Pick-up in Tokyo.
Actress Asha Parekh is shown behind the wheel of a pick-up truck in Tokyo in a classic Hindi movie ‘Love in Tokyo’. Released in 1966, the movie went on to be a blockbuster, and featured Joy Mukherjee and the accomplished Lalita Pawar. The story unveils such that Mukherjee is engaged to a girl Sarita (Lata Bose) chosen by his mother played by Lalita Pawar, in a situation that is not to his liking. Sarita is a minor of 17 years, and pampered. Finding himself in a spot, Mukherjee in a turn of events finds himself on the plane to Japan. Lalita Pawar is informed by her lawyer that her daughter-in-law (wife of Mukherjee’s elder brother) is critically ill in Japan, and wants to hand over her son to her husband’s family. Mukherjee’s elder brother married a Japanese girl much to the dislike of his mother.
Mukherjee bonds well with his elder brother’s son. They visit a shopping mall where he catches a glimpse of Asha Parekh on the television.
He is drawn to her. As the performance comes to an end, Parekh’s uncle played by Madan puri announces her engagement with a young pilot of Indian origin, played by Pran. Parekh is not aware of the plot drawn by her uncle to inherit her father’s property with the help of Pran. Unhappy with the turn of the events that unfold with such speed, Parekh decides to flee. As would happen only in a Hindi movie, she bumps into the little fellow. Haggered by their respective uncles, Parekh and the little fellow take to liking each other. A bounty of USD 5,000 is announced for whoever finds Parekh and returns her. After spending the night in hiding, the two decide to move. In an attempt to do so, the little one accidently bumps into Mukherjee who is on the look out. Parekh gets into action. She hijacks a Toyopet pick-up truck, and the two flee as Mukherjee chases them. The driving skills of Parekh as she deftly maneouvres the Toyopet pick-up laden with hay on the roads of Tokyo deserves a mention.
Featured many years later in the movie Betaab, albeit in a battered and badly bruised form by the lead actor Sunny Deol to woo his love interest, Amrita Singh, the Toyopet pick-up truck was launched in 1954 in Japan as a competitor to Nissan Junior. Sharing the platform with Toyota Dyna, the pick-up truck was rechristened as the ‘Scout’ in 1959. Known to be produced until 1989, the pick-up truck made for a successful model run. The one that Parekh is shown to be driving in the movie remained a main stream model for many years, and gave the pick-up the identity it deserves. Looked up to as the forefather of Toyota Hilux, the Scout was powered by a 48 hp, 1.5-litre, diesel engine. It could be also had with a 2-litre Type R engine. If the twin headlights set into a large grille attract, it is the positioning of the parking lights at either corner of the bonnet that draw attention. They present a unique identity to the design. A body on frame construction, the suspension of Scout was made up of independent coil springs at front, and leaf springs at the rear. Measuring 4,286 mm to 4,690 mm mm in length and 1,690 mm in width, the Scout made for an interesting cameo in the movie. Allowing Bollywood fans to catch a glimpse of a pick-up truck in the 60s, the movie, ‘Love in Tokyo’ had a happy ending with Mukherjee and Parekh falling for each other.