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JAHFA Considers Mitsubishi Model A to Be a Historic Car

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2019 Eclipse Cross Mitsubishi Model A
2019 Eclipse Cross
Photo: Mitsubishi Motors

The Japan Automotive Hall of Fame now considers the Mitsubishi Model A to be a Historic Car. This acknowledgment honors the Mitsubishi vehicle for being an important part of the Japanese automobile industry’s history.

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A look back at the history of Mitsubishi Model A

The Mitsubishi Model A helped originate car building. Mitsubishi began prototyping the vehicle back in the summer of 1917. It then took until November of 1918 for the automaker to complete the Mitsubishi Model A. By 1921, Mitsubishi had manufactured 22 cars in total.

The Mitsubishi Model A was the very first Japanese series-production passenger car to be built and then sold with the intention of mass-producing the vehicle. As such, JAHFA is honoring the car for being significant to the history of the Japanese automotive industry.

Workers made the first Mitsubishi Model A by hand with just chisels and hammers. During that time, there were not many specialized automotive machinery or tools available. The interior incorporated British woolen cloth, while the body was made of wood.

Mitsubishi designed Mitsubishi Model A at what was originally the Kobe Shipyard of Mitsubishi Shipbuilding Company, which is now Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

Mitsubishi engineers had to jump over many hurdles to build the car, including a lack of experience with production processes and no design drawings. They also had limited knowledge when it came to car bodies, interiors, and gasoline engines. However, they still managed to prove that they had the capability to mass-produce vehicles domestically.

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If you’re interested in checking out the Mitsubishi Model A in person, you can view a replica on display at the Mitsubishi Auto Gallery, which is located in Okazaki City, Aichi Prefecture.