Wednesday, February 14, 2007

My dream car: The Flying Feather

"The Flying Feather as conceved by Yutaka Katayama and designed by Ryuichi Tomiya in the late 40's. A prototype was built with a 200cc engine (built in-house by Nissan in 1951). Mr. Katayama (aka Mr. K), had a dream from childhood to build a very light weight car (mostly out of motorcycle parts). It was to have a combination of good performance and economy, rather like a gull in flight. Thus the name, "the Flying Feather".

In the late 40's, Mr. K discussed this concept with Ryuichi Tomiya and a sketch was completed instantly. Ryuichi Tomiya had been in charge of body design at Nissan Motors Ltd. before WWII and he was considered to be a genius - later to be called "the Leonardo da Vinci of Japan".

Suminoe Manufacturing produced about 150 Flying Feathers between 1954 and 1955. Today there are only a couple that we know of left in existence. One is on Display at the Tokyo Museum."

My personal belief is that the Feather was a failure because the car was often mistaken for a baby pram, and the Japanese consumer mistakenly bought them for children in thier "toddling" years.

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