Auto Sandal



Home » Car brands » Auto Sandal

Japan, 1947-1954



In postwar Japan, upon stimulus brought by the government onto the automobile sector, manufacturers were encouraged to produce small cars. The keijidousha type of automobiles were a class of four-wheeled vehicles on which Japan government put restrictions in terms of size and engine. Basically, cars that would fall under these restrictions could have any shape or form and the manufacturers were encouraged to produce small cars that people could afford.

Hence in the modern and industrious city of Nagoya there was a company which started as Nakano Automobiles Kogyo Ltd. and in 1951 came out with a prototype vehicle called the Auto Sandal.
The company subsequently went on to produce 196 vehicles which was updated both in engineering and styling before going bankrupt in 1954.

After World War II, and in the middle of the post-war period, the Japanese government had to rebuild the country. One of the initiatives that were launched was the development of the idea of ​​the so-called "Kei Car" or standard car. Greater mobility of people and goods was required to promote economic growth, at a time when most Japanese could not afford a medium-sized car or a good motorcycle.

In July 1949, with the aim of encouraging companies to produce a "national" and economically affordable car for the masses (the typical people's car), the Japanese government introduced tax incentives and facilities to purchase cars, and in parallel established the First standards required in automobile manufacturing. The vehicles had to have a maximum length of 2800 mm and a maximum width of 1000 mm. They should be really small cars.

The "Auto Sandal"

In 1947, Nakano Yoshimishiro founded the "Nakano Automobile Kogyo Company Limited" in the Japanese city of Nagoya. Since 1947, Nakano Yoshimishiro had been developing the prototype of a micro car and in the same way that other Japanese manufacturers of that time did, between 1950 and 1951, Nakano Yoshimishiro adapted his prototype to the standards and premises of the government with the aim of starting marketing as soon as possible.

In 1952 Nakano Yoshimishiro reorganized the "Nakano Automobile Kogyo Company Limited" and renamed it "Auto Sandal Motor Company" (日本 オ ー ト サ ン ダ ル 自動 車), establishing headquarters in Tokyo. The new model would carry the brand "Auto Sandal" (オ ー ト サ ン ダ ル). The brand name referred to a kind of typical Japanese sandal or footwear.

The "Auto Sandal" was a micro car, with an open body and capacity for two people. Initially, it was equipped with a 349 cc, air-cooled, two-stroke, single-cylinder engine that ranged from 5 hp to 5.5 hp, rear-mounted, and rear-wheel drive.

Different models were made; In 1952 the FN and FS models equipped with 349 cc engines, in 1953 the FN-L model equipped with the same engine and in 1954 the Roly model equipped with a 238 cc engine.

Production ceased in 1954 after only 196 cars had been produced, three of which are still preserved and are part of the "Sepia Collection" exhibited in the Japanese city of Kurume.

Go back to the top


0-9 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

To see the complete list of "Alpha 3" country codes used in these pages to specify the market in which the model was sold, please visit the following website :
(We added (EUR) for Europe, (NAM) for North America, (SAM) for South America and (GCC) for Gulf Cooperation Council)

Go back to the top

Concept cars

Go back to the top


Go back to the top

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License