Meet the Mitsubishi Model A

Mitsubishi Model A

Every once in a while a press release reaches the inbox that makes one realise just how little we know of a particular subject. Take the Mitsubishi Model A, for example... 

With prototyping starting in 1917, the first Mitsubishi Model A was completed in November 1918 and a total of 22 were built by 1921 - at first glance not that impressive... But note that the Model A was the first Japanese series-production car built and sold with a view to mass production, according to Mitsubishi, and now the Model A has also been officially selected by the Japan Automotive Hall of Fame (JAHFA) as a car that "has stamped a mark of excellence in the Japanese automobile history".


Mitsubishi's engineers designed and built the first Model As with very little prior knowledge of petrol engine construction.

Essentially built using hammers and chisels, the Model A's wooden body was spray coated for protection, and the interior used British woollen cloth. The Mitsubishi Model A was designed at the Kobe Shipyard of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company; Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) today. 

A replica of the Mitsubishi Model A, recreated using document at that time, is exhibited at the Mitsubishi Auto Gallery in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture. The birth of JDM?

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