Big things with little cars

What is Azabu Motors? It is one of my new Dioramas, bought from Monsieur Frederic Cros of Paris, France. He sells these very nice background pieces on the net, and I couldn’t resist adding this one after the Abarth diorama sent to me from jobjoris. And yes, there are more on the way. I can’t help myself...

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What about the car then? Well, this is a Nissan Cherry FII 1400 Coupe. And it’s a car I’m more than a little familiar with. I’ve driven that exact car, in that exact colour, quite a bit in my younger years. That’s because my sister owned it.

It was the second generation of Nissan’s first entry into the world of Front Wheel Drive. And let’s face it, it wasn’t a pretty car by any means. But that doesn’t mean it was a bad car. Far from it.

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The engine was a gutsy little performer, and it handled pretty nicely. Coupled with a 5-speed manual, it zoomed along pretty well. Especially if you were used to driving VW Beetles, as I was.

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I very nearly bought this car off my sister as she was selling it to buy her next car (a Ford Laser, essentially a re-badged Mazda 323), but decided against it in the end. Essentially because of my shoe size (think small kayak). You see, when lifting the right foot off the gas and trying to brake, my shoe would sometimes get stuck behind the bottom end of the dash. Not good. Another fun little car spoiled for me by my size.

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I settled for a 1980 Corolla instead. But that’s a whole other story.

The model is a 1/40 by Diapet - and as you can see it is not quite mint. But I had never seen another one before, nor have I seen this model for sale since, so as it has a personal connection, I just had to have it. Incidentally, it also came from France!

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