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The golden days: traffic jams with classic Japanese tin

9 July, 2017

There’s so much classic Japanese tin slammed by traffic in this one we can’t even name them all. Cedrics, Celicas, Soarers, Corollas, Crowns, Citys, and everything else we’ve missed — all in pristine condition. Yep, this footage is pure bliss. But why are the roads so rammed? Well, it took place during Golden Week — one of the biggest tourism holidays in Japan — back in 1985, where crowds were flooding to the newly opened Tokyo Disneyland.

Surely there is some kind of irony that almost 35 years later we’re sitting here pining over what would have otherwise been everyday family haulers whisking mum, dad and the kids off to the theme park. If the same were to occur today, we can’t say we’d even make it inside Disneyland as we’d be too busy lurking the parking lot …

Taipan – surpassing interest

“It’s merely a passing interest,” insists Selby — despite owning three variants of the classic VW Beetle, including an unusual VW van that was sold as a body kit for a Subaru. In his defence he points to a 1961 Ford Thunderbird, a car that he converted to right-hand drive. However, on the VW side of the ledger, since he opened Allison Autos in Whanganui 27 years ago, Selby has built 15 VW-powered Formula First cars, followed by a beach buggy, restored a derelict Karmann Ghia, and hot-rodded a common or garden Beetle into something that has to be seen to be believed. As speed is not something generally associated with classic VWs, though, Selby is still waiting for this particular modification to catch on amongst the hot rod faithful.

Travelling companion

It’s easy to see why the Morris Minor Traveller was one of the best-loved variants of the Morris Minor. Introduced in 1953, it was equipped with the same independent torsion bar front suspension, drum brakes, and rack and pinion steering as its saloon sibling but, with their foldable rear seat increasing versatility, many Travellers were used as trade vehicles, says Derek Goddard. Derek and Gail Goddard, the owners of this superbly restored example, have run Morris Minors since before they were married in 1974.
“Our honeymoon vehicle was a blue Morris Minor van — it was a rust bucket,” says Derek.