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How Mitsuoka Makes Extraordinary Handmade Cars In Japan

Nestled between the stunning Northern Japan Alps and the serene Sea of Japan, the original Mitsuoka Motor factory draws car-lovers from all corners of the world into the city of Toyama, a coastal city on the island of Honshu.

The Rock Star poses in front of Mitsuoka Motor in Toyama, Japan. Image Source: Mitsuoka Motor

The Japan automaker has been manufacturing its unique car models since 1981. While most factories today are heavily automated, Mitsuoka prides itself on the skilled craftsmanship of its specialised crew. From designing to manufacturing, let us take you through the process of how Mitsuoka manufactures its breathtaking vintage-inspired models.

Inspired By Individuality

Artists at Mitsuoka always strive for uniqueness and individuality. Image Source: Mitsuoka Motor

When coming up with designs, Mitsuoka places heavy emphasis on a car’s individuality. Similar to how every person has their unique style and traits, every Mitsuoka model is designed to reflect a personality unique to itself. Whether it is the Viewt or the Orochi, each model is instantly recognisable on the roads.

Shaping A Vision

From clay to construction. Image Source: Mitsuoka Motor

Once the design is finalised, the team gets hands-on in modelling the artists’ vision. Using clay models, the team moulds, shapes and sculpts a life-size scale of the drawings. Accompanied by 3D renders of the car design, Mitsuoka ensures that each model is created with utmost precision and attention to detail through countless trial and error processes.

Fitted To Perfection

The craftsmanship is comparable with the techniques of a Master of traditional Japanese art. Image Source: Mitsuoka Motor

Mitsuoka’s small team of 45 professional craftsmen only produces up to two vehicles per day. The automaker believes in quality craftsmanship and elegance rather than automation, which can be seen at every stage of the production process.

Iron plates are welded by hand, leveraging on human touch and experience to feel for the accuracy required for each part of the car. Additionally, every layer of paint is coated by hand and repeatedly given a surface treatment to perfection.

Checks And Completion

Final inspections by Takashi Kurokoshi. Image Source: Mitsuoka Motor

Every completed piece undergoes an exhaustive inspection to ensure standards are strictly adhered to for the safety of customers. Once they pass the final inspections, it is time to send off the beloved completed vehicles to their respective owners. Created by hand from the start, each send-off is a bittersweet moment for the team at Mitsuoka.

A bittersweet send-off for the team. Image Source: Mitsuoka Motor

“All by hand” is truly how Mitsuoka makes cars.

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