The Mini Truck that could

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How many of you have seen a Japanese mini truck?  They are short, sweet and simple!

I can go on and on about these amazing trucks.  But as they say, “Pictures speak a thousand words. ” So, here are photos for you amazing people who are reading this…


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Farmlands, golf courses, hunting grounds, farmers markets, camping, commuting…the use for these mini trucks are almost limitless.
Some of you might be wondering if these small beasts are street legal.  The answer is YES!  Currently, there are 21 States in the United States that allow these cars to be driven on local streets.  (No interstate, Expressway or Highways though) They are street legal in other countries as well.  Please check online or call your local city office for more details before purchasing one.  Most places will allow them to be used just as ATVs.

You can get these mini trucks for fairly cheap at the Japanese auto auctions right now.  Buying and importing them is pretty simple.

I used to own a Ford F-150 when I lived in Iowa.  There was a sense of satisfaction of driving a big pick up truck. In America pick ups might be consider normal size but in Japan they are considered BIG!  Some of the streets are so small that it would be a miracle for pick ups to get through.  Looking back I had the best of two worlds having an opportunity to drive a mini truck as well.  Mini trucks can get the job done in their own way.  They can get through smaller roads and paths in the forest.  They are fuel efficient as well.

For those who are looking for a mini truck here are the makes and models available:

-Suzuki Carry

-Daihatsu Hi-jet

-Mazda Scrum

-Honda Acty

-Mitsubishi Minicab

-Subaru Sambar

Maybe you already have an idea for one of these trucks?  What do you think?  Leave a comment or question.  Thanks for reading.

I hope you all have a great day!



Buy or Build your own Shakotan JDM?


Japan…The Land of the Rising Sun. It’s also the Land of Low Cars. These low down style cars are called Shakotan. In Japanese, シャコタン or 車高短.  The easiest way cars were lowered was by cutting the coils. Nowadays you can install new springs, install hydraulic cylinders and so on.

When I grew up  in Okinawa, Japan, my aunt used to take me to the street races on Route 58 to watch the shakotan and other modified cars race down the street while many watched from the pedestrian bridge and side walks. The location where the races were was by the American military housing base so I`m sure it kept the Americans awake at night.  The thrill of speed and sound is hard to forget.  In a country with strict rules everyone knew that the JP, Japanese Police, would show up eventually but that didn`t keep people from gathering to watch the races in Chatan.

Recently, we had a client in Germany who wanted to purchase a 1978 Toyota Corona Mark II.  Boy, was it a beauty!  Who would have thought there was a market for such a car in Europe?  It took a little negotiating with a dealer near Tokyo but with some convincing we were able to buy it for the client.  The car is now on the ship to it’s final destination in Germany.  I can only imagine the looks on people’s faces when the owner drives this beauty in the streets surrounded by Volkswagens, Opels, BMWs, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Audis!


One of my all time favorites is the “Hakosuka” 1971 Nissan Skyline 2000 GT-X.  I love the simple modifications but some people love to go all out with the 竹やりマフラー(Takeyari Muffler) or bamboo spear mufflers, over fenders, removing the muffler and catalytic converter to create 爆音(bakuon) or explosive sound and put chin spoilers upfront.

Some might ask, “How can I get a Shakotan or a Japanese vintage car?”  One of the best ways is to buy at a Japanese auto auction through a full service exporter like Provide Cars Ltd in Japan.  They can help you get a car at auction prices and ship the car to a port near you.

Here are some examples of which JDMs have been typically used as shakotan cars.

Toyota Crown, Toyota Cresta, Toyota Corona Mark II, Toyota Cresta, Toyota Cressida, Toyota Celica

Nissan Laurel, Nissan Skyline, Nissan Cedric, Nissan Gloria,

Mazda Luce

You can lower your Ford or Mercedes.  But you can’t officially call it a “Shakotan” unless it’s a JDM!  So the question is, “Do I buy a shakotan or do I build one?  My advice?  Make your own.  Transporting a Shakotan can be a challenge for the transporting company.  With the right tools turning your JDM into a shakotan is not that difficult.  Whether you make it a shakotan or not Japanese Domestic Market cars are hot so get one while you can.

Satisfied customer

Hi Philo,

Just to let you know, the landcruiser arrived last week into Dublin. Started on first turn of the key and drove 100 miles up the road! (don’t worry, we did a lot of oil and fluid checking first)

It’s an amazing vehicle in immaculate condition – I can’t believe it’s 25 years old, it is like new and a pleasure to drive.

Cheers again and keep it lit,