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Here's the history of the legendary A-B-C Cars, all in one place!
The SUV is to America as the Kei Car is to Japan — nearly half the car on the road in Japan are Kei Cars, a classification of small car that created tax benefits to encourage mobility after the second World War.
Keijidōsha, or "light automobiles" were created by the Japanese government in the early 1950s, and really started to become popular a decade later. But when this economic measure to favor the economically disadvantaged crashed head-on with the unprecedented economic boom of the 1980s' "Japanese Bubble Economy," ,the result was three Kei sports cars known together as the A-B-C cars: A for the positively insane Autozam AZ-1, B for the Pininfarina-designed, 8500-rpm ITB-equipped Honda Beat, and C for the turbocharged Suzuki Cappuccino.
In this video, veteran automotive journalist Jason Cammisa examines the history of the Kei-car regulations, including their start, their initial success with the Subaru 360, and discusses how there is no legal horsepower limit to Kei Cars — despite what you may have read elsewhere.
In the process, Jason includes the stunning Honda S600 / S800 and tells the full history of the mid-engined Honda Beat, the last car signed off by Soichiro Honda; the microcar-Miata Suzuki Cappuccino; and the outrageous, Gullwing-door Autozam AZ-1, which was undeniably the most fun attendee at the party. Too bad it arrived after the cops had shut it down.
The Kei Sports cars were short lived, but their impact on the world lives on, as three of the coolest cars ever made. In short, they were a revelation.
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Revelations | Untold Stories About Automotive Legends with Jason Cammisa
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