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Thread: A young Mr. K

  1. #1
    Her Majesty the 26th 26th-Z's Avatar
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    Default A young Mr. K

    Mr. K sent me a magazine the other day. It is a Geibun Mook No. 564 from Nostalgic Hero. I think it is a July / August publication. Mr. K sent it to me in late August. It just got here. The issue is devoted to the Fairlady and Fairlady Z. A 240ZG is on the cover. There is an article about Mr. K and I thought you all might get a kick out of these two pictures as I don’t believe anyone has seen them before.

    The first one is "Mr. K is testing a prototype Flying Feather on the bank of the Tamagawa River. The car was designed by Tomiya Ryuichi and the car was built by Suminoe Manufacturing Company."

    The second one is “The car at the bottom is 1935 Datsun Phaeton and the second man from left standing on the other side of the car is Mr. K. A lady in kimono on the right is Mr. K's sister”

    This information relayed to me from Usami Masataka through Dan Banks who wrote; “appears to be a 1935 Model 14, with the Ford Y style radiator grill and the leaping hare hood ornament. What does the caption of that photograph say?”
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    Go Fast, Don't Crash 280~Master's Avatar
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    How cool to have Mr. K sending you stuff. Very nice.
    John Thomas Bertrand
    Model: HLS30 STD CPE 2DR
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    Port of Entry: 34 JACKSONVILLE
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    Dealer to whom delivered:
    Brown Datsun INC
    213 E Liberty ST
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    Known Zitus carrier! hls30.com's Avatar
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    Chris,
    You are the man with with the chama charma!
    Thanks for sharing that, it is too cool!
    Will
    A Z is beautiful from any angle, I just happen to prefer to view from the drivers' seat!

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    Absolute treasure Chris! Thanks for relaying the pics & info. I think it's great that at 98 years of age Mr. K has the presense of mind to maintain ties with old friends. From all the photos I have from the '30's it looks like front bumpers were optional. Don't keep us in suspense too long. What was the caption on the photograph?

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    Speaking of the Young Mr. K and the Flying Feather etc.

    When I ask Mr. K about the Flying Feather many years ago (1995) - he said that as a young boy he had seen two men driving a "Briggs Flyer" in Japan and was so impressed with it that he always wanted to produce such a simple and basic car in Japan.

    Years later, after the War, the concept of producing an affordable automobile for Japan, such as had been done in Germany prior to the War, was gaining favor with the heads of industry and banking (MITI).

    Mr. K told me that he had a friend named Ryuichi Tomiya that used to work with him at Nissan prior to the War. So he sat down with his friend and described the car he wanted to build, as an example of a "Peoples Car" for Japan. Mr. K described the Briggs Flyer (designed by A.O. Smith in 1914, later purchased/produced by "Briggs and Stratton" and sold as the Briggs Flyer), and his friend sketched it out as he watched and commented. In that same meeting Ryuichi Tomiya sketched out the automotive evolution of it - the Flying Feather...

    While Mr. K promoted the car and worked to get the first ones produced - he was really adamant about talking about the capability of his friend Ryuichi Tomiya to design almost anything conceived, as well as mentioning how sad it was that people like him could not work for long in the corporate world. (Nissan's loss).

    This is an interesting story of automotive design evolution..started when Arthur William Wall of Birmingham, England developed a one cylinder, direct drive motor wheel in 1910. A.O. Smith Company then licensed the design and produced the Smith Motor Wheel to be mounted on bicycles (as well as other applications - see picture below), then used in 1915 on the Smith Flyers. Briggs and Stratton farther developed the the motor wheel after buying the A.O.Smith Company, and produced the Briggs Flyers.

    If you are close to my age - I'll bet you remember the motor wheel that was advertised in most Popular Mechanics and Popular Science Magazines in the 50's - that you could bolt to the front wheel on your bicycle...

    Ah..evolution... Quite a journey from the Motor Wheel, to the Flyer, to the Feather, to the Z.... But in the end both A.O. Smith and his Flyer, and Mr. K, were joined in the Automobile Hall Of Fame...

    Pictures below:
    Briggs Wheelskate.jpg (yes, you put it on the ice and it pulled you on skates!)
    1918 Smith Red Bug
    Briggs Flyer
    Mr. Smiths Sons at the Automotive Hall Of Fame in Dearborn (the Heart of Ford Country).

    FWIW,
    Carl B.

    If your interested.. just Google, A.O. Smith, Briggs and Stratton, Red Bug, Smith Flyer, Ryuichi Tomiya etc...
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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    I remember the motor wheel. I remember a couple of kids that had one in one of the neighborhoods I grew up in. I seem to recall that it made the bicycle rather difficult to ride and steer becaue of it's weight.
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    Registered User Tony D's Avatar
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    Dang, looks like the car in my avatar...36 DATSUN Phaeton (Body By Nissan)...

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    Her Majesty the 26th 26th-Z's Avatar
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    I'll say how cool it is that he sent me this! I was floored! The "mook" is all in Japanese. I can't tell you much about the captions or text other than what Usami Masataka wrote about the article. I should take it to Daytona, huh? Here is the cover.
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    ++++++++ HS30-H's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 26th-Z View Post
    The second one is “The car at the bottom is 1935 Datsun Phaeton and the second man from left standing on the other side of the car is Mr. K. A lady in kimono on the right is Mr. K's sister”

    This information relayed to me from Usami Masataka through Dan Banks who wrote; “appears to be a 1935 Model 14, with the Ford Y style radiator grill and the leaping hare hood ornament. What does the caption of that photograph say?”

    You already have most of the information in the photo caption. There's not much more in it.

    My translation of the caption:

    "Second from the left is Katayama. On the far right is his younger sister. The car is a '35 ( as in 1935 ) year-style Phaeton. Photograph taken in the first year of ( Katayama ) joining the company."



    To be honest - as far as the other articles in this 'Mook' ( a compilation of previously published articles from Nostalgic Hero magazine ) are concerned - I found the article on Nissan staff engineer TAKEI Michio of greatest interest. Here is somebody who had direct - hands-on - involvement in the development of the S30-series Z, and who travelled extensively outside Japan in his work. A story that has not been told before, and from the horse's mouth so to speak. Great stuff.

    Alan T.

  10. #10
    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tony D View Post
    Dang, looks like the car in my avatar...36 DATSUN Phaeton (Body By Nissan)...
    Tony, do you know anything more about that car? I was a couple of vehicles down the row from it with my 320 at the show that picture is from but I didn't get to talk much with the owner. I may have actually taken that picture.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Tony D's Avatar
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    Nope, that is my photo. I'm not a 'photo poacher' without giving due credit!

    Matter of fact, I see Alan is in the thread now, he even got credit for some 'thumbnail sized photos' in the GroupZ Newsletter this month (off the ZG Production Thread in the History Forum).

    The owner is from Ventura CA, and has a passion for microcars, he has all sorts of little Bantams, etc.

    I can get more information on the car/owner if you like. It will take some time, as I'm moving around with work, and don't have the time to sit down and get particulars as much as I'd like.

    I know he bought the car in Texas/Louisiana, and moved it out of the area to his location slightly before Hurricane Katrina. It's a neat old car, to be sure.

    I liked the 'Body By Nissan' tag on the coachwork---just like the old "GM" practice of 'Body by Fischer' on the scuff plates of most of the passenger cars GM Made. Old Fischer Body...I was born not too far from there. But the main thing was the car was a Datsun Phaeton... Nissan at the time was simply still a supplier. Datsun was actually making complete vehicles (though supplied through their supplier network.)

    Curious how things change over time... Loose heritage and loose soul, all over ego. How truly sad that is...

  12. #12
    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    No I wasn't accusing you of poaching. I took a few pictures of that car myself in Temecula. Once I put a photo on the 'net, I don't really care what happens to it as it becomes public domain. I don't even remember where I put them, maybe the JNC site. Anyway, I'm more interested in the car than the picture. Curious about the color choice, etc. I didn't get a chance to talk to the gentleman much while I was there.
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    Former frequent poster sblake01's Avatar
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    I was a couple of vehicles up from him.
    2004 Ford Ranger EDGE Supercab
    (@Moonpup: This one really is an EDGE!)
    2005 Pontaic GTO
    2010 Mercedes Benz C300 AMG Sportline (Wife's car)
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    That car was for sale about 7 years ago in Texas, it had been in a museum for a long time. The color choice was pre determined for the new owner as it is the original paint.

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