REAL CAR CULTURE

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REAL CAR CULTURE

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The Nissan Leopard With The Same Number As The Popular Detective Drama

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TEXT: 酒寄俊幸(SAKAYORI Toshiyuki/gasgraphix)  PHOTO: 酒寄俊幸(SAKAYORI Toshiyuki/gasgraphix)

  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie
  • Nissan's second generation Leopard, a replica of the car used in the movie

The Leopard at the press conference to announce the production of the latest film

On 1 November 2023, a press conference was held to announce the production of the film The “Abunai Deka Returns”, the latest installment in the “Abunai Deka” (Dangerous Detective) series that brought the Nissan Leopard (second generation) to the forefront of attention. Three days later, on 4 November, the Leopard Open Meeting 2023 was held at Miyama Park, a roadside station in Tamano, Okayama Prefecture. Miraculously, as if by coincidence, the Leopard that appeared at the press conference with the actors was taking part in the meeting! Unfortunately, the participating car was not the car in the film, but the personal car of Mr. Ichikawa, a fan of the drama, but please take a closer look at his love for “Leopard” and “AbuDeka”.

The final specification he arrived at after driving five second-generation Leopard cars

Two early models. Two late models. Then, after a blank of more than 10 years, he got a first-term again about three years ago. In other words, Mr Ichikawa has now owned a total of five second-generation ‘Leopard’ cars.

“The first trigger, of course, was the drama: after getting my license at the age of 18, I took out a loan without telling my parents and bought a 1988, gold-bodied Grand Selection. At the time, later models were already on the market, but this was the limit for a young man to force himself to buy one. But the car in the film was a 3000 cc Altima, and my car was a 2000 cc, so I changed the emblems to disguise the grade at the time, but I couldn’t help feeling frustrated when the ‘real’ one lined up next to me at a junction. As a result, I only drove it for a year and then switched to a 1986 Altima.”

Mr. Ichikawa owned his second car, an early model, for about four years, but switched to a late model when the car in the drama changed to a late model. He was hit by a car and suffered total damage, but as he was not responsible for the accident, he was reimbursed by his insurance and got a late model again. After driving the car for more than ten years, he began to develop an interest in European cars, which is why he gave up the second generation ‘Leopard’ there.

I wanted to drive the Leopard one more time before I died

Mr. Ichikawa spent his days immersed in the fascination of European cars such as the MG “MGB”, Alfa Romeo “Spider 115” and “156” and the Maserati “Ghibli” (2nd generation). One day, he met Mr. Nakajima, the organizer of the Leopard Open Meeting 2023, and other Leopard owners, which made him realize anew the appeal of the second-generation Leopard. As a result, he rekindled his desire to “drive it again before I die!” and the search for his fifth car began.

“In the past, I had built a car for a play, so this time I was looking for a Leopard with the intention of enjoying it purely, without being caught up in the AbuDeka story. What I wanted was a late model, two-tone beige in color. When I actually came across the unit I wanted to buy, I was disappointed because the new owner had already decided. Then I heard from an acquaintance that there was a unit that had been lying around for about three years.”

That is my car at the moment. Fortunately or unfortunately, the unit is an early model Altima painted in gold two-tone. As a base, it could have been a play car specification, but the main difference is that this car had a sunroof.

“The play car doesn’t have a sunroof. So if I could have come across an early model gold, I would have preferred it without the sunroof. …… But it wasn’t the time for that kind of selfishness at that point, so I decided I couldn’t let the timing pass me by.”

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