Maintenance Report

Great place for great cars!



at first

I’m sorry

Because we can’t speak english

I am using DeepL translate, so it may be a strange sentence,

but I would like you to understand

Thank you

If you drive about 15 minutes from our Vintage Shop Japan, you will see old Subaru cars and small hatchbacks.

You will see old Subaru cars and small hatchback cars.


I have been driving by this factory for a long time, and as a lover of old cars, it is a place that I enjoy every time I pass by.

My friend took me there once before.

It is a famous car factory not only for the maintenance of racing cars, but also for old Subaru cars, especially Subaru 360, all over Japan.

Last year, Mr. Mizuta, the representative of STEP ENGINEERING, and our photographer, Mr. Okamura, had known each other for a long time, so Mr. Maruishi and myself joined them for a tour of the factory.

As we entered the factory, we were greeted by a mechanic who greeted us loudly and began the tour with a smile!

No picture, but…
Suddenly, the racing machine of Ambitious Racing from Hokkaido in the Super Taikyu series was right in front of us! 

*The Super Taikyu series is an all-Japan endurance race.


Makes me want to run on the track(laughs)!

And first, we had various discussions with Mr. Mizuta in his office.

Of course we talked about Subaru 360s and vintage cars, but we also had a lot of fun talking about how Mr. Mizuta used to race at the Kutchan circuit and how he maintains the racing car he currently drives.

After that, we were finally guided to the second factory, which is located across the street from the main factory.

As soon as I walked into the factory.

Oh! Ladybug everywhere!

*”Ladybug” is the nickname for the SUBARU360 released half a century ago, a nickname easily recognized by old car enthusiasts!
The origin is probably because the SUBARU360’s body design resembles a Ladybug!

So, what kind of car is the SUBARU360?

It is a four-seater light car with a two-cycle, air-cooled, two-cylinder 360cc engine with only 20 to 30 horsepower. It is difficult to understand, so please refer to the official website for more detailed and easy-to-understand information about the SUBARU360.

SUBARU360 official website

Click here for SUBARU Online Museum (Japanese language)

SUBARU360 Custom (This is a very rare van type)

SUBARU 360 Custom is here(Japanese language)

Now, suddenly surprised by the ladybugs all over the place, a dazzling yellow 360 came into view.

The yellow SUBARU360 reminds me of the drama “The Hot Age: Detective,” aired in 1979 on Nippon Television and starring Yutaka Mizutani, now a well-known sidekick of Mr. Mizutani. The yellow body of the car is reminiscent of the beloved car of the detective played by Mr. Mizutani in the drama.

If you look closely, you can see that the front trunk hood and headlight covers are black, just like a panda’s face! It looks even cuter!

Now, I tried to find out when this car body was made.

Based on the shape of the emblem on the trunk hood and the blinkers on the front fenders, this appears to be a 1967-1968 SUBARU360. There is a slit under the emblem.

The roof is also black with excellent color coordination.

The interior side lining is body-colored yellow and dazzling white.
The steering wheel has a leather-wrapped cover with a hole that seems to be from that time. This item was the mainstream steering wheel cover at that time.
The seats are fashionable vintage checkered pattern, though it seems to be a cover.

The wheels are uniquely shaped laminated wheels (two split rims)!
The design is cool.

The diagonal emblems are cool, the writing style giving them a vintage look!

And tail lamps shared with blinkers. I think there were many tail lamps of this type in those days.

From the condition of the emblem and tail lenses, you can imagine that this 360 has been carefully used for many years since that time.

Looking further in the back, we found these awesome cars!

A cream yellow SUBARU360 Young S!

The car was marketed to young people who were looking for speed at the time.
The large tail lamps on the final model, the engine cooling slit cover on the rear fender, the red letter S emblem, and the racing stripe on the roof must have captured the hearts of the young!

The nifty naming of the car for the young, “Young,” will stick in my mind!

The car on the right is a rare SUBARU360 with an automatic clutch, a mechanism similar to today’s automatic transmission cars, in which the shift lever has a switch to disengage the clutch, allowing the driver to shift gears when the lever is operated.

The Young S on the left appears to be a 1968-1969 body.
The one on the right with an auto clutch has a hole under the rear window where the gasoline filler port is originally located.

The right one with auto clutch is thought to be a 1964-1965 model because the hole under the rear window is where the gasoline filler port was originally located and the filler port does not have a lid.

This is an engine cylinder and piston. The color shows that they have been active for many years.

This time, I had a great time with a full stomach(laughs) . 

Surrounded by vintage Subaru cars, the factory tour made me love vintage cars even more. 

I would like to thank Mr. Mizuta, the representative of the company, and all the mechanics for giving us the tour.

STEP ENGINEERING, which is close to us, is “a wonderful place where great cars gather.

I would like to visit again in the future if I have a chance.

Click here for more information on STEP ENGINEERING!

1729-3 Kitanosawa, Minami-ku, Sapporo-shi
TEL: 011-572-8180

Click here to visit the official Step Engineering website.

Please refer to the column by Mr. Okamura , the photographer who introduced STEP ENGINEERING to us, about his previous visit to the factory.

Photographer Okamura Column

Our company, which loves vintage cars, sells vintage cameras and lenses, anime goods, and radio cassette players, so please see the URL below.

Cameras & Lenses

Click here for URL

Animation Goods

Click here for URL

Acoustics and others

Click here for URL

Vintage Shop Japan Inc. Official Website

Official website (English) URL

Click here for URL

Official website (Japanese) URL

Click here for URL

facebook URL

Click here for URL

Instagram URL

Click here for URL

Pinterest URL

Click here for URL

Interviewed by Kazuya Maruishi, Photographer Okamura , Takashi Okumura

Writer Takashi Okumura