Saturday, October 07, 2006

Beat goes on for tiny Japanese imports

Cute little kei-cars are fun and frugal Legal in Canada under 15-year rule
Oct. 7, 2006. 01:00 AM
Michael Banovsky - Special to the Star
Hooray for loopholes. How else would I be driving a 660 cc, three-cylinder, 60-odd-horsepower Japanese micro-car through the truck-infested streets of Vaughan?
The ride in question was a bright yellow Honda Beat roadster, the type of vehicle originally designed to woo Japanese ladies into using a small car instead of a scooter for their shopping trips. In Japan, it's a kei-car: a maximum length of 3.2 m, maximum width of 1.4 m, and a maximum displacement of 660 cc.
Most enthusiasts know about the 15-year rule here in Canada: if it was not originally sold in Canada or faced import restrictions when new, in most cases that vehicle will be allowed into the country after 15 years.
Earlier this year, Wheels writer Laurance Yap extolled the virtues of the Nissan Skyline GT-R, a legend in Japan and on Gran Turismo discs the world over.
Now, thanks to Eric Mojilever, owner of Shrink My Ride — and a few other Toronto players — you, too, can downsize your transportation without driving an egg.

Read full article here.

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