Through the 50’s
With the mild success of the Overlander A1600, Osoka engineers had enough time and money to develop the next cars in Osoka’s lineup; the B-series.
Debuting in 1950, the B-series was a small car more oriented to life in the cities than the countryside. At first only available in a two-door sedan, the B-series was designed to cater to multiple lifestyles rather than a one size fits all. Powering the B-series was a modified variant of the military 1.6 liter 4-cylinder. The new variant, dubbed the A4-CE, didn’t provide much of a bump in power, going from 54 horsepower to 55 and 69 pound-feet of torque to 82. What it did improve on was fuel economy, going from a measly 15 miles per gallon average to a significant 20 miles per gallon average.
The sedan model, called the Hiro, was marketed towards the middle class citizens in larger cities. A basic yet fashionable sedan, the Hiro was designed to be a working man’s car, and though it possessed a backseat it wasn’t recommended seating anyone beyond small children due to the lack of space provided to rear passengers.
1952 introduced station wagon variants. The passenger variant, called the Kazoku, was aimed at growing families by providing a more spacious interior and a backseat that could actually seat two full grown adults.
Alongside the Kazoku was the Shonin, the panel wagon variant. Marketed to businesses as fleet vehicles rather than citizens since it lacked a backseat, it was the only “truck” that Osoka offered next to the Overlander.
The Refreshed Overlander
The Overlander received a minor update in 1949, being given a more comfortable interior and safety equipment. The 1950 model year was outfitted with the A4-CE and tweaks to the transmission gave the old Overlander much better fuel economy. For the rest of the 1950’s, the Overlander remained unchanged, only receiving minor tweaks to make the vehicle more comfortable.
The B-Series Facelift
1956 introduced a more stylish front fascia, along with an optional AM radio. Ride quality was also improved on the Hiro and Kazoku while the Shonin didn’t receive much in terms of ride improvement.