Mitsubishi Model A

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Wirkers at Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Co., Ltd. alangside ane o the prototype Mitsubishi Model A automobiles.

The Mitsubishi Model A is the ae caur biggit bi the Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company, a member o the Mitsubishi keiretsu which wad eventually evolve intae Mitsubishi Motors, an the first series production automobile manufactured in Japan. It wis the brainchild o Koyata Iwasaki, the Mitsubishi's fowert preses an the nephew o foonder Yataro Iwasaki, who foresaw the vast potential o motorized vehicles an the role thay wad play in the economic development o Japan. Envisioned as a luxury vehicle for heich echelon govrenment offeecials an tap executives, the Model A haed tae be reliable, comfortable an a showcase o Japanese craftsmanship.

Based on the Fiat Tipo 3, it wis a fower-door seiven-seat sedan pouered bi a front-mountit 26 kW (35 hp) 2.8 litre straight-4 ingine drivin the rear wheels, an wis capable o speeds up tae 20 miles per oor (32 km/h). 22 war biggit at the company's Kobe shipyard, includin prototypes, atween 1917 and 1921.

Acause it wis expensive tae produce—it wis biggit entirely bi haund, wi a cab made o lacquert white cypress—it coud no compete wi cheaper American an European competeetion, an Mitsubishi haltit production efter fower years. Concentratin insteid on its successfu Fuso commercial vehicles, the Model A wad be the company's last passenger caur till the Mitsubishi 500 o 1960.

At Mitsubishi's Auto Gallery (a museum o the company's maist historically significant vehicles, establisht at thair R&D Center in Okazaki in 1989) thare is a replica on display, assembled in 1972 uisin materials o the time. It haes a slichtly shorter wheelbase, an uises a water-cooled 977 cc fower-cylinder OHV ingine instead o the lairger 2.8 litre oreeginal.

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