Subaru 360

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Subaru

Subaru 360

1958 - 1970
Country:
Japan
Engine:
Air-cooled, 2-cycle, parallel 2-cylinder
Capacity:
356 cc
Power:
n/a
Transmission:
4 spd. man
Top Speed:
n/a
Number Built:
n/a
Collectability:
3 star
As cars have become cheaper, it is easy to forget that there was a time when the average car represented a huge capital investment for the average person, and cars in Japan could easily cost more than the average house!

So it was that in the mid 1950's, the engineers at Fuji Jidosha (later Fuji Heavy Industries) set about creating a low cost car "for the masses".

Sure, that theory had been around since Henry produced the Model T, but somewhere along the road the cost of manufacturing, and therefore owning, a car had skyrocketed.

The 360, or "LadyBug" as it was affectionately known, was made purposefully small to reduce manufacturing costs, however the engineers tried to ensure that any compromises made were minimised.

Despite a small engine, it could hold four passengers and its power was comparable to the luxury cars of the day.

Indeed the team of engineers went to extremes to reduce weight and developed a small but highly efficient suspension system. The end result was a car that weighed in at a miserly 385kg!

Their achievements were inspired by thoughts of travelling with their families. In May 1958, after a long struggle, the Subaru 360 was finally released.

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