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Thread: Classic Kei cars

  1. #1

    Classic Kei cars

    Nice article and photos, the little k cars are gaining great popularity in the US, now that the 25 year rule is in effect for most of them. Cars have to be over 25 years old to be considered classic and be driven on the road in a lot of states. The prices are going steadily upwards, with Cappuccinos of that vintage which used to make about $3000 now going for $6000/8000! Also some serious modifications by the 'fast n furious' fans.

  2. #2
    Senior Member OutRun's Avatar
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    The photography alone on that link is well worth a look. The cars look so well.
    Quote Originally Posted by crank_case View Post
    Get out there and drive it as much as possible...You or it will not be around forever, at least not with any original parts.

  3. #3
    Would love the Autozam AZ-1

    Ever see the Honda S series with the roller bearing crank 9500 red line (600cc)
    Last edited by TRD3000GT; 17-10-2020 at 02:43 PM.
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  4. #4
    Can't blame Americans for wanting to get their hands on this stuff, these 90s Kei cars seem to Youtube flavor of the moment, but I can't help feeling the US hoovers up a huge amount of classics now to our detriment, simply because they've more people with deeper pockets. Watching the Rich Rebuilds channel the other day and he had a rough 60s mini still on Cork plates that was a "bargain" at 5k. Seems over there people will pay 10,000 dollars for rough classic minis and silly money for good ones.

  5. #5
    Jesus, those AZ-1s ask some money. I looked on and they're asking between 13 and 17 grand. I know it's asking, but man, I never guessed they'd entertain that kind of dosh. Would still love one, though.

  6. #6
    That's absolutely what they're fetching now. 25 year rule is no joke in what it does to values of stuff never sold stateside.

  7. #7
    If anyone is considering a classic Kei car (I highly reccomend it!), just remember parts will be your second biggest problem. Your biggest problem, like any 90s JDM car will be rust, but the parts problem - getting replacement panels and trim plays into that too. No kidding, it's easier to get parts for a 60s British classic than these.

    Sometimes though you can substitute parts from other models - e.g. the F6A was found in other vehicles besides the Cappuccino and AZ-1 (which share the same engine) and still in use for a fair amount of time after, even up to 2009 in cars like the Cervo. A more powerful version can even be found in Snowcat snowmobiles!

    The Honda Beat us now subject to a heritage parts program so tha't probably the easiest of the ABC trio to get bits for now.

    For fans of the even older Honda S cars, here's Johnny Smiths S600, such advanced cars for the time and sound amazing.

    Even the non-sporty, non-turbo stuff can be charming in its own way. POV drive of a Honda Acty van. I'd love something like this to complement the Cappuccino in time.

    Juiceboxforyou featured a more modern Mitsubishi EK recently (you need to fast forward through a lot of garage messing as usual, or just enjoy the silliness). A lot of the modern Kei stuff isn't exactly as fun as say an old Cappuccino or Alto Works, but as quirky, spacious runarounds with acres of space, they've a lot going for them. I feel the EU should be giving average CO2 exemptions to cars like this as long as they stay under say 130g/km as in real world terms, they're low impact.

    Last edited by crank_case; 19-10-2020 at 11:03 AM.

  8. #8
    Just spotted a yellow Honda Beat on the RTE news. An elderly man was rescued from a cliff and it was in the background when he was being interviewed.

    Of the 3 mentioned above, I'd choose the Autozam, not sure why, it's the only one of the 3 I've never seen in the flesh.

    My ultimate classic kei though would be a Subaru 360, kinda like a shrunken beetle.
    Last edited by scrappydoo; 21-10-2020 at 07:13 PM.

  9. #9
    This is the one for my collection, all in good time the Toyota (of course) Sports 800. All 800cc, 44hp and 580kgs of it, its so ugly I want to slap it and it looks like it robbed its lights from the GT2000.

    The Sports 800 was one of the first production cars featuring a lift-out roof panel, or targa top, pre-dating the Porsche Targa, thanks wiki.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

  10. #10
    There was some sort of S660 conversion that made it look something like that...

    I'm standing in a field full of sheep, is it wrong that I feel aroused

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