1954 Suminoe Flying Feather FF-2, Japan. The Flying Feather FF-2 went into production in 1954.
Yutaka Katayama was a Nissan executive in Japan. In the early 1950s he became frustrated with the internal politics within Nissan, particularly with the increasing power of the unions at Nissan.
He decided to leave Nissan to build his own car, the Flying Feather. Japan in the early 1950s was still a very poor country, Katayama decided to build a small inexpensive car that the average Japanese might be able to afford. He and a friend built the prototype in the only space they could find, in the second floor of a building in Tokyo.
When the car was finished they found that it wouldn't fit through the door, eventually it was taken out through a window. The Flying Feather FF-2 went into production in 1954.
It was built by the Suminoe Engineering Works Ltd. in Tokyo. Flying Feather was an appropriate name for a car that weighed a mere 425kg. It was powered by an OHV 350cc V2 engine producing 12.5hp. The engine was mounted at the rear of it's transverse sprung chassis. Mounted on very thin cycle wheels, it was described by one journalist as resembling two motorcycles bolted together.
Production ceased in 1955 with less than 200 made, Katayama deciding that running his own company was not for him. He rejoined Nissan shortly afterwards, where his career soon blossomed. He was responsible for the team of Datsun 210 race cars that were entered in the 1958 Round Australia Rally, which one of the cars won. He then went on to become the head of Nissan in the United States.
(source: Alan, from Early Datsuns).
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