Retro-cheat: the experience of owning Mitsuoka Le-Seyde

Mitsuoka Le-Seyde – it is literally breaking the pattern, and in several ways. And no wonder that the Western man in wonder, the eastern quite ordinary. However, the case even for the Japanese with their radically different from our way of thinking – out of the ordinary.

Black cat in a dark room

Hy, gentlemen drifters and all those who are versed in the Japanese automotive topics you see in the pictures your drift icon and one of the most popular Japanese car market dvuhdverok Nissan Silvia S13? No? And it is! You may ask: “Where?” So after all that’s right in front of you! Yes, friends, this old silhouette, the shape of America of the 1930s, the windows of which God himself commanded to hang gangsters in wide-brimmed hats with a machine gun Thompson at the ready – this is the most favorite of all Sylvia, 99% of which copies now lives on tracks in a terrible drift cars. Do not believe me? We looked at the TCP of the car and found: in the column body is really worth S13! Only the Japanese could to think of this!

And really, if you mentally cut off the front part of the machine on the stand of the windshield and rear triangles rear windows – this is it, what is taken from our favorite “Plums”. This framework remains unchanged, and it is the only part of the steel body, everything else here – fiberglass. And this is not the result of the crazy ideas of a single Japanese designed a custom vehicle in their garage, no – it’s factory machine, and her name – Mitsuoka Le-Seyde.



Externally, the car is definitely unusual. And how could it be otherwise – nearly six meters selective retro! Here, you and protruding wheel arches and decorative trunks under the spare wheel mounted on their low tide (which actually hides the battery on one side and air on the other), and free-standing lamps and sockets horns affixed to the front in plain view place … creates an overall impression that this is indeed the car 30s, probably bought in the form of scrap metal and carefully restored by the current owner. In our world, when car traffic, which is already hiding, rather monotonous, like the bright spots – a great success.

If you do not want to ruin the illusion, the main thing – do not look at the body. Outside, everything really only plays to the benefit of retro image: even the wheels, selected manufacturers flaunt spokes. But it is necessary to sit down and get a glimpse at the wide front arch, hanging over the wheel as the eye yavyatsya design is clearly superior to the works of the early XX century engineers. Massive suspension arms, disc brakes, ball bearings … Converted here and does not smell – all modern and proven solutions. However, soon have to remove his head from under the wing, and the illusion continues …


And only salon puts all the points the i. Yes, it is by Silvia, with its unpretentious enough interior – the same as with most Japanese car 80-90-ies. Same as all the JDM, sliders climate control, a lever of a choice of operating modes of the automatic transmission with overdrive a little button on the side. Is the owner of this particular instance replaced archaic cassette player on dvuhdinovaya system by adding a rearview camera for parking convenience, but major changes in the general view of the passenger compartment is not made.

The interior on the background of such an extraordinary appearance, quite frankly, a simpleton. And if in the original version (ie Sylvia) such interior is in harmony with the exterior, it looks for all the recycled car, perhaps, worth to consider and options for modifying the interior space. At least, more than the original seats and leather trim with contrasting stitching literally beg the company to a long hood and a massive wings. But … that although small-, and yet production vehicles, and the development of new interior would require tangible gain to the budget. In essentially the same as the alleged owner of a happy Japanese received a different concept: the familiar interior of the car every day, combined with extravagant looks. Yes, the main thing at Le Seida – an external effect.

In move

And how this descendant of retro-cars rides? Just hurry upset you: this is not a sports car, which initially is Silvia. Even taking into account that the entire suspension is retained by the donor unchanged (the scheme is fully independent front and rear disc brakes on both axles), Mitsuoka very lazy. And no wonder – because the front part is considerably lengthened and fitted to the frame. With such a base and three sports suspension ceases to be such.

Sporting feats and does not contribute to the engine – is installed in-line four-cylinder engine capacity of 1.8 liters and 135 liters. from. In general, it is not so little, but for the car almost six meters long, but still very heavy (weight without load 1330 kg), this value is only sufficient for leisurely travel. In general, the explanatory drift cramps from this JDM is not to build … But from Mitsuoka Le-Seyde sports hurried and did not need to, do not you? It is designed to warm summer evening to roll along the promenade and enjoy the admiring glances of others – and to cope with this task perfectly. It is only necessary to remember about the impressive dimensions and sitting behind the wheel, do not forget that the end of the hood – it’s not the end of the machine: there is, further, another good two feet.

Mitsuoka Motors

And it’s all for a name – Mitsuoka? In fact, Mitsuoka – the company is very respectable age. It was founded in 1968 and named after the founder of the family, technical college graduate Susumu Mitsuoka. At first the company was engaged in the preparation of pre-sale of used cars, and then – the import of French small car. Firmly standing on its feet, Japanese businessmen have decided to try himself in a new role – the manufacturer of very limited own machines in the style of British and American retro, but on the basis of modern Japanese models.

Definitely say how successful and profitable was the idea, it is difficult – but its viability can be judged from the fact that the business is Mitsuoka alive today! In today’s models can be recognized “blanks” in a Toyota Corolla, Nissan Bluebird and the Mazda MX-5 – but Le-Seyde originally from 1990, is probably the most conspiratorial. All were released 500 copies, and they say, all sold out in just four days! Surprisingly all – and so fast “sale”, and that such rare instances there are even here in Russia.

purchase history

The history of the acquisition of this particular instance of utterly simple and clear to all those who with a drop of gasoline in the blood – in love! Oleg, the owner of the Le-Seyde, once engaged overtake engineering from Vladivostok. Mitsuoku he spotted about 15 years ago, but then it was not financially possible nor definitive understanding of what to do with it then. All these years, somewhere in the depths of the soul the idea of ​​a retro car lived and grew stronger, until one day they met again.

At the time of buying the car for two years I was in Russia, Vladivostok. At first, the former owners carried Mitsuoku on exhibitions, and finally abandoned altogether, and for a while she stood motionless. First run of the car was only 9 with a small thousand kilometers, at the age of 24 years! At this time, the circumstances are more favorable to Oleg, and Le-Seyde changed owner.

Repair and maintenance

With the purchase of Oleg probably lucky it was a case where a tiny run assumed a decent technical condition. Of course, for the factory lost its shine time vintage car idle – to wear his old age took. Chrome oblez and demanded restoration, interior was a bit shabby (obviously amateurs photographed behind the wheel), and the car needed to be expected in a large-scale MOT. But Oleg decided to take drastic way: completely dismantled the entire car and brought to the ideal of those places that had to wear.

The tone of the seats have altered battered door cards, out of the blue box repainted in black and white, and all the chrome parts given to recovery – all the old chrome and applied to pit again. Some elements – such as rims headlights – had to be made anew. On sale they do not find a home thoroughly rotted. Here we come to the aid of modern technology: the remnants of the rims were given in a specialized workshop, where they removed all the parameters and manufactured new parts the 3D-printer. Now, outside, everywhere you look, Mitsuoka like yesterday came from the factory.

During assembly, the owner replaced all consumables and slightly cracked on silent blocks of time. The suspension was decided to raise a little by means of special spacers, otherwise the machine constantly cling head bumps.

wheel size
175/75 R14

When buying a car were native spitsovannye wheels, which can be considered a true rarity and exclusive. Here are just a rubber on them, though quite unworn, cracked from time to time. Size 175/75 R14 – very rare, so a fresh set of tires had to be ordered in the United States.

On the restoration of the Mitsuoka Le-Seyde took about three and a half months of intensive labor. very few of these cars in Russia – it is a real exclusive. Because it is not surprising that Oleg is often invited to all sorts of events: City Day, May 9 celebration, exhibitions and so on – but he agreed with pleasure to give pleasure of owning such a car is not only themselves but also others.

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