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Kei cars come from a vehicle class in Japan that is especially cheap to purchase, insure, park, and own. Especially when it comes to registering and insuring, these baby cars require costs that are a fraction of a fees for a “normal” car like a Civic. They’re restricted to certain dimensions, weight, and 660cc engines, and that combo results in the cutest cars ever, like this wedge of blue gatorade called the Autozam AZ-1.

  • Car: 1992 Autozam AZ-1
  • Location: Long Beach, CA
  • Photog: Chris Rosales (me; @chrishasacamera on IG)
  • Camera: iPhone 11 Pro Max

I seldom go to car gatherings for cars alone. Generally, I’m in this hobby for the fascinating folks you meet and the connections you forge through a shared love of driving, much less a collective of people parked in a random lot. It takes seriously cool machinery for me to engage in a cars and coffee, along with good friends. I count the Autozam AZ-1 cool enough to initiate proceedings toward world peace. 

Seriously. If we simply gave everyone at the United Nations Security Council an Autozam AZ-1, the sheer joy of it might make everyone take it down a notch. It’s tiny, it has gullwing doors, the tach goes to 11,000 rpm and it’s mid-engined. 

Although most of the meet was your normal trail mix of slammed BMWs and straight-piped Subaru BRZs, there was another car that caught my eye. You’ll see that sometime soon in another feature photo.

As big as we could get it: 

Chris Rosales

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