This is the first of a series of articles about rare vehicles for the person who wants something original and totally awesome. Today I will be focusing on 70’s Japanese muscle cars: a mostly unknown and under-appreciated genre of truly wicked vehicles.
The Originality of Japanese Muscle Cars
During the ’70s, Japanese car companies attempted to compete with American cars by making smaller versions of American muscle cars. The result was beautifully made, powerful mini versions of cars resembling classic Ford Mustangs and Dodge Chargers. Few examples can be seen today but they are out there and surprisingly, they go for much less than their American counterparts – if you can find them. Truly, if you want an original car that stands out while looking tough but not douchey, these vehicles are a very sick choice.
’73 Datsun Sunny
In the late ’60s, Mitsubishi sent Hiroaki Kamisago, one of their designers, to the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. His creation, the Mitsubishi Galant GTO would herald a new wave of American-style Japanese muscle cars throughout the ’70s. Compared to their American cousins, Japan’s vehicle offerings were lighter, smaller and had much tinier yet still powerful engines. These vehicles were in a class of their own and became popular in the states after the oil crisis of ’73. Stand out examples include the Toyota Celica, the Mazda RX-3/RX-4, the Nissan Skyline, the Nissan Laurel C130, the Datsun 610/710 SSS and of course the Mitsubishi Galant GTO.
Toyota Celica GT2000
Usually, the best way to find these cars is by putting an alert on Craigslist as that’s one of the few places they tend to show up. With American classic muscle cars averaging $40-$100K, these Japanese mini versions are way cheaper and obviously cool as hell.Many of these cars were released in the states but in somewhat limited supply. Japanese right-side-steering-wheel versions are easier to find so it might be worth the steering wheel compromise to get your hands on one. Just look at the pics and then close your eyes and imagine yourself cruising in one of these glorious metal beasts.
With the hailed release of the recent A Tribe Called Quest album and the massive popularity of Kendrick Lamar, golden era hip hop is in the mainstream spotlight. Many people know the main acts from back in the day, but a lot of great gems are gathering dust in the annals of obscurity. I’ll be doing a series of articles showcasing some of the best of the least known so that you may chill harder than ever before.
But what makes a 90’s golden era track? There are a few common denominators. Here are some but they are not always limited to: jazz samples, conscious lyrics, a large crew of rappers (not always of course) and the indescribable element of having a vibe. If you aren’t clear on what a vibe is, it’s essentially the feeling of mellow and cool at the same time. For a track to have a vibe, you should feel chilled out from the very first moment of the track. If you’re still not sure what I mean, then just start listening to the tracks on this post and you will soon understand.
Some of the songs recommended in this article are “east coast,” some are “west coast” and some are even “north coast” (Canada). Purists might have you believe that these types of tracks can only come from the east, but that is a foolish way to think. Try bumping some of these non-east coast picks and see if you aren’t convinced it’s all gold. But don’t expect to find these on Spotify or Apple Music, cuz they don’t exist.
Call O’ Da Wild – Clouds Of Smoke
What a chill tune. Definitely designed for toking to.
King Tee – Dippin’
A song made for the car. Does your vehicle have juicy hydro shocks? Even better.
AMG – Around the World
This is a chill tune that could work on a stoner’s dancefloor. A vibing track that will get you pumped for an evening out.
Artifacts – Wrong Side Of Da Tracks
Quintessential east coast pick complete with jazz samples and Krylon spray paint.
World Renown – How Nice I Am
Criminally under-known track from an album that was never released. This tune is like a long lost Tribe track.
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