Japan is inducting new notables as well as cars from its history into the domestic automotive hall of fame. It is now celebrating Wankel’s Mazda 787B, the successful Mitsubishi Pajero or the Toyota director responsible for the Lexus brand.
The Japanese Automobile Hall of Fame welcomes new notables as well as cars for the domestic automotive industry. Some of the most important people associated with car manufacturing in Japan recently are the mastermind of the Lexus LS400, the pioneer of four-wheel cornering, the designer of Honda’s single-seaters for Formula 1 and the former president of Mitsubishi and the engineer responsible for the first mass-produced lithium-ion electric car.
The Automotive Hall of Fame in Japan, officially named The Japan Automotive Hall of Fame, has been celebrating since this fall Shoichiro Toyodathe son of the company’s founder Kiichiro Toyoda, who led the car company during its most significant growth years – from 1981 to 1992. That’s when Toyota began opening the first overseas factories and introduced the Lexus brand producing luxury models.
At the same time, Japan also values the art of the automotive engineer by name Yasuhei Oguchi, who was credited with the theory and translation into practice of innovative technology for all-wheel drive. His knowledge and lectures influenced many automotive engineers. It is also important Shoichi Sano, a longtime Honda engineer. In the 1960s, he worked on the RA271 and RA272 single-seaters for Formula 1 and subsequently developed four-wheel steering for the production Prelude coupe.
The latest inductee into the automotive hall of fame is Tetsuro Aikawa, former engineer and president of Mitsubishi. While working on the Minica, he bought himself a Daihatsu Mira Turbo, Japan’s best-selling “kei” toy car. His daily private approach was also the Mazda MX-5 of the first generation NA. He said himself: “It doesn’t matter what you drive, but it should be fun.” In the modern era, he then worked on the Mitsubishi i-MiEV electric car.
In the Japanese car hall of fame, the most important of which is surprising that he only got his title now. The Wankel racing car is now becoming the family silverware of the automotive industry from the land of the rising sun Mazda 787B – in 1991 it was the first Japanese car to win the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans. Already in the following year, Wankel specials were banned.
At the same time, it appears among the most important cars in Japanese history Otomo from 1925, which with approximately 250 units was the first “mass” produced car and the first car from Japan for export. The newest members of the hall of fame include Nissan Bluebird 510because it was a popular compact car with a modern design, while also succeeding in car races at home and abroad.
Mitsubishi also appears on the list of new members with the popular off-road Pajero, thanks to which the Japanese laid the foundations of modern SUVs. And at the same time Pajero was the first winning car from Japan in the world’s most famous cross-country competition Paris-Dakar Rally. The significant success was subsequently repeated eleven times and a total of 3.25 million units were sold in more than 170 countries around the world.