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Kei-truck In Beautiful Coupe Style With Canopy!

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TEXT: 青木邦敏(AOKI Kunitoshi)  PHOTO: 青木邦敏(AOKI Kunitoshi)

  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Mechanic K-03 designed to be used as a support car for Sunday races
  • Mechanic K-03 designed to be used as a support car for Sunday races
  • Mechanic K-03 designed to be used as a support car for Sunday races
  • Mechanic K-03 designed to be used as a support car for Sunday races
  • Mechanic K-03 designed to be used as a support car for Sunday races
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added
  • Mechanic K-03 designed to be used as a support car for Sunday races
  • Craftsman K-04 with roof rack and hatchback rack added

Grasshopper with an active playful spirit

This year’s Osaka Auto Messe 2024 (hereafter OAM), a custom car festival, once again featured an array of remarkable machines. Among these, Kei-trucks remained as popular as ever. Among the many custom Kei-trucks lined up, AMW’s focus was on the ‘Grasshopper’ series, with its flip-up canopy on the cargo bed and active playful spirit.

The theme is to ride cool for both play and work

A style that adds functionality and coolness based on the conveniently active light truck is now in vogue. The mainstream style up to now has been to attach a carrier with a roll cage structure to the cargo bed and enjoy customizing it to one’s liking in a highly original way so that it can be used for work, outdoor activities, and a variety of other life scenes. However, the Grasshopper series introduced this time was proposed as a vehicle with a fully fitted cargo bed to expand the range of enjoyment.

The Grasshopper Series was produced by Kyoritsu Kogyo, based in Hatsukaichi City, Hiroshima Prefecture. Based on the concept of ‘riding cool for both play and work’, this time the vehicle is based on a Daihatsu Hijet truck. Satoshi Tsubakitani, Managing Director of Kyoritsu Kogyo, gave us the following explanation of the Grasshopper Series.

“We are a company that makes a living out of truck erection. Our main focus is on medium and heavy trucks, but when we thought about what we could do based on light trucks, we came up with the idea of the ‘ultimate craftsman’s light truck’. And we thought that if we were going to make one, it would be more interesting to make one that could also be used for fun.”

“As you know, light trucks are not only working vehicles, but in recent years there has been a growing demand for them as custom-based play vehicles. In response to this, we proposed a system-up style that can be used for both work and play in multiple ways, using our specialized erection technology. We have produced a special canopy and completed a light truck that is not only convenient to use, but is also stylishly designed with coolness in mind.”

There are 4 models of Grasshopper in total

Although the cargo bed of the Grasshopper series appears to be all in one piece, it is in fact split into two halves with a cargo bed section gully. When the side gullies are opened, the left and right sides each contain a cabinet for storage, which can be used to hold a variety of tools. The last section also has a sliding storage case that can be opened to store long items. Incidentally, it is convenient because items up to 1920 mm (length) x 500 mm (width) x 230 mm (height) can be stored.

The canopy on which the cargo bed is placed is based on a cabinet and is fixed in place. The canopy has a slant-back shape that is aerodynamic. The body shell, which looks like a hatchback coupe, is less susceptible to crosswinds, and the light truck is fitted in a cool way with excellent proportions while improving driving stability.

The streamlined and stylish canopy is equipped with a pop-up roof mechanism, so it can be used as a resting place during work and as a sleeping area during outdoor activities. A variety of dedicated cabinets ensure that there is never a problem with storage. This car can be used as a support vehicle for all kinds of work and hobbies.

Kyoritsu Kogyo currently offers a total of four Grasshopper models to suit different lifestyles, two of which were on display at the OAM. The all-black ‘Mechanic K-03’ is a model proposed as a mechanic service car for car maintenance. The blue ‘Craftsman K-04’ adds a roof rack and a hatchback rack and is proposed as a vehicle that can be used conveniently in daily life by craftsmen for planting, electrical, air-conditioning, and plumbing services. Other models are also available that specialize in armored and robust survival equipment.

The vehicle on display is also equipped with aluminum striped steel rear over wings, front wing guards, bumper guards, side steps, and rear steps, all of which will be available as options.

With a convenient carrier for customizing the top of the cabin and fog lamps also available, Kyoritsu Kogyo’s Grasshopper series will be one that will take the light truck industry by storm in the future, thanks to its freedom of use and the development potential of its customization plans. The Grasshopper Series will be a whirlwind in the light truck industry in the years to come.

translated by DeepL

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