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Just another note on the RM Sothebys sale, that took place in Arizona two days ago. We did tell you about the Tucker Torpedo that got hammered down there on Thursday. And it did make strong money, despite not having its original paint colour as well as its original interior. Looking at what else was on offer in Arizona, we noticed that some more cars had remarkable repaints. This 300 SL may have been improved in colour over its original light metallic blue. But how about this 1953 Mercedes 220 that now comes in a somewhat odd two-tone metallic paint scheme? Or this 1963 Lincoln Continental that was repainted in satin black? What is your opinion? Is only the original colour good enough, or are you allowed to improve on that?
(Words editor, pictures courtesy RM Sotheby's)
Well done readers. Many of you recognized our last mystery motor as the Mikasa Touring, built in Yokohama from 1957 until 1961 by Okamura Manufacturing – which were big in… office furniture. We like our answers informative and not copied from the world wide web, and some of managed to surprise us while little is known about the vehicle in question. Fried Stol wrote: “Those rims are definitely deceiving; one might think it would be an 2cv derivative!” That’s right, Fried, and although Mikasa’s mechanicals shared its ideas with the good old 2CV (picture of the engine seen here); they are all different. Gerd Klioba: “The car's layout was inspired by the Citroen 2CV.” John Elema added: “The front-wheel drive Mikasa was the first Japanese car with an automatic 2-speed transmission and fluid torque converter. The 585 cc 4-stroke engine was an air-cooled opposite twin cylinder not unlike Citroën’s 2CV unit of that period.” But we also liked Jeffrey Vogel’s suggestion who thought of it as an Asian Berkeley!
Survivors are as rare as it gets and as John Elema points out Okamura is still in business and has a restored coupe-version in its Tokyo showroom: “There was also a van and a 4-seater touring type MT10.” Gerd Klioba adds: “Until 1961 only a few roadsters were built, besides around 500 Mikasa Service Car station wagons.” That seems an unlikely number to us, but we’d loved to be proven wrong. Oh! Phil Seed’s accurate answer wins this week. He wrote: “The car in quiz #150 is a 1959 Mikasa Touring. It features an air-cooled twin-cylinder 600cc engine and automatic transmission / fluid torque converter. It was produced by the furniture company Okamura Manufacturing company in Tokyo. According to a Japanese website its nickname was Nokura (no clutch).” That did it!
(Words and archive picture Jeroen Booij)
It's perhaps not exactly the time of year for a swim, but we did not want to keep you from this picture. A lovely (Friday) lady and an American licenced Amphicar - it's as good as it gets. But have a closer look to see that it can even get better. This is not your average Amphicar. Note the exposed door hinges, the extravagant tail fins and the wraparound windscreen. This may well be a prototype? Seen here again in its element - well, one of them - and with an extra lady on board. All hands on deck. You may be able to tell us more?
(Words editor, picture source: John Lloyd)
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