Tokyo in Tennessee

Back in the early 80s, the US car industry was really suffering. The trickle of imports from Japan in the early 1960s had turned to a torrent by the end of the 70s. Domestic car sales were taking a beating and with US auto workers starting to be laid off, a backlash was forming. Despite this Nissan made the controversial move of trying to address both its desire to sell its cars to Americans, while still providing US workers with employment, by building a Nissan factory in Smyrna, Tennessee. This film by 60 Minutes from back in 1982 takes a look at the project, and in particular, the training of the workers, so that they could build cars like the Japanese workers…

Trans Am Truckin’

A decade can make such a difference. In 1988, you would most likely have dropped your Datsun 620 pickup as low as possible, maybe fitted some billet rims, a Ratical roof conversion and gone for a pastel ‘cal look’ paint job. A decade earlier and it might have had the rear end jacked up sky high, some fat slot mags wrapped in white lettered ‘General Grabbers’ and a cab full of shag pile and buttoned draylon. Maybe a little metalflake too? Then again, you might have gone for the then contemporary IMSA look, much like this truck featured in Truckin’ magazine in June 1978.  While to our modern eyes, this might look a visitor from the time that taste forgot, I kind of miss the days where totally wild customs ruled and people were unafraid to build something really crazy. Just look at this thing… apart from those huge IMSA arches, there’s suicide doors, a hefty roof chop and best of all, custom painted graphics in three shades of brown. Brown!  Who these days would build a race car inspired pickup with brown stripes!? Click though for more of a look…

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