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Cult of Personality [LORE] [FINAL RESULTS]


Mitsushita Kuruan is a well known long running Japanese nameplate started in 1956. This luxury executive model has been the staple model of Japanese Businessmen and there has been various type over the year. From 1983-1988 the X90 model was the first available in G-Lusso configuration, with sporty suspension combined with comfortable interior and the famous and ubiquitous Mitsushita 4J engine made famous by excellent tuning potential. Although the Kuruan are focused mostly on Japanese Domestic Market, some did get exported to various part of the world.

The G-Lusso model in particular was equipped with cutting edge technology, with Turbocharging, Climate Control, Automatic Headlamps, Electric Seats and more, wrapped in a classical luxury shown in wool upholstery and understated design.


Right I think I’ll toss a car into this ring then. I’m just posting this to remind myself to do it when I get home.

You remember once reviewing a car named the Armada Talon, don’t you :wink:


When released in the 60s, the Vagant was supposed to be the large family car, that could fill the gap between the sportier Celestia, more luxurious Icarus and the smaller and less refined Lily. Since neither the Lily or the Icarus had any coupe version, the coupe version, the “Starglider” filled an important gap there too. It was more luxurious on the inside than the four door Vagant, but lacked the sporty ambitions of the Celestia and was not completely as luxurious as the Icarus.

The Vagant was however recieving some criticism for being bland. When the Vagant II was introduced for the 1976 model year, the styling was updated, and there was a hope that it would reach some buyers that had been looking away from the earlier Vagants. Still, there were only four cylinder engines available, even in the Starglider. The suspension (struts up front, semi trailing arms in the rear) was inherited from the previous generation, but rear disc brakes replaced the drums. It had most of the safety equipment that was available in its days, like a collapsible steering column, inertia reel seatbelts and headrests for all passengers, crumple zones front and rear, a safe position of the gas tank over the rear axle, and side impact beams. It also was loaded with luxuries like leather upholstery, power steering, power door locks, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, remote controlled mirrors and real wood trim on the dashboard.


This is a Yotata Grand Colorado, a japanese 6 seater van usually fitted with a 2.4l I4 engine. However, a model fitted with a 4.0L V8 was availiable, which also added an automatic gearbox and upgradede interior.

despite the engine having decent potential, it made <150 bhp stock. However, when the first facelift for this van was released, the V8 model was dropped, leaving just the 2.4 and a new 2.6l V6. This made the rare V8 model even rarer and more desirable. However, since these vehicle’s engines have started dying, a trend has arisen to swap in a more modern version of the same motor from the 1997 Victory Royale sedan which is very common and cheap across the USA and also in japan. This also boosts the vehicles power so that lightly tuned models can easily get 250bhp. This example has chromed trim, a 4.0 V8 from a scrap Victory Royale with some minor mods, custom body kit abd lights, a custom sports interior and sound system and wider, 275MM tires as well as the classic hot rod paint of black with flames.


van with flaaaaaaaaaaaaaaamez!


The 1984 Shromet Radiant is the facelifted version of the 1979 Shromet Radiant with minor mechanical changes, including full time Four Wheel Drive, and the 4 cyllinder engine being stroked from 1.6 to 1.7L.


Sorry, somehow didn’t see this before. Thankfully did see it in my daily forum digest email (YAY!)

Were a Beetle to be produced for this competition, I’d actually accept a 1967 or later, as long as the model year was at least 1967. The reason being that in '67, there was a MAJOR change in that the engine was upgraded, the rear suspension significantly reworked, and for the US and UK markets, the electrical system was now 12v instead of 6v.

One could also argue that a '65 would qualify, as the body stampings were fairly significantly changed, along with all the glass (now curved in front instead of flat, which would absolutely change aerodynamics).

Or another argument would be '71, when the Beetle and Super Beetle became separate things with completely different front suspensions.

So even though the Beetle was produced well before the magical '56 cutoff, it went through enough big changes over the years that I would not consider it one generation of models, and could have been reworked as a new model during a specific generational change.

Does that answer adequately?


1972 Sakura Asura Roadman V8 Package

The Asura line of SUVs were an odd little bunch. They were made to fight the trucks on the US market at the time, but ended up being rather forgotten. The Roadman was the more road focused model, taking out some of the more “Pure Offroad” features and traits, and instead opting for a more civilized look and feel. The Roadman was still capable offroad, however the V8 package was another oddity. This one took two of the rarely used Sakura i4s, and mated them together. This got yourself a small 3L V8. It was, however, a short lived grace period, as the fuel crisis made the regular i4 models much more appealing to the wider demographics.


OK, I’m going to run out a couple reviews here over the next day or so, just so you can see what they look like. Week One still runs through the 27th, so if you see your car pop up… congrats! You can’t submit another until after then. :wink:

This first review will also show you that you can score points in more than one category.

1983-1988 Mitsushita Kuruan G-Lusso


A venerable nameplate, the 1983 redesign of the Kuruan is the focus of our attention in today’s blog.

The Kuruan’s history dates back to 1956. Aimed at the growing high-end vehicle market during Japan’s post-war economic recovery and boom, Mitsushita found many buyers looking for a comfortable and prestigious car. While enjoying strong sales numbers at home, Mitsushita didn’t quite have the same success abroad. Still, small export markets emerged for the Japanese automaker and their luxury model, particularly the US in the mid 1970’s.

The 83-88 Kuruan was, in its home market, a full-size luxury car. In America, it was an intermediate, though still quite lavish in its appointments, particularly in top-trim G-Lusso.

Full four-wheel disc brakes were still a novelty at the time, but were found on this trim, along with automatic climate control and lighting, and power adjusted, wool-upholstered seating.

The 4J-SS25T straight-6, twin-cam motor under the hood cranked out an impressive 230 horsepower using newly-available mid-grade Unleaded fuel, pressed through a limited-slip rear via a 5-speed manual transmission. Many Americans, having just gotten used to Unleaded in general, weren’t familiar with the need for a higher grade, and early G-Lussos gained a reputation for pinging and premature failure. This did not help Mitsushita’s image in those days, particularly as economic conditions in the 80’s weren’t conducive to forcing people to pay extra for proper fuel.

In retrospect, and with greater appreciation for the quantum leap forward that Mitsushita was attempting to present, we can now see the full glory of the Kuruan G-Lusso. And while a few people still hold on to their aging luxury cars, showing them off with quirky pride, they are now mostly sought out for motorsports purposes. Because of their factory lean-burning tune and advances in fuel mapping technology, it’s pretty easy to get one to put out 31 more horses with simply swapping out the wastegate, adding an intake and exhaust kit, and changing the fuel tune to be a bit richer. A task that can be accomplished in one afternoon with some basic tools, a laptop, and a hacked ECU. Throw on a set of 215/55/16 Z-rated sport tires (Which, incidentally, fit on the stock rims with zero clearance problems), and you’ve got yourself an instant rabid beast.

Because of the great tuning potential, transmission, and top-end performance capability, Kuruan G-Lussos are actually pretty highly sought after for those running retro classes in club racing, usually at top-notch road courses like Watkins Glen or Mid-Ohio. There are also growing numbers who use this model in the ever-growing sport of drifting.

Whatever your fancy, the 83-88 Mitsushita Kuruan G-Lusso represents the confluence of luxury and sport, and we are richer for having them reach our shores, even as unappreciated as they were at the time.

Mainstream - Retro Motorsport: High (Currently 1st place)
Mainstream - Drift: Low (Currently 1st place)


Yes, very good answer. So if I understand it right, a major facelit that’s more than skin deep, will count as a model on its own. As an example, the changes done to the Beetle in 67 (68 on euro cars strangely enough), or when the Volvo PV444 introduced in 1944 became the Volvo PV544 in 1958. It will not help my lore by much, but thanks anyway! :slight_smile:


The 1987 Meijer Asaha Ittei DM44

The 1987 Meijer Asaha Ittei DM44 started development in late 1983 in Japan. The Asaha was made to replace the Sakura, a long running family of sports cars dating back to the 60’s, while still managing to be able to sell it to the less performance orientated markets like the family segment. The result was the Asaha, a 4/5* seater with a sporty body and a nimble I4. The DM44 was the sportiest model available with the I4, sportier models were fitted with I6’s and later Turbo I6’s. Production lasted from early 1987 to mid 1993.

*depends on the model

That the DM44 was made for twisty mountain roads isn’t something new, when it came out in 1987 it was among the quickest in it’s class during touge races on various passes but it lost it’s speed over the years causing the popularity to drop in 1990.
After the release of the manga ‘44’ in 1991, a manga about a 18 year old boy named Kiochi Yamazaki who drives a DM44 and manages to climb the racing world ladder starting off with street racing, gymkhana, cup races and ending up in the IMSA all while using his trusty old DM44 which had been modified in various ways on the way. The story ends with him crashing and losing his DM44 in his last race in IMSA before being promoted to F1 driver. This manga and it’s anime adaptation caused a huge explosion in popularity initially in 1991 and 1993(anime release) and later in the late 2000’s after a remake of the anime.

The DM44 and it’s sisters ran in various categories like:
-Rally 1987-1989
-IMSA 1987-1990
-Cup races 1987-present


1965 Vega Alameda 389


Huge, growling engines. Scorched rubber. The smell of unburned fuel. The era of the muscle car ushered in this sensory mix which can bring almost anyone older than 30 back to their youth, whether they lived through the day of the muscle car first hand, or are of a younger generation who got their experience through relatives or even high-school projects.

With a nice, big 389 cubic inch motor, the Vega Alameda certainly fits the bill. Putting out just shy of 300 horsepower and with a special 4-speed manual transmission, this early brute could hit 60 in just under 8 seconds. Vega put themselves on the map, and challenged all comers with their contender.

While not the most powerful from the factory, nor having the largest motor, the Austin-8 OHV motor enjoyed a solid reputation for reliability, and good aftermarket support.

But, unlike other muscle cars of the era, Vega didn’t skimp on interior details. The Alameda 389 came out of the factory with comfortable, pillowed seating for 5, pre-plumbing for an accessory air conditioning kit (frequently installed by dealers in CA, TX, and FL), and even intermittent windshield wipers.

Cruise-ins and drag strips all over the country are frequented by numerous Alamedas, with their owners taking great pride in maintaining and showing off their toys.

Mainstream - Muscle: High (Currently 1st)


1984 Shromet Radiant


While 1979 marked the launch of the Shromet Radiant, it wasn’t until the mid-generation facelift in 1984 that the quirky little hatchback really garnered a lot of attention.

It had always been an inexpensive commuter car, but the larger 1.7 liter 4-cylinder, fuel-injected motor gave the Radiant nearly all the tools it needed to succeed in a crowded entry-level market.

The last tool came in the form of a permanent, full-time four-wheel drive system. This opened up the sales floodgates in northern climates, particularly New England and the Great Lakes states.

As a commuter, the Shromet Radiant presented a no-nonsense package. Power was reasonable, at 87 horsepower. Fuel economy was excellent, with a highway rating of 36 MPG and a combined rating of 30 MPG, even with the drag and weight of the four-wheel drive system. Radiants came standard with a 4-speed manual transmission and lacked power steering, but that wasn’t much of a problem given their small footprint and relatively light weight. Seating consisted of cloth-faced vinyl seats with a driver’s side lumbar adjustment. Four belts were included; Shromet did not place a rear seating position over the sizeable driveshaft tunnel.

Over the years, many Radiants have rusted away into nothingness due to a lack of adequate rustproofing. But their solid mechanical design, fantastic fuel economy, and sure-footed traction have attracted a modest but extremely devoted following. You can usually find at least one Radiant at any given trailhead up and down the West Coast, any given weekend. This following also extends to states where clean examples simply do not exist. One of our contributors, as we speak, is driving home to Minneapolis from Phoenix, in an '85 Radiant he had been hunting for over the past year.

Counter Culture - Spiritual Classics: High (Currently in 1st place)


Nice! Great writing style and fun reviews! I’ll enter one soon…





Lemme check my lore and get the appropriate baguette.


(might as well try lore now, starting from the post-70s era)


Here’s my entry for one of Epoch’s most successful models, the 1958 M10 (Lore thread here).

In 1958, Epoch took their first steps into modern design and engineering. Having tested the waters with their independent suspension design the year previously, Epoch now released a brand new model range, featuring fully independent front suspension and a new modern engine design. These cars were also the first to carry Epoch’s new model designation. Unlike other similar offerings at the time, Epoch retained the traditional rear-wheel-drive layout powered through a manual gearbox, which proved to be more of a controversial choice than expected. Whilst this layout meant that interior space and comfort was reduced, Epoch had attempted to mitigate this by shaping the rear of the small car to imitate a wagon/van. This allowed the rear seats to sit further back, leading the M10 to have superior room length-ways compared to competitors, albeit with less space across the width of the car.

M10 A1300
1289cc (79cui) inline four
32.2kW (43HP)
3-speed manual gearbox
Costed at $610 ($5292 adjusted).

M10 A1300 Trayback
Basically a regular M10 A1300, with the rear roof and interior removed and a tray lining welded in place.
Pretty rough and uncivilised, but has a load capacity of almost equal its own kerb weight.

M10 A1500
1499cc (91cui) inline four
50kw (67HP)
4-speed manual gearbox
100 km/h in 13 seconds flat
Costed at $732 ($6347 adjusted).


1982 CMV M48 R: What wins on Sunday kicks ass on Monday!

It’s powered by CMV’s then new line of SOHC 4.8L V8’s available in two states of tune with a cast iron block and aluminum head, making for a more lightweight unit. Models with the “R” moniker received wider, 245mm all-around tires, lower, stiffer suspension, the only option is a 5-speed manual, and of course, a power boost. It has 401 HP and 320 lb-ft of torque from it’s V8 Motur. However, legend has it that you could drop by your local CMV dealership and get a “special” new exhaust system. It’s said that power goes up to 417 HP and 335 lb-ft of torque. It’s also said that you need to drop back by the dealership when you’re due for a smog check. All we know is, it sounds like a monster and went like a bat out of Hell.

Poor businessmen that thought that the R couldn’t be any more difficult to handle then your run of the mill M48 because “the only difference is a 5-speed and some extra bits of plastic” may as well have been declared dead then and there. And even skilled drivers on the track met walls a lot more often then they’d like to admit thanks to a combo of no ABS, relatively tiny rear tires, and a measly 3050 lb. weight. But for those who managed to tame it, a world of V12-level power and performance in a luxurious, reliable, and practical package awaited.


Holy carp, the submission rate has increased quite a bit. :slight_smile: This is good, though. I love it. So what I’m going to do is I’m just going to put out reviews throughout the week as I receive cars, and I’ll update the thread title with new week numbers as it rolls over, so those who want to consistently contribute know when the fresh week has started.