The Petersen Museum to explore the art, science and craft of Japanese car making

By: Alex Affat, Unique Cars magazine

Presented by

Petersen Japan LEAD Petersen Japan LEAD

Two exhibits are on display, exploring the rise of the Japanese car industry, and Japan’s car culture effects on the Western world.

On local soil, the Japanese car makers faced a similar struggle of perception to that in the US, where early offerings faced underwhelming responses from consumers. Yet it was the Japanese spirit of creation and engineering that saw an explosion in popularity throughout the 70s, and morphing into the powerhouse industry it is today.

To explore this rise, the Petersen Museum has recently opened the doors to two Japanese themed exhibits, titled: The Roots of Monozukuri – Creative Spirit in Japanese Automaking and Fine Tuning – Japanese-American Customs.

Petersen -Japan -Roots

The first exhibit "The Roots of Monozukuri" (interpreted as "the art, science and craft of making things") will explore the Japanese industry’s early design philosophies, why early offerings floundered out of the showrooms, and document their dedication to improving cars aimed at export markets.

The exhibit features a number of historic Japanese vehicles, including the 1937 Nissan 70 (Nissan’s first full-size car), a 1967 Toyota 2000GT, a 1968 Honda N600 (the first Honda officially exported to the US) and a 1969 Mazda Cosmo.

Petersen -Japan -Nissan -70

The second part of the exhibit is the Fine Tuning collection, and explores Japanese aftermarket car culture, and dichotomises its influences on western car culture in the aftermarket and modified world.

In the Fine Tuning gallery, viewers can get up close to a 1973 Nissan Skyline 2000 GTX, a 1991 Toyota Cresta Kaido Racer, and a radical Shakotan-style Mazda RX3.

Petersen -Japan -Fine Tuning

In both Australia and America, the Japanese tuning culture has well and truly permeated itself style and ideals in local car culture.

These two Japan-centric exhibits may look to the past, but also offer our own local car scenes and industries, a look at the present and future.

The exhibits are set to run through to April 14th, 2019.

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