You join me on this scenic Land of the Rising Sun(day) post of... a Willys Jeep. This looks like a Willys Jeep and technically it was but there’s a reason why it made it to this post. In 1953, Willys allowed Mitsubishi to build and stamp their badge on it to help introduce Willys Jeep into the Japanese market. This Tomica version is the later J58 powered by a gas powered straight 4 borrowed from the Mitsubishi Canter truck. The Willys’ “Hurricane” inline 4 cylinder remained as an option but renamed as the “Japanese Hurricane”followed by a series of gas and diesel powered engines built locally by Mitsubishi for work trucks and forklifts 2 years later. The wide varieties of engine was coupled with wide varieties of wheelbase and body opions from long to short wheelbase to 4 door or no door body styles. The Japanese Willys remained in production until 1998 and around 200,000 rolled off the assembly line in its 45 year lifespan. After having a taste of the versatile off-roader that the Willys offered, Mitsubishi went ahead and attempted to make a successor that preserve the Willys off-road charm: the Pajero.
History lesson over, time for some ORAT!
Look forward to another epic ORAT post on Wednesday involving my least favorite weather phenomenon.