Japanese people can avoid hefty tax bills which are calculated on the car’s size and weight, the rules restrict engine size and also the width and length.
It was developed in the late 40’s primarily to reduce emissions and has been a part of the Japanese automotive industry since. Surprisingly the novelty sized Mini Cooper pictured here doesn’t comply. The A-Series engine that powers the idolised model starts at 850cc, strike one. 1.48m is the maximum width permitted, surely this fits? in standard form, it just scrapes in with 80mm to spare. Add some flares and you get strike two.
The killer part is it’s age adds taxes. Even though it’s tiny and has a reasonably small engine the owner gets reasonably hefty bills to own a unique rig like this. Everything seems easier in Japan… realistically only if you back pocket permits.