AB-Monozukuri: A brief history
A Japanese firm, formed off of the back end of WW2, with humble beginnings in a small unit outside of Yokohama, producing small motorcycles, until in the mid 50s, when it broke into the car market. It has remained a staple, a cliché, symbolising Japanese honesty and reliability in its products ever since.
The company’s history will grow longer and longer by the week (if I remember to add the cars I build…)
In the 1950s, AB are starting to form a bond with their Japanese market, featuring small cars for families. They have small (almost but not quite kei cars) in the form of the I500, and larger family cars such as the I1200.
The unimaginative naming system tells the buyer exactly what they’re getting, in the case of the I500, an Inline engine with 500cc. AB aim to be economical and reliable and want to provide excellent, honest service to their customers, aspiring to reach the heights of the British manufacturer, Austin Cars. Disarmament allows the company to develop technologies, working on Automatic gear boxes, aiming to improve the comfort and smooth driving experience.
AB-Monozukuri I500 ES
This small car produces just 16hp and 21nm of torque, but can easily zip through side streets, while minute in size, it is not quite a Kei car. What is lost in regulation is made up for in the ability to seat 5 people, while carrying your shopping home.
AB-Monozukuri I1200 Free-O-Matic
The Free-O-Matic was a 2 speed Automatic, the first of which it toyed with. These cars provided a high level of finish, with a great price for a struggling post-war country. Up front, producing the power, was a 1200cc Inline-4 producing a modest 44hp, propelling the vehicle to over 120km/h, with 2 full bench seats, it could hold an entire extended family.