Mitsuoka is a modern-day coachbuilder that has produced vehicles which are interesting, outrageous and, honestly, just plain ugly. Rebodied donor vehicles have ranged from Corollas to Mustangs. Yeah, Mustangs. Their dealer network spans from Tokyo to Saudi Arabia and, soon, beyond.
For 2015 Mitsuoka produces just four models.
Himiko is based on the third generation Mazda MX-5 (note the doors and windshield). The rebodied roadster strives to impart early Jaguar styling. Converted to dollars, prices are in the mid $50,000 range. ▼
Ryugi is based on the Nissan Sunny, however, the first generation, introduced for 1998, was based on the Nissan Primera. Interestingly, the retro custom front clip didn’t change between the two generations. Engine configurations were respective to their donor cars. ▼
Viewt is based on the Nissan March/Micra and has clear styling cues pointing to the Jaguar’s 1963 Mark 2. The model first appeared in 1993 and was updated, subsequent to the Micra’s update, for 2005. ▼
Like-T3 is an electric-powered cart. Oh yeah, it has an optional windscreen. Hey, every brand has to have an accessible entry model, right? ▼
Mitsuoka made other peculiarities that are now out of production.
Orochi was actually introduced in 2001 as a concept, at the 2001 Tokyo Motor Show, and was based on Honda/Acura’s NSX. It was launched in production form in 2006, limited to 400 units, and just finished out its final model year, in 2014. The final blowout run, limited to 11 units, was the colorful Evangelion Edition that is pictured at the top of the page and was priced at just under $140,000. The main issue with Orochi, besides its flatfish looks, is that it weighed around 3,400 pounds and was powered by a run-of-the-mill 3.3-liter V6, with a five-speed automatic, both sourced from Toyota. It delivered a wheezing 230 horsepower. ▼
Nouera (first generation), believe it or not, was based on a Honda Accord. It went on sale as a 2004 and ran through 2007. ▼
Nouera (second generation), introduced in 2008, was based on the Toyota Corolla. With incremental changes to the retro front end, though. ▼
Ryoga (second generation) was based on the Nissan Sunny and ran from 2001 through 2011. ▼
Galue showed up in this second-generation based on the Nissan Cedric (think first-generation Infiniti M45). ▼
Galue Convertible for 2007 was based on… wait for it… the Ford Mustang. (Galue actually had a total of seven iterations that also included a rebodied Corolla.) ▼
Yuga was based on the second-generation (Japanese market) Nissan Cube and was sold from 2000 to 2002. ▼
Speedster would seem to be infringing on lawsuit territory but, hey, if Porsche didn’t mind. Also, referred to by Mitsuoka as the “BuBu Speedster” it was built from 1989 through 1990 with a Volkswagen engine and frame “to enhance durability and maintainability.” ▼
1991 Le-Seyde Dore is an interesting one. There were two generations of fixed roof Le-Seyde’s and both were based on the Nissan Silvia. However, the Dore, shown below, was an open-top model available during the first-generation’s run, between 1991 and 1993. It was based on a modified 1990 Ford Mustang. ▼
Check out Mitsuoka’s website to see more models and pictures.