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1963 Daihatsu Sport by Vignale

The Daihatsu Sport Vignale was one of the concepts shown at the 1963 Turin Motor Show to demonstrate the capabilities of the Japanese automobile industry.

Turin coachbuilder Alfredo Viale was one of the first to work with Japanese manufacturers. The Japanese turned to the Italian company Vignale, where they built two prototypes for them: a coupe and a convertible based on the Daihatsu Sport. It was a car with an 800 cc inline 4-cylinder water-cooled engine, 50 hp.

The final product was a reasonably advanced car, combining Italian charm with Japanese simplicity, with design references to the Ferrari 250 GT Lusso if desired. At the Daihatsu booth, curious Europeans crowded around the prototype; for many of them, it was the first Japanese car they had ever seen. Daihatsu later became the first Japanese company to start selling vehicles in Europe (UK). The rapid growth in sales has been a great success for the company, which started producing four-wheeled cars over a decade ago.

Daihatsu Sport Vignale remained a prototype, but developments on it have found application in other Daihatsu cars for Europe. The original concept was purchased in 2004 from a collector in Monaco who kept the car in excellent condition. The item is currently on display at the Daihatsu Museum in Osaka, Japan.