolis, Japan. The Galue 1 was constructed on the Nissan Crew platform however with just one engine choice, the RB20DE. The one adjustments made have been the grill which resembled a Bentley R-type grill, and the taillights, taken straight out of a J-Spec Cadillac Fleetwood.
Within the Nineties, the Nissan Crew was primarily used as a taxi and the Japanese regulation enforcement businesses. It was inexpensive, and components have been simple to get. This made the right automotive for Mitsuoka to work on and use the benefits as a promoting level.
The one components made in-house have been the headlights, rearview mirrors, seat cloth, and chrome bits, making the Galue look luxurious. Nonetheless, some sellers offered the Galue one because the Nissan Crew as each of those automobiles weren’t any completely different. Even at the moment, you’ll discover some exporters and importers promoting it because the Nissan Crew.
Manufacturing solely lasted 3 years as this was extra like a take a look at run to Mitsuoka. They later discontinued the Nissan Crew platform for the Galue on the finish of manufacturing in 2001.
Galue 2 1999-2005
Instantly after Nissan Unveiled the Y34 Cedric and Y34 Gloria, Mitsuoka jumped on the chance to make use of the platforms, engines, and different mechanicals. The Galue derived from the Y34 Cedric has the two.5-litre V6 (VQ25DD), whereas the Gloria derived has the three.0-litre V6 (VQ30DD).
Aside from the engine choices, the distinction is that the Galue derived from the Nissan Gloria has a extra luxurious inside with wooden bits, luxurious cloth seats, and window blinders. Consequently, it was costlier, and lesser models have been made.
Each automobiles got here with a 4-speed computerized CVT transmission like Nissan made them. Mitsuoka didn’t contact the drivetrain and suspension, amongst different mechanical components. The one components that modified have been the inside stitching, dashboard, and wheels.
Not like the Mitsuoka Galue 1, the outside was reworked however used the identical physique panels. The distinction is just seen to a eager eye.
Galue 3 2008-2014
When producing the primary sequence Galue, Mitsuoka tended to observe Nissan fashions’ manufacturing years. The Galue 2 was discontinued after Nissan discontinued the y34 Cedric and Y34 Gloria in late 2004. The final models rolled out of the manufacturing plant in 2005.
Mitsuoka then hopped on the 2004 Nissan Fuga (Y50), taking aside the entrance and rear ends and rebuilding each ends. The result’s a “Rolls Royce Phantom” whose designers slept on the work and used spherical bike headlights. Appears to be like awkward, however some choose it that approach regardless of the awkwardness.
In 2007, Mitsuoka launched the Galue convertible, which was the primary time a non-JDM automotive chassis was getting used. The Galue convertible was based mostly on a Ford Mustang Chassis however nonetheless had the entrance and rear finish from the Galue constructed on the Nissan Fuga Y50 chassis.
The Galue convertible resembles a Rolls Royce Wraith however shouldn’t be even near the inside or exterior construct high quality. Mitsuoka did some inside and exterior touch-ups, but it surely remained an entry-level Mustang with a physique package. The Mitsuoka Convertible options Ford’s 4.0-litre Cologne V6 and 4.6-litre Modular V8 engines. These have been later upgraded to a 3.7-litre Duratec V6 and a 5.0-litre Coyote V8 in the direction of the top of manufacturing in 2010.
Second sequence 2008-2010
The Second sequence Galue is the smallest within the Galue line-up. It options the Toyota Axio chassis (NZE141) with the 1.5-litre and 1.8-litre engines with non-compulsory four-wheel-drive. Like different fashions produced earlier than it, the second sequence Galue additionally known as the Galue 240, has a British contact everywhere in the entrance and rear grills.
The entrance grill resembles a mixture of grills from the 1990 Bentley Eight and the 1955 Bentley R-type, whereas the entrance and rear bumpers resemble these from the 1960 Jaguar Mark II. Nonetheless, the Galue 240 nonetheless resembles its predecessors. Nonetheless, to frequent consumers, it was not interesting as a lot, primarily due to the shorter wheelbase.
Mitsuoka solely used the NZE141 chassis for two years earlier than discontinuing it and changing it with a Nissan Teana J32 chassis.
Nonetheless, they didn’t stop to make use of the NZE141 chassis totally. In 2014, the NZE141 chassis was used on the Mitsuoka Ryugi, which appears just like the Galue however is cheaper and fewer luxurious.
Third sequence 2010-2015
When Mitsuoka began to make use of the Teana J32 chassis for the Galue, it was the primary time they have been growing the wheelbase. The chassis was lengthened by 3.9 inches, and the entrance finish was reworked to resemble the primary sequence Galue II.
The one factor that modified from the Teana Galue was the taillights and a few non-compulsory chrome bits. Inside remained unchanged, however Mitsuoka eliminated the Nissan badge and changed it with theirs in every single place. The third sequence was primarily offered with a 3.5-litre V6 (VQ35DE) as solely the LX trim was transformed to a Galue.
This helped save conversion prices because the LX trim was probably the most luxurious Teana spec with alloy wheels, leather-based seats, and heated entrance seats. Mitsuoka needed to do away with the badges and entrance and rear finish conversion.
Fourth sequence 2015-present
The fourth sequence is predicated on the Nissan Teana L33 and Altima L33 LHD (left-hand-drive) platform with no important adjustments from the third sequence aside from the LED headlights from the Fiat 500. It was the primary LHD Mitsuoka to be offered exterior Japan.
The Mitsuoka Himiko/Roadster is a vintage-looking convertible coupe that resembles one thing that will have been an consequence if Morgan Aero and Jaguar XK120 teamed up. Manufacturing for the Himiko began in 2018. It’s at present in its second era, nonetheless utilizing the Mazda Roadster’s chassis used within the first era.
Not like the chassis used for the Mitsuoka Galue, the Mazda Roadster chassis used for the Himiko is stripped down, leaving the engine, transmission, and different mandatory drivetrain and suspension mechanical components. Most physique panels are changed with new ones, together with the doorways, trunk, and hood.
First Technology (NC Miata chassis) 2008-2018
The primary Technology Himiko is constituted of the Mazda Roadster ND chassis sharing the identical engine, transmission choices, and mechanicals. This was the primary time Mitsuoka stripped down and rebuilt a automotive, and it truly seemed good.
Mazda Roadsters are recognized for his or her gentle appears. When you choose one thing distinctive, the Himiko is the automotive for you. Not like different Mitsuoka fashions are primarily offered with an computerized transmission, you will get the Himiko with both a 6-speed guide or 6-speed computerized transmission.
Second Technology (ND Miata chassis) 2018-present
There may be not a lot distinction between the first-gen Himiko and the second-gen Himiko aside from the ND Miata chassis used, and the Retractable hardtop was discontinued. The second-gen Himiko solely comes with a retractable leather-based comfortable high.
Most consumers nonetheless go for the first-gen Himiko primarily due to the bigger 2.0-litre engine in comparison with the 1.5-litre within the ND Roadster. Transmission choices stay the identical as within the first-gen Himiko, a 6-speed computerized or 6-speed guide transmission.
The Mitsuoka Viewt is taken into account probably the most absurd Mitsuoka mannequin. It’s because it’s constructed on the Nissan March/Micra chassis. Nonetheless, in contrast to different fashions, it doesn’t retain the coupe or sedan physique configuration. Mitsuoka converts a normal Nissan Micra or March to a four-door sedan that appears prefer it doesn’t belong on the street.
The rounded trunks seem like they’re not presupposed to be there and appear to be they’re nearly sagging off the rear finish. Nonetheless, some individuals prefer it that approach. Mitsuoka would have stopped making the Viewt and targeted on their extra marketable fashions, such because the Galue or the Himiko in the event that they didn’t promote.
K11 Viewt 1993-2003
The K11 Viewt was constructed off the K11 Micra, and it includes a redesigned entrance and rear finish. Mitsuoka went all out on the Viewt, particularly on the entrance finish, which resembles a jaguar XK120 and is filled with chrome bits. The whole lot on the entrance is lined or lined with chrome, from the brand new bumper extension to the sign lights.
Luxurious variations of the K11 Viewt had leather-based seats, leather-based door panels, a leather-based sprint, and leather-wrapped steering. They have been solely offered with a 4-speed computerized transmission driving the entrance wheels. Different specs had both the 4-speed computerized or the 5-speed guide transmission. You get the K11 Viewt with both a 1.0-litre or a 1.3-litre petrol engine.
K12 Viewt 2005-2012
Mitsuoka revealed the K12 Viewt when Nissan launched the K12 Micra in 2005. The K12 Micra has a rounder physique panel look as most, together with the doorways, have been redone. The trunk prolonged extra outwards, and consequently, the K12 Micra has a bigger rear bumper than the K11.
A 2-door K12 Viewt was constituted of the Micra 12SR, the sportiest model with a Micra with the 1.2-litre engine, a 5-speed guide transmission, and carbon fibre inserts on the dashboard, heart console, and door panels.
K13 Viewt 2012-present
Mitsuoka was sort of late to the celebration after they unveiled the K13 Viewt, based mostly on the K13 Micra, in 2012, as Nissan unveiled the K13 Micra in 2010. Nothing was completely different in the event you examine the K13 Viewt to its predecessors, besides barely smoother physique traces. Mitsuoka launched new daring paint codes corresponding to the brilliant yellow displayed above.
Will depend on your definition of “good.” If you’d like a singular car that only a few individuals have and don’t thoughts its appears, go for a Mitsuoka Galue or a Viewt. Mitsuoka shouldn’t be generally recognized, and most of the people will assume that you’re driving some classic Jaguar or Morgan from the 60s. A few of these automobiles include tunable engines, such because the VQ30, RB20, and American muscle V8 engines. You’ll be able to simply create a monster sleeper from a ten,000-dollar Mitsuoka.
Mitsuoka is a Japanese auto producer.
Will depend on the make and mannequin that the Mitsuoka mannequin was constructed from. For instance, a Mitsuoka Galue constructed on the Axio’s NZE141 chassis will final for across the identical time as a normal Axio.
Effectively, sure. When shopping for a Mitsuoka automotive, you’re mainly paying for a physique package and a few inside upgrades, hardly ever. Mitsuoka fashions price nearly twice the worth of the automobiles they have been constructed from. For instance, a 2010 Mitsuoka Himiko offered for over $55,000. That is almost half the worth of a 2010 Mazda Roadster offered for round $23,000 when new.
The appears are undeniably distinctive, but it surely makes extra sense to purchase a physique package and have it put in over shopping for a Mitsuoka automotive.
Mitsuoka automobiles share frequent points with the automobiles that they have been constructed from. For instance, RB engine points and rust will at all times be evident within the 1996 Galue. Each issues are additionally frequent within the 1996 Nissan Crew. There is likely to be some points with the physique panels, particularly after a crash, since they don’t re-align simply.
Mitsuoka doesn’t tamper with the automotive’s mechanicals, drivetrain, suspension, and electronics; thus, reliability shouldn’t be compromised relying on the car a particular mannequin was constructed from
It’s based mostly on the unique Chinese language character for Automobile, “車”.