Blow your own
I enjoy your articles on early and odd Japanese bikes, as New Zealand had import restrictions in the late 1950s and through the 1960s, so only known brands and models were brought into the country. The article on Bridgestone 350GTR (OBA43) mentioned that this bike was made for another two years until 1972, after Bridgestone closed their motorcycle division, for the American market, but still made in Japan. When Bridgestone stopped producing motorcycles in 1969 they had three models not released, 100cc Taka Trail, 60cc Tora and Chibi mini bikes. Their American distributors Rockford Motors bought the models and tooling and had Tanaka Kogyo Ltd in Japan manufacture for them, and were sold in America as Rockfords, so it would appear that they also built the 350GTR in their factory. These three models were sold in the Pacific Basin including New Zealand as TAS eg. Taka by Tas Motor. This carried on until 1975 when the tooling was sold to Taiwan where they were produced and sold as Buffalo. The photo above shows two Rockfords, three Tas and a Buffalo in Ron’s Toy Shed Motor Cycle Museum in Seddon, Marlborough, New Zealand. Ron Hebberd Sedden, NZ
ABOVE L-R Rockford Taka and Tora, TAS Taka, Tora, and Chibbi, Buffalo Mini Trail.