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Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - This Week -

The Subaru 360 (above) has for­mally been recog­nised as part of Ja­pan’s cul­tural her­itage by the Ja­pan So­ci­ety of Me­chan­i­cal En­gi­neers ( JSME). The com­pany’s first mass-pro­duced car is now of­fi­cially a me­chan­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing her­itage item.

The only other car to earn this award is the elec­tric Nis­san Tama, built in the late 1940s in re­sponse to a wide­spread oil short­age in post-war Ja­pan.

The Subaru 360 was in­tro­duced in Ja­pan in 1958 and was briefly sold in the USA dur­ing the late 1960s, but was never sold in the UK. It never sold well in ex­port mar­kets, but sold like hot­cakes in Ja­pan.

A spokesman for the JSME says: ‘ The 360 is now con­sid­ered a part of Ja­pan’s cul­tural her­itage, and its care­ful preser­va­tion is en­cour­aged so that it can be passed on to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions.’

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