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Sanda Motor Corporation (U4 - 1975 Ridge)


Sanda Overview

Sanda Motor Corporation, commonly referred to just as Sanda, is a Japanese automaker founded in 1935 by Sakuko Sanda. Intially the company made motorbikes, and during the WWII it was forced to make guns and ammunition. After the war was over (a couple of years actually), Sanda went back to design bikes, and in 1960, they released their first car.

Current line-up - 197X


By Decade


Meliora Automotive ['77 Perenne facelift and News!]


Due to the economical situation in the post-war japan, several car manufacturers went into designing really small cars with small motorcyles engines, also known as Kei cars.
Sanda saw in this an opportunity and designed their first car, the Maijme.

It came in 2 trims, the 2-door C360 and the 3-door W360, both had 4 seats and a rear 360cc L4 engine, with almost only the basic inside the car, except for safety and power steering, which give the MAJIME an edge over the other kei cars.

Saleswise, both trims were fairly good received, but they were not record breakers.


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1962 Majime Sedan & facelift

In the middle of 1962, Sanda did a smaller facelift to the majime series, and also added a new trim, called S360.
It had the same engine and the same transmission as the other previous trims. It included 12" rims, drum brakes all around, 4 seats, an improved basic interior (but no stereo, there was not enough space for that) as well as a redesign suspension. At the end, the new trim and the facelift in general was very good received.

1963 Archer Family

Moving on to more spacious and bigger cars, Sanda revealed the Archer in 1963. It used a new engine, called the 1B4. It was a 769cc OHV L4 with a single barrel carb, pushing 34hp, more than enough to pass the 100 km/h.

It had a manual 3 speed gearbox, 13" wheels, modern drum brakes, and 5 seats. To keep the weight (and the cost) down, and the car spacious in the inside, the interior was simple and basic. The car had a double wishbones in the front and solid axle with leaf springs in the rear (with no sway bar).
It was considered for people looking family, commuter or even city cars.

1965 Sado Carrier

The first big vehicule of sanda (big between quotation marks). Following the tendencies of other japanese manufacturers, the Sando Carrier was put to sale in 1965, and as today, is still considered like a landmark of Sanda.

It was powered by a more powerful variant of the 1B4, pushing the rear wheels through a 3 speed automatic transmission. A 2 speed was considered, but it made the vehicle painfully slow (worse than the 40 seconds it take to reach 100 km/h).
It weighted over a ton, due to been completely from steel and had a ladder chassis instead of the classic monocoque the other cars uses.
Inside the Sado had 6 seats, and a similar archer interior. It also had power steering, and special car was taken to the safety.

1966 Concept car

97.2 hp @ 6,800 rpm
85.6 ft-lb @ 4,900 rpm
Weight: 722 kg aprox.
top speed: around 200 km/h
0-100: 8.8 s


1968 - 1973 Majime MKII

The second generation of the Majime was presented in 1968, still aiming at the K category.
This time, the car was slightly larger and the engine had even more power.

Despise its short size, the Majime was spacious enough to fit 4 adults, thanks to its revolutionary front wheel drive system. Since the engine was so little (360cc) and it was merged with the transmission, it could fit in the front bay without resting space in the interior (without annoying bumps) leaving a lot of room in the rear trunk, plus the engine bay was so small that the spare tire and other commodities were placed in the front.

Powerwise, the engine pretty much remained the same, a 360cc OHV 4 cylinder engine, this time pushing almost 20hp in comparison to the 14 of the original model.

Since it was the Budget car the car itself was pretty spartan, 3 speed gearbox, 4 basic seats with almost no interior or entertainment. Being so light, it didn't need power steering. But that didn't matter, as the careful tuned suspension along with the lightweight made this car a choice, even for those who could afford other cars.

*Figures for the Fruinian market


Mmmm, that Majime looks great for a budget car. Really smart interior packaging too, and for a great price. It's like a motorcycle that seats 4 :smiley:

What's the 0-60 time, by the way?


50.9 seconds xDD!
And the quarter mile in 25.65s and it can pull an impresive 0.7g in the corners :wink:
Airfield time: 2:18.01


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That's even worse than Fiat 126 by about 20 seconds. It had 5hp more with more or less the same weight, but it still was very cheap car.


360cc life.


It's because of the gearing. It reaches 60 km/h in a few seconds, 60 to 80 in 3rd starts to slowdown significantly, but it can barely go above 80 km/h. A forth gear will (probably) solve that issue.


As I remember 126p on paper had 52 seconds to 100 and could actually barely reach that speed

Unless it's Bis, yeah, this thing was quicker


1968 - 1972 Archer MKII -- 5 trims --

For those who wanted more car than the Majime, in 1968 Sanda upgraded the Archer. Based in the same platform as the last generation, this time the engine was mounted transversely moving the front wheels, the same winning formula as the Majime.
2 engines and 5 trims were offered, ranging from $7,080 to $11,868.
The basic ones were the 2-door, 4-door and the wagon, powered by the same engine as the Sado Carrier, an inline 4 cylinder OHV with 37 horsepower matted to a 3 speed manual gearbox, while the Premium and the Trotter trims came with a brand new 1L L4 OHV with 48 hp, with either a 3 speed automatic or a 4 speed manual.
This was the best selling car of the 60s and early 70s for the company, which actually made Sakuko Sanda consider to expand the company line-up away from the compact and the K territory.

Archer 2 Door

Market price: $7,080
Figures for the Fruinian market

Archer 4 Door

Market price: $7,080
Figures for the Fruinian market

Archer Premium LXI

Market price: $11,868
Figures for the Fruinian market

Archer Trotter GT

Market price: $8,125
Figures for the Fruinian market

Archer Wagon

Market price: $7,200
Figures for the Fruinian market


Cheap car with 49hp named "GT". Would drive very much :smile:
I like the design. It looks very real :slight_smile:


@szafirowy01 Well, if you like japanese underpower sport cars, you might like the next one ;D (still in the cheap-ish side of things)


Nah. It's not about being underpowered, I just like cars that include a bit of nonsense :stuck_out_tongue:

PS Or are surprising in a way. Or at least not something one might expect.


The term "GT" is so vague that there is no irony to be found here.


Well, for me GT is gran turismo - a car that combines speed and comfort, good for long travels for one or two people. And I thought it is quite common interpretation.

PS Although as a trim name it's like "slightly more power, a bit of fancy equipment", which makes some sense.


For us petrolheads, but for must people and specially marketing people, GT equals to sportier than normal version xD, so with the right justification, you can badge any car with a GT insignia :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:
But here is another silly take on a sport car.

1968 - 1971 Sanda Proton

After the presentation of a prototype in 1966, 2 years later, the official project came to the light, and this time, looking better.
The Sanda Proton was the take on a sport car, taking the characteristic small engine design of sanda. It was powered by a tiny 1.3L flatplane V8. Since the parts were so small, you don't had to worry about vibrations, and the engine could rev up all the way to 7,800 rpms. All of that, plus a futuristic alienish design.
Sadly, there were some crocks with it. The fuel economy was one of them, it was rubbish for such small engine and power output. Also, due to the dependent rear suspension, and poorly tuning, it was unstable at high speeds or in bumpy surfaces.
It only remained in production 2 years and it took 3 years to sell every car, and to this day are considered collectible cars. It also founded the seed for some of the characteristic sports cars with small displacement that Sanda will manufacture in years to come.

Market price: $10,507


The 1968 Archer. Welcome to the Danger Zone... :stuck_out_tongue:

That car looks so... 70s, but not the good Escort 70s, more like very cool but a challenging experience Fiat 70s :smiley: