In the sixties in UK, as I first started recognising cars, Japanese cars were something of a novelty. The Daihatsu was the first Japanese car imported but the cost of shipping meant it had to compete with more powerful local cars like Vauxhall Vivas and Ford Cortinas. Then shortly after came the small Honda cars, Honda had already established a reputation for motorcycles which didn’t leak unlike the British bikes of the time. Then in the seventies Toyota and Datsun started to appear in significant numbers, featuring such luxuries as built in radios.
Honda is my favourite Japanese marque. I had a Honda Civic in real life, but unfortunately I crashed it on the M1. Here in miniature I have two Civics (red Hot Wheels and green Matchbox) along with two S2000s (yellow RealToys and blue Hot Wheels), two Acura NSX (purple and gold) and a larger Kinsmart Integra Type R in white rally trim.
Datsun was the first sports car with that wow factor that I saw , the 240Z (I have never seen a Toyota 2000GT except in miniature or in the James Bond Film “You Only Live Twice“.
I have the 240Z in Japanese Police Livery (DeAgostini) and a Hot Wheels one in race livery #27. I also have some Skylines, GTRs, 350Z and two Majorette 260Zs.
Toyota is the best selling new car in Georgia. Popular especially for its off road Land Cruiser.
Looking through Hot Wheels displays in shops, I am keen to find Japanese cars, particularly those from the sixties and seventies. I have found two ’70 Celicas and a couple of Toyota 2000GTs.
I also have a few Mazdas and Subarus but strangely no Mitsubishis, yet.