Why I love this TINY Japanese Fake “Super Car”

Why I love this TINY Japanese Fake “Super Car”


(funky music) – I cannot believe it, but this is the 50th
episode of Bumper 2 Bumper. And because it is such a huge milestone, we went and got the tiniest
car that we could find. (funky music) This super weird little kei
car was a total sales flop when it should have been, in
my opinion, a big success. So what happened? Well today we have one of
the raddest and the rarest of the Japanese Market Kei cars. I’m gonna tell you how it came to be. Then we’re gonna dive
into the car, to show you what makes it so unique
and why I love it so much. And at the end, you already
know, that I’m gonna see how funny I look inside of it. Today we’re going Bumper 2 Bumper, on this Autozam, AZ-1. AZ-1. (hard rock music) Thanks so much for this
episode sponsor, Audible. Hey are you like me? Do you like listening to the words in stead of looking at them? Well Audible, has a ton of audio books. And other word-based audio entertainment. From virtually every category. Audible members can pick
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get a $20 Amazon credit. I’m starting off with Tiny House Living. Because after I get
all excited about a car I can barely fit inside,
I’m gonna want a home that I can barely fit inside. I can’t wait to listen to
my next audiobook, curled up in the fetal position, in both of them. Start listening right now
with a 30 day Audible trial. Choose one audiobook and two Audible originals,
absolutely free! Visit audible.com/bumper2bumper or text Bumper2Bumper to 500-500. Now before I get up close
and personal with this AZ-1, let me tell you a little bit
about where it came from, and what things were like when it arrived on the scene. Tiny cars like this
originally came about as a way to get people into affordable
cars, after DAB/DAB 2. The Japanese Gavril created
a new like vehicle segment called Kei Cars. (classic music) In 1990, the maximum
length, was set an 11.2 feet and a max engine size at 660CC. Now that’s really small. Okay, you guys? (classic music) You know what else was
going on around in 1990? The golden age, of Japanese super cars. Freaking sky legs, silvious basically, every car that you little d-holes love. And it was that atmosphere
that also gave us, a trio of fun size, sporty little Kei cars that came to be known as the ABC Kei cars. The Autozam AZ-1, the Honda Beat and the Suzuki Cappuccino. Autozam was a sum brand of Mazda and sold the company smaller
more affordable cars. Cars like Syan and Toyota
here in the States. And the AZ-1, is the
wildest of the ABC bunch. (upbeat music) Now they developed three,
different concepts for the 1989, Tokyo Motor Show, to see which
one the public like best. Type A, was an exotic looking
coop with gold wing doors that pop up, up and down headlights. Type B, was a weird
shaped coop, with boring, regular not even gold wing doors and a really tall green house. And the Type C, looked like a
straight up miniture group c, prototype race car. Thundered mirrors and
numbers on the doors. But, naturally the guys in the suits, didn’t give us the little tiny race car. And in the end, they killed
its pop up headlights ’cause they were like, “I
guess it makes it safer.” You know what’s not safe but very cool? Samurai swords, hang gliders,
pop up up and down headlights. Another thing that is very
cool, are these sideburns. They’re fully functional. These one’s got an intake pinnate, and on the other side, there’s one that matches it
that goes to the inner core. Sick! (hiphop music) Standard AZ-1 only came in two colors. Classic red, and Siberia blue, with gray body claddy. Later on there were special editions that added black, silver, and white. Naturally, there is a
monster speed one too, which ditched the gray beats,
for a color match sporty kid. Actually added a blue buzzer
speed body kid to her AZ-1. Oh, it was some absolutely
freaking massive, bridge stone super wrap wheels. You might think, that
they’re just steelies, but if you think that, then you’re wrong. These things are made out
of freaking magnesium. That’s sick, it’s like a race car. (hiphop music) If you see an AZ-1 parked or even driving, with this sick doors up,
you cannot help but love it. We had a donut meet, a few months ago. We literally had so many
cool cars in a parking lot, but it was an AZ-1, that
everyone was talking about. People love ’em. It’s cute, exotic at the
same time, like an Iguana. Honestly guys, look. (funky music) And what the heck. Let’s stir another name into the mix. Suzuki, played a big part in
the development of the AZ-1. They gave the idea for the
car, and an engine to Mazda, who took those two
things and ran with them. Behind the tiny seats is a transversely mounted
657 cc turbo charged three cylinder engine making 64 hp and 63 pound feet of torque, which is the maximum amount
allowed in a Kei car. (upbeat music) So yes, 64 horse power, isn’t very much, but the turbos pulls up and the engine reds all
the way to 9000 rpm, just right behind your freaking head. Now this car has a Fujitsubo exhaust that probably has a few
extra horse powers . But 0-60 still, takes about ten seconds. Now the cowboy weight
of only 1,587 pounds. Its power to rate ratio is
about half of a Mazda Miata. So, it’s not actually, that fast, but as Colin Chapman proved, lightness, goes a long way
towards making cars fun. ‘Cause, when a car is
light, it feels fast. (wheels screeching) Ashley actually drove it
on several tracks in Japan, and Luguna Seca, and her in the car were back here living in the States. (car engine revving) So, there is a down side
to having a car this small. It doesn’t have a trunk, or it must have a frock, right? No, wrong. It’s full of horns and a spare tire. So, if you wanna bring
literally anything with you, you can’t have a passenger in the car. You wanna go on a weekend
road trip with your boo, I say forget about the car. (upbeat music) Okay, now it’s time for the
funniest part of the episode. I know, there’s been a lot of funny parts, but this is the funniest. Let’s put me, inside of this little car. (chuckles) (grunting) Allow me in. (rock music) I guess you could say, that
it’s a little bit small for me. Just thinking about a
typical boring Kei car, you might expect to find, a dinky little three speed automatic car. Similarly a four speed
manual, in this car, but nope, it’s got a freaking five speed. Just like the rest of the
Gedium Legends from the ’90s. (rock music) This car has a defy water
pump, and boo skanges. You know,’cause turbo. Speaking of turbo, it’s
got an HKS turbo timer, and a factory optional
mowo steering wheel, just like a Subaru. The little side windows, are
upgraded with manual cranks which is kinda hard to dig. And it only takes two
turns to get ’em done ’cause we’re so small, which is not a problem, because this car came with AC. So, you don’t even need the outside air. You’re set! (upbeat music) Now it’s time, for my favorite part. We can get to hear what a turbo charge, 650 cc three solner sounds like. Shall we? (engine revving) It sounds good. I’ve never heard a car
that sounds like this. Here’s the thing. On paper the AZ-1 should have been, a sales slam dunk, all right? Its midi engine, real, real drive. Have I mentioned that
it has gold wing doors? And it was marketed, as the
ultimate, handling, machine. What more could someone want? The action ended in 1994
with only 4392 AZ-1s made. And another 531 rebadge and
sold as the Suzuki Cara. AZ-1 was just, too silly to
survive a better climbing. I mean, where are you
gonna put your groceries? (funky music) The golden doors, the vents, the turbo, the freaking handling. There’s just so much to love. About this tiny, little,
Japanese, slow super car. Regardless of the fact that it
wasn’t a commercial success, but, there’s a few thousand out there. And now that they are 25 years old, you can legally import them to the States, and register them to drive on
the streets, if you’re brave. (engine revving) Again this is our 50th episode. I wanna thank you guys so much,
from the bottom of my heart, and on behalf of everyone else at Donut, especially, the Bumper 2 Bumper crew. We’ve got Christina, we’ve got Phillippe, we’ve got a bunch of guys
who make it look really good. Max and Graham, our
editors, all of our writers, and also all the dudes who stepped in, to host when I couldn’t,
Phillipe, Job, and Noel. It takes a village, and its
team effort and this is awesome. If you wanna see more pictures
of this car, follow Ashley, the owner on Instagram at ashleymiche. Follow me on Instagram at jamespumphrey. But if you want some behind
the scene stuff, follow Donut on Twitter and Instagram. We also have a new channel,
called Donut Podcasts, which is 100% dedicated
to long form content. I loved the show and I love you guys. Love you, bye.